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The Nightingale Book Review


"The Nightingale" captures the plight of two sisters in war torn France. Photo by Jaci Olson

“The Nightingale” captures the plight of two sisters in war torn France. Photo by Jaci Olson

By Jaci Olson

The Nightingale” was written by award-winning and bestselling author, Kristin Hannah. She has written more than 20 novels. Hannah was born in 1960 in Southern California. As she matured, Hannah decided to go to law school. “But you’re going to be a writer” are the words she would never forget from her mother. Hannah was in her final year of law school and her mom was in the hospital at the end of her long battle with cancer.

For the next few months, they worked together on a novel. After her mom’s death, she stopped writing the novel. Hannah got married and continued practicing law. Then she found out she was pregnant and during that time she’d read every book in the house and knew her mom was right. Her husband reminded her of the book she’d started with her mom. By the time their son was born, she’d finished a first draft and found an obsession. The rejections came but finally she got “the call”, and in that moment, she went from a young mother with a hobby to a professional writer and never looked back.

“The Nightingale” was published on February 3, 2015. Set in France in 1939, it tells the story of two sisters, seperated by years and experience. Vianne Mauriac has to say goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he leaves for the Front. The Nazis invade France in droves of soldiers and bombs. When German captains must stay in Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything they have. As danger multiplies around them, she must make impossible choices to keep her family alive.

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious 18-year-old. While thousands of Partisans march into the terrors of war, she meets Gaetan and falls in love. But when he betrays her, she joins the Resistance risking her life to save others.

With  courage, grace and powerful insight, Hannah captures the essence of World War II and shows us the women’s war. “The Nightingale” portrays two sisters each on her own path toward survival and freedom in war-torn France. It is a heartbreakingly stunning novel that captures the strength of women and the sacrifice and love of a father. It is a novel for everyone.

“The Nightingale” was a very good book. I really loved it and would recommend it to anyone looking for a tear-jerking, captivating read. It was one of the saddest books I’ve read in awhile. I cried multiple times throughout. I really loved how the plot progressed. It captured the details of being in the Resistance and fighting for your life.

The struggles women had to go through to survive were so eye-opening. This story has so many different conflicts. The plot rises and falls over and over again. This story portrayed well the aspect of what it would be like in the time of World War II. It is such a great story of the lasting bond between two sisters.