Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Review: The Nightingale

Author: Kristin Hannah
Started reading: March 8th 2020
Finished the book: April 10th 2020
Pages: 440
Genres: Historical, Fiction, War, Adult
Published: February 3rd 2015
Source: Received the book as a gift
Goodreads score: 4.57
My score:
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 a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.

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 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. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.

My thoughts
Thanks to Arjen for reading this book with me.
It wasn't really planned that I would read two books about WWII in a month. I just finished All the Light We Cannot See. It's fun to read two books about the same period in time, and then discover how different the books are. Both are 5 star reads for me. This book was about two sisters with different storylines and a bit of mystery woven through. Beautifully written with loads of plot twists and all the dark things that happened in WWII.

  • Research: The research that was done for this book was definitely there. This book contains things that I do not question and that felt very real. The lives changed so slowly in France, and you see it happening and can't do anything about it. I figure it felt exactly that way when living during that time.
  • Storylines: Both storylines were so different and that's why they were so interesting. One of the women was fighting for her country, while the other fought for her family and tried to keep them alive. The contrast was definitely there and the way it was written felt professional.
  • Relationships: The relationships between people were interesting and also changing during the period of time. The story was laced with emotions without you being flooded by it. I also liked the part in the present, where you don't know who you're actually following.
  • Crying: It's been a while that I cried for a book, but this story did it. I think I even had 3 points in this book that made me pretty emotional. It makes you feel that war is terrible and that it spares no one...
No cons from me, but my buddy felt like not that much was happening and actually gave the book 3 stars.

A beautiful book about a very dark period in history. The characters felt so real, the story felt so real and the horrible and beautiful things really provided you with contrast in this book. The two storylines were very different as well, so it felt very Ying-Yang. The book made me emotional a couple of times and I just need that once in a while!

Other opinions on this book
"In this epic novel, set in France in World War II, two sisters who live in a small village find themselves estranged when they disagree about the imminent threat of occupation. Separated by principles and temperament, each must find her own way forward as she faces moral questions and life-or-death choices. Haunting, action-packed, and compelling."
- Christina Baker Kline, NYT Bestselling Author

Memorable quotes from this book
"I know now what matters, and it is not what I have lost. It is my memories. Wounds heal. Love lasts."

Thanks for reading!
I'd love to talk books; please let me know what you think about this book/review.


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~ Esther