Title: The Nightingale
Author: Kristin Hannah
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fiction
Goodreads Rating: 4.58
My Rating: 9/10
“In love we find out who we want to be. In war we find out who we are.”
The Nightingale is a heart-wrenching tale of two very different sisters during WWII in Nazi-occupied France. From both perspectives, we vividly experience how the Nazis demoralized the French women left behind through spontaneous and planned acts of intimidation and starvation. Each sister attempts to fight back in her own way through brave acts of valor and quiet acts of courage.
Throughout the book, you witness horrendous moments of hell on earth. I’m reminded of something Churchill once said. “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Both sisters pushed forward and continued on with their altered lives at times taking cringe-worthy risks and enduring degrading actions against them. As the book unfolds, you feel this ever-present tension and nausea with the occasional fleeting moments of happiness and peace. And yet, you cannot stop reading because you are emotionally attached to these two women and you must reach the point where hope and love prevail.
I appreciate Hannah’s writing style because she beautifully weaves together a captivating story of love and struggle rooted in history. She skillfully includes mundane moments that allow you the time to catch your breath and distract yourself with the simpler parts of life. In The Nightingale, Hannah tells a tragic and yet courageous story shining a light on those often forgotten, heroic women who did what they could to make a difference.
If you want to read a book that highlights a unique viewpoint of WWII and provides you with perspective, The Nightingale is a phenomenal choice. Prepare to be more and more emotionally impacted with each chapter.