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)