It's been a bit over a month since I finished this absolutely amazing book. I posted a bookstagram book review on my Instagram account @alohamoraopenabook right away b/c I couldn't wait to share the amazing-ness of this book. However, it is about time that I write a review for you.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah gets 5 out of 5 Stars. This adult literature WWII historical fiction is well written, has well developed characters, is fast paced, and has a gripping and emotional storyline. This is an absolutely fantastic book; I honestly feel this is a book for everyone.
The Nightingale is set in France during World War II. It follows two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, as they both prove to be incredibly heroic throughout the war but in very different ways. Both Vianne and Isabelle are strong women (I love how the main characters are strong female characters; it makes me so proud to be a women), and as their stories were told I found myself cheering for them as well as sobbing for the pains and struggles they endured.
I felt so much happiness, but yet so much pain and heartache for Vianne and Isabelle. I'm pretty sure the last time I cried that hard while reading a book was while I read the last Harry Potter book. I feel that if an author can get myself, as the reader, so involved with, connected to, and feeling so much of the joy, pain, and sorrows for the characters then the book is extremely well written. This book will inspire you, and make you think long after reading it. It is well worth the 5 star rating.
As far as the book's content goes there is violence and rape, but it is in context with the historical settings and situation. There is some language as well, but I felt it was also all in context. A mature high school student, college student, and adult would be the ideal audience for this book.
Amazon had the following book description which should give you better insight into the storyline, but it won't give away any spoilers.
"In love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.
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.With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures 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."
Have you read this awesome book? What did you think? If you haven't read it when are you going to check it out? :)
I absolutely loved... "Wounds Heal. Love Lasts. We Remain." Such a great ending.
Happy Amazing WWII Historical Fiction reading!
********** SPOILER ALERT **********
Serious tears shed so many times through out this book. I'm sure I cried more in this book than any other WWII historical fiction or non-fiction book I've ever read.
However, I felt many emotions during this reading.
I was sad and cried when Rachel's daughter died after being shot trying to cross the border. I can't even imagine loosing a child that way.
I was disappointed and again cried when Rachel was taken away b/c she came out of the cellar too early.
I was angered, along with Vianne, about how people could treat others with such cruelty.
I was inspired and impressed that Isabelle was incredibly brave and tough to have taken 24 trips in 8 months over the mountains to bring 87 airmen to safety.
I was happy that the Nazi Captain living with Vianne was so kind.
I was sad for Isabelle that her first love came during war time and she was unable to have the normal courting and fun that comes with that, but I was happy to see she and Gaetan have found each other so many times.
I was disgusted and felt so much sorrow for Vianne when the new Nazi moved into her home and raped her nightly.
I was sad for Vianne and her husband when he finally returned home and she had so much healing to do as a result of the cruel Nazi. I was frustrated when Vianne wouldn't tell her husband about what happened to her; I felt he was a good man and would've been extremely loving and kind to her. Though maybe in times of war things want to be forgotten rather than discussed. I guess Wounds Heal and Love Lasts.
I sobbed when Isabelle's father died for her by claiming to be the Nightingale.
I sobbed when I read Rachel and her husband were both dead, and I sobbed even more so when Vianne couldn't keep Rachel's son. I sobbed when they had to say goodbye to Daniel.
I was disappointed it wasn't Isabelle at the end of the book, but yet I was happy that Vianne had showed so much healing.
What were some of the emotions you felt?