This is the tenth book from My Book Bucket List that I’ve finished! Look for next month’s poll post to vote for my next book in a few days!
Title: The Nightingale
Author: Kristin Hannah
Genre: Historical Fiction
Story Perspective: Alternating First-Person
Themes: Resilience, Survival, Family, Resistance, Romance, Courage
Publication Date: March 15, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Devoted mother and wife Vianne watches her husband leave for the war, not believing they are true danger. Ambitious and courageous Isabelle understands the true nature of what’s happening to their country as World War II begins to affect France. Seeking to find some purpose, she joins the Resistance.
Though these sisters lead different lives, their path to survival and finding strength to carry on is something they do share.
This is a book that I wanted to read for quite some time, but for one reason or another have put it off. Now that I’ve finished reading it, I’m not quite sure why I put it off for so long. It was sooo amazing, and I was so sad that I was done reading it.
The characterization was astounding. I truly felt that I knew these characters and it was so easy to sympathize with their situations in these frightening and devastating times. Fierce and strong-willed Isabelle is what many wish to be like during a dangerous time, while conservative and silent survivor Vianne is a devoted mother whose strength is one that many would strive for. Getting these different perspectives of what some women went through during WWII was so inspiring to read.
While reading, the author is able to paint the time period so vividly that it seems as if I was right there with these two sisters. From the first bomb droppings in Paris to working with the Resistance to having German soldiers billeted at your house, and even when escape seemed so close, I was sucked to this time period the entire time. When the author describes the slow, yet at the same time quick Nazi takeover, my heart dropped knowing what’s to come while some characters didn’t fully understand. It makes me think about what would I think if I experienced something like this…
The main storyline, France during WWII, and then the secondary storyline, “present-day” 1995, were so beautifully woven in together throughout the text. I found it to be such a clever way to tell this story. Essentially, the author takes one character from Nazi-occupied France and gives that character a voice during “present-day” 1995.
Overall, there was nothing I disliked about this read and I am simply left amazed and moved. I’ve read one other book from Kristin Hannah that I loved, too. Therefore, I plan on reading more of her books for sure!
I would highly recommend this read to anyone who would like to read a moving historical fiction following two very different women during German-occupied land in WWII.