Book Review: The Nightingale

April 14, 2016

The Nightingale
Kristen Hannah
440 pages
Audible version


From the Publisher:

In love we find out who we want to be.

In war we find out who we are.

FRANCE, 1939

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.


I’ve heard so much about this book, and after reading a really good review about it on Delicious Reads (my new favorite book blog!), I decided to give it a try. Since I’ve been listing to audio books in the mornings at work, I decided to try this book on audible too.  I couldn’t put this book down!  I couldn’t stop listening!  This book really hooked me in and the story was amazing.  I read (listened) to this book back in February and am still thinking about the characters and the story of this book.  (I am also really behind on some book reviews too!)  I love when a book sticks with me.  I felt like I learned a lot about history through this book.  It was a really captivating novel.

How would you react during war?  Would you face situations differently than you might normally do?  I don’t want to give everything away from the book, but these two sisters faced really choices during WWII.  One had a family to think about and another didn’t.  Would that make a difference?  I can’t say if I would make the same choices, but reading this book really made me understand choices people make from a different point of view.

I haven’t read any other books by Hannah, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I LOVED these characters.  The book was so well written.  It does talk about more serious and more graphic subjects, so unlike other audible books that I’ve listened too, this was NOT a book I would listen to with my kids around.  But I seriously loved it and listened to it every chance I got.  I am looking forward to reading more by Hannah in the future!

If you enjoy historical fiction and haven’t read this book I highly recommend it.  Other read alikes for this book: Lilac Girls, Sarah’s Key, or All the Light We Cannot See.

Final Score:

5 stars









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