BOOK REVIEW: “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah

Title: The Nightingale
Author: Kristin Hannah
Publication: February 3, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Source: Netgalley
Genre Category: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction

The Nightingale


SYNOPSIS (From Goodreads):
In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When France is overrun, Vianne is forced to take an enemy into her house, and suddenly her every move is watched; her life and her child’s life is at constant risk. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates around her, she must make one terrible choice after another.

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets the compelling and mysterious Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can…completely. When he betrays her, Isabelle races headlong into danger and joins the Resistance, never looking back or giving a thought to the real–and deadly–consequences.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah takes her talented pen to the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

There are books you read and want to tell people about, but words don’t seem adequate. This is one of those stories. Heartwrenching and exciting at the same time. Kristin Hannah took “The Nightingale” to a level that is hard to find in literature today.

The Nightingale is a story taking place during Nazi war time and uncertain futures that people were facing. Being separated from loved ones is always hard, but imagine doing it in the terrors of war and the repercussions of decisions made. Hannah wrote well-developed characters in a way that makes them so real to the reader. These characters could have been your mothers, sisters, brothers, or husbands. Such a fine tuned piece of art that shows a glimpse at history in the process.

I don’t typically cry during books, but this one had tears glistening in my eyes. On more than one occasion I caught myself with my hand on my chest, as if my breath had been stolen. I feel as though this review is not quite as true to the book, but there are no words I can find to describe it adequately enough. I would love the opportunity to shake Kristin Hannah’s hand, not only because she shares my name, but because it is hard to find a writer that can move you in a way that Hannah did with ‘The Nightingale’. With ease, I give this book five out of five stars and I beg her to write more quickly.

Make sure to pick up the newly released ‘The Nightingale’ by Kristin Hannah from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or in your local bookstore. Also add it to your TO READS list on Goodreads! And just a reminder, Hannah has released 20 books, so check out the rest of her work on her site.

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