The Nightingale: A Review

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Synopsis: In love, we find out who we want to be. In war, we find out who we are.

France, 1939
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 are 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.

Review:

The Nightingale is a highly hyped book and I was so keen to read it. I was a bit anxious about whether it would live up to the hype, but guess what, it surpassed all my expectations!

The Nightingale is a story is of two sisters Isabelle and Vianne living in France in the throes of World War II. The sisters are polar opposites of each other when it comes to personalities and ideals. While elder sister Vianne is timid and soft-spoken and stays away from trouble, younger sister Isabelle runs headfirst into trouble all the time. The story focuses on the lives of both sisters during the war and how each of them deals with the changes caused by the war, especially the Nazi German occupation of France. It is a heart-rending tale dealing with issues of survival, love, friendship, hope, grief, and loss.

I enjoyed the book thoroughly and teared up on more than one occasion while reading it. The twists and turns in the book kept me hooked throughout. I admired the courageous Isabelle a lot.

Kristin Hannah has beautifully woven a touching story of the lives of two sisters greatly altered by one of the most gruesome wars in history. The book teaches us that hatred never wins and love and hope always reign supreme.

I recommend this book highly to everyone!

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