This weekly feature is hosted by Renee, (Its Book Talk). Throwback Thursday offers a way to share some of our old favorites as well as sharing books that we are finally getting around to reading that were published over a year ago.
This is one back that I should have read a while back. It has been on my TBR but I am definitely glad that I finally got around to reading it.
About the Book
Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Vianne finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.
As the war progresses, the sisters’ relationship and strength are tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is a story about two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, living in France during WWWII. The story is narrated through their POVs. Isabelle is described as strong-headed yet quite a courageous young woman. I liked how confident she was and it was nice to see her fight for what she believed in. She never hesitated to follow her mind and heart. On the other hand, Vianne is the mature sister. She is married, level-headed but that doesn’t mean that she is boring. She had her strengths and I really enjoyed her narrative. The author crafted Vianne’s character in such a way that you can’t help but love her. There are many other strong, memorable characters like Vianne’s daughter and friend Rachel. The author took the time to ensure that all characters including the villains were so well crafted that they stood out in their own way.
The setting for the story is France. One sister lives in Paris and the other one in Carriveau which from description sounded like the country side. Through the story, we get to witness the devastation of the Nazi occupation. The author used vivid descriptions to transport readers to that time period and setting. Through the pages, I could see the long queues for the food rations and the smug Nazi soldiers. Some of the characters turned my stomach while others were didn’t fit the villain image that I had in my mind.
There are many shocking moments in this book. There were no dull instances because things just kept happening. The uncertainties and unexpected turns truly captured the theme of war. It is hard to know what tomorrow brings during war and this was well portrayed in this book.
One thing you need to know right now is that this book will break your heart. It might leave you feeling dazed and most probably, a weeping mess. However, it is such a beautiful story that is likely to move you and claim a spot on your list of favorites. It will occupy your mind and heart.
Nonetheless, this warning should not deter you from reading this book. Yes, it will break your heart but it is still the kind of book that you should experience. I have no doubt that this story will stay with me for a long time.
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 440 pages
Published February 3rd 2015 by St. Martin’s Press
Original Title: The Nightingale
Literary Awards: Audie Award for Fiction (2016), Goodreads Choice Award for Historical Fiction (2015), International Dublin Literary Award Nominee (2017)
34 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah”
I bought this for my kindle a couple years ago and never read it. For some reason I’ve resisted picking it up but now I see you also loved it so I need to get with it:) This is by far the book that people have recommended to me the most, the love for it is high and I really do like to have my heart broke but only while reading fiction!!
I really think that you will love it Renee so I hope that you will get a chance to read it soon. Heartbreaks from works of fiction are the best and the most memorable 🙂
What a review! I’m even tempted to re-read it. I love it. I love how Kristin presented this historical scenario. Just like you this book will stay with me for the longest time coming
Thank you. I think I will remember the sisters for quite a while. It was definitely a moving, memorable title.
So far the best historical fiction I have read this year. What a great review of the sisters. I loved this book and I will definitely be reading it again.
Wow, glad to hear that you loved it too. Its such a special book. Definitely one of my favorite titles too.
Fantastic review!!!! I might not care for this book as much as you did but you mentioned all the right reasons why this book should be on people’s reading list!!!
Thank you 🙂
Oh wow Diana you’ve REALLY made me want to read this and it’s been on my shelves for the longest time! Why have I not got to it before now?!
I hope that you will get a chance to read it soon. Its is such a wonderful book so I know that you will enjoy it 🙂
I’m so glad you enjoyed this one! I really liked it – especially the twist at the end (yay, now I can officially talk about XD)
haha, It was a perfect read to the end and I didn’t see the twist coming. Unexpected but great way to end the story 🙂
Really loved this one, and the relationship between Isabelle and that guy. Such a beautiful book!
It was.I became hooked to the story when Isabelle and Gaetan met. They were interesting to read about and so was Vianne’s story though hers was too sad.
I’ve had this one for the longest time already… I really have to read this soon! I always want to save the best for last but now this feels just silly ;-). It reminds me a little of the one by Jojo Moyes and of The Bronze Horseman, that I also haven’t read yet..
I haven’t read the titles you mentioned.I’ll check them out and you need to read this one Inge.I think you’ll like it too.
Great pick! I loved this book as well even though like you said it broke my heart… Very beautifully written.
Thank you and yes,it is definitely worth the heartbreak.I’m glad you loved it too 🙂
This kind of beautiful reviews is what makes me sad about not being able to handle WW2 stories! Great job!
Sorry to hear that but I understand.The themes tend to be really heavy.
Thank you 🙂
Reading this now! It’s so good! I’m worried though ….weeping mess! Oh no!
Haha abit of an exagerration there perhaps though it was quite an emotional read.I hope that you will get a chance to read it 🙂
I’ve always been curious about this one. I like a good book that’s a roller coaster of emotions…at least every once in a while. Thanks for sharing!
You’re welcome Alicia and I do think that you will enjoy this one 🙂
You know, I’ve heard so many great things about this book, I think you’ve finally convinced me that it’s time I pick it up! I really enjoyed your review, thanks for sharing! 🙂
Glad to hear that I have convinced you Jordan. I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did when you get a chance to read it 🙂
I completely agree with you about how this book will leave you a weeping mess. I devoured the book in just over a day and just remember sobbing several times while I was reading. It is definitely one of my all-time favorite reads though and one that I recommend to anyone who I think would enjoy it. Great review!
I am glad to hear that you loved it too. I don’t know why it took me so long to read it but I am definitely glad that I finally did. Thank you 🙂
I’m reading this right now and I am getting nervous…Gestapo is moving in and I feel scared for all the poor characters!
I remember that the two tenants. The book had so many nerve-wrecking parts but I have just read your post today and I am glad that you like it despite all the heartbreaks 🙂
This was my first book by Kristin Hannah, and she is now one of my favorite authors! I loved this book for all the reasons you gave in your beautiful review! ❤ I was a weeping mess! I must have bawled buckets! I love stories that take place in WWII even though the subject matter is so heavy because the history is just so important to know and remember. I don't think I will ever forget this book! I just got Hannah's newest book The Great Alone from NetGalley, and I can't wait to read that one!!
I like what you said about WWII books being important.I recently read Emilia, a very depressing book set in the war time period. I struggled with the themes and kept asking myself why I was reading it but at the back of my mind, I knew its because its an important book and the events, although very dark, took place.
I have just wished for The Great Alone. I am not so lucky with wishes on NetGalley but I do hope that this one will be granted. Thanks for mentioning the book. I didn’t know it was uploaded ❤
I minored in history when I was getting my Master’s degree in English lit, and it was always so hard to study about some of the atrocities that had happened in history. But I found that one of my professors was right that we learn from the past, so we can (hopefully) not repeat those same mistakes in the future, which we see happening over and over throughout history. History is full of such darkness and bleakness like you mentioned, but it is so important that we honor those events.
I hope you get The Great Alone, and I’m glad that I mentioned it to you! I must have requested it before they started giving it as wishes only, so I got lucky then to have gotten it. It’s not released until Feb, so I’m surprised it isn’t still up for request. I’ve never gotten a book that I have wished for either, but at least it not’s like being declined for one I always think LOL. ❤