Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Nightingale

The Nightingale
by Kristin Hannah

Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis:  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.
from GoodReads

Becky's Review:  This is a heartbreaking tale of two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, during World War II who live in France during the German occupation there.  They both sacrifice so much and do whatever it takes to survive during the war but also are so brave to stand up for what they believe is right.  The story shows us what happened to the women and children who watched their men go off to war and the loss of innocence in childhood because of the horrific things that happened all around them.  My heart just ached for all the characters in the story and their struggle.  Vianne puts up a quiet struggle against the Nazis later in the war and Isabelle is bold and daring and ready to storm into the war working for the Resistance.  Isabelle is a hard character to like at the beginning because she is so young and brash but her transformation throughout the book makes us love her by the end and root for her to survive.  By the end this book had me in tears and the story has stayed with me.

Becky's Rating: 4.5 stars

Marcie's Review:  I agreed with Becky.  A beautiful, heartbreaking book.

Marcie's Rating: 5 stars

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