The Nightingale

Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Kristin Hannah
The Nightingale

Read it. Not much more needs to be said.  Read it because you want something real, something beautiful, something to learn from and remember. Read it because it will change you a little.

Vianne and Isabelle are French sisters in 1941. Vianne is the older sister by 10 years and the more quiet, introspective of the two sisters; Isabelle is outrageous, angry, and brutally honest.  She is this way because of how she was treated by her father at an early age after their mother died. The sisters are vastly different people. When war comes, Vianne and Isabelle react in their own way. Isabelle is adventurous and wants to join the war efforts but is naive. Vianne is terrified - mostly for her children.

This is WWII as told to us through the stories of two exceptional women. Terrible things happen - parts are difficult to read. You will find yourself emotionally involved in this story and cringe at some of the events that take place, but the descriptions are not overly descriptive so it is left to your imagination to parse out the details.  If you have any compassion in you at all, you will cry at some places in this story. The events are eluded to with a light hand. Never manipulative. Never over the top. But mostly this was a story of bravery. Immense bravery that is absolutely inspiring. Even with the pain - the atrocities - the sadness. Finishing the book will give you a sense of kinship with one or both of the brave women who endured so much and you will find yourself thinking about the chapters long after you have put the book down.

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Sue H., Reference

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