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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

    Apr 2017, 592 pages


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The Nightingale
From west, We are all common to stories about men who served at the front during World War II , but in this book, we'll get to know about the battles women had to face every day to protect their children and family.

Vianne Mauriac is a school teacher living in a small countryside along her childhood sweetheart and husband, Antoine and their daughter, Sophie. One day, Antoine is ordered to report to the front leaving Vianne alone to protect her daughter and their home.

Isabelle Rosignol ( Vianne's younger sister) is a reckless young girl being transferred from many boarding schools because of her unbearable nature, is sent by her drunkard father from Paris to Carriveau when a sudden war breaks out in Paris. Along with the thousands of refugees Isabelle has to travel barefoot and that's when she bumps into Gaëtan, a handsome communist who manages to steal her first (true) kiss and her first heartbreak.

Stuck to survive together, Vianne and Isabelle have an estranged relationship ever since their mother died years ago. They don't particularly hate each other but they also don't really like each other much. They are completely different poles in characters which makes it more hard for them to live under one roof. With Vianne's only motive being to protect her daughter and Isabelle's patriotic self hating Vianne giving in to the Nazi's orders just like everyone else, the sisters must find a way to survive through this war and each other.

This one is a masterpiece, it makes you laugh, cry and live with the characters as you read each and every chapters. The story is narrated by an old and dying Vianne as a flashback she had never told anyone.

Vianne is a typical strong mother who would do anything, I repeat anything to protect her daughter from the Nazi's. At first, I didn't like her much due to the way she treated Isabelle but slowly we understand the struggles she is going through to protect both Isabelle and Vianne. This character is a sole evidence that even main characters can make mistakes as of how Vianne never believes Isabelle.

Isabelle is a heroine, she is smart, daring , enthusiastic but also heedless. She doesn't think much before deciding or talking something and tends to follow her instincts. Her portray as a patriotic young woman who wills to do anything to help make her country win was something fresh and new to see since it's rare women are portrayed as patriotic.

The male characters, Antoine and Gaëtan are the ones who lift the main characters. Although I wished Antoine could have had more scope in the story , it was all logical since he was in the war. Gaëtan is a tragic hero and a bad boy material that eventually falls in love with Isabelle and leaves her after promising to come back for her - he does without expecting the heart break that's waiting for him.

The Nazi's that come to stay in their house, Wolfgang Beck is the first one. He and Vianne are drawn closer by their similar view on this war, they both hate how it has drawn them apart from their family. Therefore Beck has a compassion towads Vianne and Sophie, much to Isabelle disagree.

The second one, Von Ritcher, I personally wanted to see him die. I wish he did die a painful dead for the things he did to Vianne.

There are other minor characters mostly met by Isabelle after her joining a group of people who work in silence against the Nazi's ,they are all perfectly written and manages to leave an impact on our heart.

Trigger Warning: sad ending, sensitive happenings such as rape and also murders and suicide.

This masterpiece leaves a big impact on our hearts even days after we have finished reading the book, the things that the characters undergo can be deeply felt and connected. Especially the climax of the book comes unexpected and can break hearts but also leave you with a smile when you read the epilogue.

This book definitely deserves more appreciation among the young generation.
Power Reviewer

You don’t want to miss this book
Although I was pretty sure I would disagree with the majority of other readers who said that THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah is an excellent book, I can now honestly tell you to believe it. I had read two other books by Hannah and was not impressed, so I doubted that she had it in her to write like this. I was wrong.

This book has been reviewed so much already, it is sufficient to say that it is a piece of historical fiction that highlights the remarkable women of France when the Germans occupied that country during World War II. The story concentrates on two sisters, one based on an actual person, the other based on the lives of many women in France at that time.

So many books have been written about World War II, you may tend to avoid reading more. But this is one you don't want to miss.

Great Read about WWII in France
Excellent book. Highly recommend!

The Best Book I Have Ever Read
I used to teach high school English, so I have read more than my share of novels. I used to read them and make AR tests so the kids would have books to read that they liked. I preferred mysteries but could not help but read a novel with so many star reviews. I reluctantly bought it and for the next two days I cried, laughed, hoped, hurt, etc. It affected me profoundly. I cannot recommend this novel enough. Even if it is not your usual genre, read the sample and you will be hooked.
Soft Fuzzy Sweater

I have read Kristen Hannah's other books and considered then 'soap operas on vellum'-that is, angst ridden, tear jerkers. Where did 'The Nightingale" come from? There is a lot of emotion in it, but the characters are brave and daring--they act! I believe Ms. Hannah was 'channeling' the spirit of departed Maque fighter.
Susan Amon

I debated reading this book as I feared it would be sad and while it had sadness, the hope and strength of the sisters prevailed and it was an excellent read.
gloria kessinger

Good Screams for "Last Scream"
Very seldom have I read a book that I couldn"t put down, but "Last Scream" was it! This book is so in-depth, and so engrossing it totally draws you into the story.
There is a killer stalking women who have already suffered abuse in their home lives. Try as hard as you may, you still won't be able to figure out who this is until the explosive ending!
There is a titillating love affair between an F.B.I. Agent and and Texas Ranger. But what is so beautiful, you get to use your imagination.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes mystery/thrillers. Snatch this book off the shelf, or for your Kindle, as quick as you can, of you will be missing one of the best books of the season!
gloria kessinger

Eye-Opener to "Nightscream"
OMG, Morgan Hannah McDonald has done it again with "Nigthtscream"! This is one of the creepiest, yet one or the best thrillers I've ever read. It is not only one, but two thrillers in one book. After reading "Sandman", her previous book, the characters were so familiar, it was like greeting family members. The two stories are connected due to the characters, yet you will find yourself constantly looking for other connections - I mean, how could such horrendous, gut-wrenching events occur without some kind of connection? I'll never tell! You must read it for yourself! Better yet, start with the "Sandman", then follow up with "Nightscream". Take my word for it, this is one book deal you definitely want to be a part of...

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