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

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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.
Nancy D. (West Chester, PA)

A Different View of WWII
This was the first book by Kristen Hannah that I have read and now I want to go back and read her earlier books. The plot was engaging and the twists were good and yet believable.The characters were well drawn and engaging. I enthusiastically recommend this book
Power Reviewer Mary O. (Boston, MA)

A Pageturner!
I love to read historical fiction and get totally absorbed in the characters and times. The Nightingale is an engrossing, well developed account of two sisters in WWII occupied France. One of the BEST reads I have had lately. Never a dull moment!!!
Jennifer F. (SARATOGA, CA)

Compelling page turner
Kristin Hannah transports the reader into the scenes of the small villages of occupied France in such a way that you relate to the main characters of her novel, The Nightingale. Whether or not it is a true story, it's filled with enough real relationships and tragedies that the heroic story of the Nightingale is a heartfelt view into the life of fear and hiding that was WWII France. The characters were very realistic and relatable and the plot was very compelling. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Arden A. (Longboat Key, FL)

Unsung Heroines
This is an excellent rendering of the dire circumstances innocent people had to tolerate during the German occupation of France in WWII. It is hard to fathom the interminable suffering that took place under the Nazi regime. Two sisters come face to face with the horror of war, and both find ways to make a difference.

Wonderfully told story, totally engaging, and the saddest part is that even if it is a novel, we know too well the awful truth of what happened, and that the author has embedded that truth in this novel.
Andrea S. (Lafayette, IN)

Powerful story of war and family
I read this book almost without stopping the last 200 pages because I became so involved in what was going on. The characters were well developed and believable. The horrors of war were the backdrop for this book that shows the strength of the human spirit. To know that the book is based on a true story makes it even more powerful. Book clubs will find much to discuss with this book.
Elizabeth K. (Glenshaw, PA)

The Nightingale
I found myself thinking of these characters even when I was not reading the book. The story of the Germans occupying France during World War II has been told many times, but Kristin Hannah painted a vivid picture of the characters and the times. I easily pictured the countryside in the Loire Valley and the city of Paris.

Sisters Viann and Isabella, who seemed very different, bonded in the dire circumstances. Morals during war become a matter of necessity.

A beautifully told story.
Debbie-Lyn C. (Kitty Hawk, NC)

The Nightingale
The Nightingale is a revealing story of the horrors and passions in occupied France during World War II . I was spellbound as the author brought to life the courageous undertakings of 3 young French women. I have a deeper appreciation for the heroism, daily struggles and losses needed to survive. The characters in this book will remain with me long into the future.

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