The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

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Release day is February 3, 2015
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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 France is overrun, Vianne is forced to take an enemy into her house, and suddenly her every move is watched; her life and her child’s life is at constant risk. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates around her, she must make one terrible choice after another.

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 the compelling and mysterious 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. When he betrays her, Isabelle races headlong into danger and joins the Resistance, never looking back or giving a thought to the real--and deadly--consequences.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah takes her talented pen to 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.

5 Powerful and Outstanding Stars!*****

This quote from the blurb sums this book up perfectly...

In love we find out who we want to be. In war we find out who we are.

This book ripped out my heart... but it was totally worth it! A powerful and moving story of survival, love and never giving up. I will never forget this story. Yep... it's gonna' stick with me for a while. The aftermath of emotions I was experiencing when finished involved lots of hugging, a glass of wine and a sleepless night. What an ugly mark in our history books... if only we could make it go away... but, we can't... so we remember instead and learn.
This book takes place in France during WWII when they were occupied by the Germans. The pain and suffering that Viann and Isabelle endured in order to survive was a difficult story to read. Viann, who was doing all she could to take care of her daughter while having to house a German soldier under her own roof, endured a life where hunger, poverty, loss and fear were now the standard. And then we have Isabelle, our Nightingale, a woman determined to fight and do whatever it took to help win the war and reclaim France. She was part of a rebellion that formed safe routes to help rescue fallen airmen and sneak them out of France. Not an easy task when betrayal was common and no one could be trusted. Desperation will make people do things they never thought they would do, even turning in a friend in exchange for money, food or protection.
I usually avoid books that involve the German concentration camps because it's too painful for me to read about that dark time in our History. And, I have never really taken the time to reflect on the amount of suffering France endured during this occupation. So much loss, pain and suffering... how does one pick up the pieces of their life after a war such as this??
This is a story that you need to be prepared to read... even though it is historical fiction, it is laced with truth which makes it a very painful journey. I'm so glad I took the time to read it...

This book was incredibly written... thought provoking...inspiring... but also devastating... and ends with this simple message...

Wounds heal. Love Lasts. We remain.

Thank you Kristin for this amazing story... you owe me a box of Kleenex!

ARC was provided by St. Martin's Press


  1. What a fab review! This sounds right up my alley - I'm adding it to my TBR :)

    1. I think you will like this one... it's a tough read but so worth the time...