by Kristin Hannah
Genre: Historical Fiction
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.
Reviewed by Amanda - a Tea Drinker ;)
My Rating: 4 Tea Cups
Wow, just wow. If you are looking for a novel that is emotional, gut- wrenching and will make you step back and evaluate your life then pick up The Nightingale! I believe that this book is one that most women should read.
My grandmother wrote biographies on both my great-grandfather and great-grandmother a number of years ago. My great-grandfather was just a young boy during World War I and later became a German solider in World War II. My great-grandmother was a housewife in Germany during World War II. Both biographies are unique in their own ways and both tell different stories during the same period. It’s important to understand all sides of what was happening during World War II.
The Nightingale told the story of 2 French sisters on the home front. Even though they were not physically fighting in the war, they were still battling for their country and people. I could easily relate to Vianne, the shy, fearful wife and mother left to defend her house after her husband left to fight in the war. I found it harder to connect with Isabelle, the emotional, defiant young teenager. However, the character growth of both women is just incredible. I loved it how Kristin Hannah was able to go into so many different subplots and show many different characters throughout the war.
It’s important to understand not just the facts and figures about the war, but the stories of those who have lived through it. Kristin Hannah paints a beautiful, but heartbreaking picture of what women on the home front needed to live through in order to survive.
“Men tell stories. Women get on with it. For us it was a shadow war. There were no parades for us when it was over, no medals or mentions in history books. We did what we had to during the war, and when it was over, we picked up the pieces and started our lives over.”
Overall, I would highly recommend this novel. However, I am not giving The Nightingale 5 tea cups because I can’t see myself reading this novel again or buying it for myself. There was just something about this novel, and I can’t seem to put my finger on it, that is holding me back from giving it 5 tea cups.