Monday, June 29, 2015

The Nightingale

Book: The Nightingale
Author: Kristin Hannah

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 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.-Goodreads

Review: Stunning. That is the first word that comes to mind when I think of 'The Nightingale', the first (and certainly not the last) book I've read by Kristin Hannah. I was drawn into Vivanne and Isabelle's stories from the first chapter and literally could not stop reading. I love a book that evokes emotion and I was absolutely riveted by their story. Hannah does a wonderful job showcasing the war from different points of view and I love how she handled the relationships between sisters, fathers and daughters as well as lovers. Isabelle was my absolute favorite character in this book. She evolves from a rebellious girl seeking her father's love to a key member of the resistance. Both story lines were heartbreaking and I found myself crying at several points of the book. 

Excellent. If you are a fan of historical fiction, read this. 

Grade: 5/5

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