Reader reviews and comments on The Nightingale, plus links to write your own review.

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The Nightingale

by Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2015, 448 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2017, 592 pages

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There are currently 52 reader reviews for The Nightingale
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Sarah A

Outstanding
This story puts the reader in the middle of events as they happen. This is real story telling, effective when reflecting actual history and experiences. The depth and breath of the emotional relationships of the characters is nothing less than phenomenal. making the reader not only an eye witness but also feeling what the characters are feeling. I could not put this book down and reads at bedtime until my eyes crossed. Having lived through WWII and having visited France made this story all the more relative. What a read!
Anna Marie Virgint

The Nightingale
Riveting, well researched, illuminating on the topic of the Holocaust atrocities. I agree with another reviewer. I felt an empty spot in the story on how V ended up in America, and Antoine just dropped off the radar. Great, great book. Human depravity at its worst.
Lolli

The Nightingale
Best book of 2015. Be ready to finish it in one setting!
Laura

Great book
I describe this as a great book and I really did like it, but I thought it dragged in parts. The dialog was well written and the French terms and words were translated well, though I do speak French. Very apt descriptions of wartime Europe.
Chari in Maine

Great - Loved it
Kristin Hannah is great at writing this kind of book. She is a great writer and storyteller. This book is set in the WWII era in France. It's about the hardships, terror, brutality of the period, but also the bravery, kindness and humanity. I couldn't put it down, and you won't be able to either. The story stayed with me long after finishing and I still would like to go back and be with the characters again.
Chari Burdick

Hannah at her best
I loved this book. It is Hannah at her best. If you read Winter Garden you will love this one as well. I found myself wanting to go back to the characters lives long after I had finished the book. If you enjoy stories from the war and all the struggles that entailed...the bravery of the innocent. you will enjoy this book!
Power Reviewer Beckyh

Well researched and well written
Do not be put off by the “women’s fiction” classification of this book. THE NIGHTINGALE is a well- researched, well written discussion of the realities, cruelties and decisions that face an ordinary family in Vichy France. The book, beginning in 1938 as war approaches, is told from the viewpoint of the surviving sister many years later. The family, father and two sisters, is torn apart by their individual decisions when one sister and her children are forced to house a German officer in the family home in a small village after her husband joins the Allied Forces. The father, remaining in Paris, attempts to continue the family’s bookstore, while the second daughter chooses to join the resistance.
Village life under occupation and the dangers of resistance are clearly shown. The characters and situations are well developed and realistic. The supporting characters are shown to be humans acting under extreme duress – the good are not always good and the bad are not always bad.
I would have preferred to learn more about Rachel and her plight after she is forced from her job early in the occupation. We never quite learn how she is able to survive and seemingly thrive with no money and no way to get any.
Book groups will have a plethora of topics to discuss, including what decisions they would make concerning “outing” Jews, lying to friends and family, fraternizing with the enemy, murder, resistance, and many others.
5 of 5 stars
Power Reviewer Betty T. (Warner Robins, GA)

Loved it!!
There are so many books written about the Holocaust that I am somewhat burned out on them. But every now and then a new one comes out that just is not like all the rest. This holds true to "The Nightingale" by Kristin Hannah. Ms. Hannah has the gift of articulating the complexities of families and relationships. The reader can feel the struggles the characters are encountering – the pain of emotions felt and beatings taken, the fear of being found out and of losing the ones you love most in the world, the agonizing hunger felt each day. You are right there standing next to the characters; you are pulled into and become a part of the story. I thought she couldn't get any better than her book "Home Front", but this one is just as good, if not better

In "The Nightingale" the sisters Viann and Isabelle live in the "Free Zone" in France. But this Free Zone soon becomes Nazi-occupied. It is difficult to read of the burdens the French people had to deal with each day for several years. People did what they had to do to survive. Some people were brave enough and humane enough to make attempts to save the Jews. Others, in self-survival mode, looked the other way. Others sadly joined the Nazis in their atrocities. The story here is very real. It reminded me of the book "A Woman in Berlin" about what the women had to do to survive, and they guilt and self-loathing they felt afterwards. One statement in "The Nightingale' really hit me – "Men tell stories…Women get on with it…We did what we had to during the war, and when it was over, we picked up the pieces and started our lives over."

The characters are very human with their strengths and their weaknesses. I loved them, I hated them, I feared for them, I rejoiced with them. Now the book is over but the characters live on in my mind.

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