I have been a fan of Kristin Hannah’s books for as long as I can remember (as evidenced here) so when her latest book, The Nightingale, was released, I couldn’t wait to dive in. But then life took over and I waited awhile before I started it. I didn’t know what I was missing!
The Nightingale is the story of two sisters set in World War II. Vianne, the rule follower, and Isabelle, the rebel, couldn’t be any different. Vianne is married to Antoine, the love of her life since the age of 14, and they have a daughter, Sophie. They live an idyllic life in the French countryside, until Antoine is called up to go to war. With months going by and no return of Antoine in sight, Vianne and Sophie have to endure dire situations until things get seemingly worse when a German soldier requisitions himself in their home.
Isabelle, reeling from her mother’s death, doesn’t heed her sister’s requests to keep quiet during the trying times of war, so she follows her own path. She falls in love with Gaetan and his belief that the French can fight off the Nazi’s. When things worsen, Isabelle joins a group called the Resistance, and helps smuggle fake identification papers to aid the French people in this horrible war. Her drive and spirit are captured beautifully by Kristin, and you can’t help but get sucked in by her seemingly always optimistic, go-getter personality.
This book and the characters in it are so beautifully portrayed– there is resilience, the back story of what women in that time period had to go through while their men were at war, and the emotional pull that sucks you in. While Vianne and Isabelle were strikingly different, their stories were similar- love, heartache, survival, and resilience. I don’t think I can accurately describe this book because it was so beautifully written. If you haven’t read it yet, you MUST. This is a book that I am still thinking about DAYS after finishing it.