Read the nightingale by Kristin Hannah Online


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.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....

Title : the nightingale
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 22663563
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 593 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

the nightingale Reviews

  • Emily May
    2018-11-17 10:08

    “Oh, for heaven’s sake, Isabelle. Paris is overrun. The Nazis control the city. What is an eighteen-year-old girl to do about all of that?”What, indeed.I really didn't know what to expect going into The Nightingale. Given the quote about love and war in the blurb, I kind of thought it might be an historical romance set during the Second World War - like the world really needs another The Bronze Horseman - but it turned out to be so much more than that.There are love stories in The Nightingale, but that's not really what the book is about. It's about women in wartime, and it's an interesting, moving portrait of the Nazi occupation of France and what this meant for all the wives, daughters and widows left behind. We're told in the book that men always assume war is about them - it's true - so this is the untold story of the home front. These are the women who are forced to house Nazi soldiers, the women who are manipulated into betraying their friends, the women who wish they could fight for their country and the women who secretly do. The main story is about two very different sisters - Vianne and Isabelle - who are trying to survive during wartime. Vianne is older and misses her husband (who is in a Nazi war camp); she must deal with her rebellious younger sister and the Nazi soldier living in her home, whilst also making sure her daughter doesn't starve. Isabelle is one of those borderline insufferable characters that also inspires affection. She reminds me of fiery, annoying, but ultimately lovable heroines like Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind and Kitty from The Painted Veil. The best thing about her, though, is her growth. She starts out a naive 18 year old who falls in love with handsome young men instantly, and she later grows into someone wiser. I loved the way her characterization was handled.On that note about falling in love, this book throws up a number of red herrings. When Isabelle instantly falls for Gaetan, I was rolling my eyes and thinking "oh great. It's that kind of book." But don't worry, that isn't the story being told here and Isabelle has a lot to learn. It's a multilayered book and none of the relationships are straight forward.And it's also incredibly sad and moving in parts, as a book about war generally is. Children in wartime are forced to grow up so fast in order to survive. Take, for example, this exchange between Vianne and her daughter:“Vianne cupped Sophie’s thin face in her hands. “Sarah died last night,” she said gently.“Died? She wasn’t sick.”Vianne steeled herself. “It happens that way sometimes. God takes you unexpectedly. She’s gone to Heaven. To be with her grandmère, and yours.”Sophie pulled away, got to her feet, backed away. “Do you think I’m stupid?”“Wh-what do you mean?”“She’s Jewish.”Vianne hated what she saw in her daughter’s eyes right now. There was nothing young in her gaze—no innocence, no naïveté, no hope.”You really get a sense of how the Nazis took over the lives of the French people. How it was subtle and manipulative, built on fear. They gradually caused divisions within communities, scaring people into betraying their friends. It wasn't a perfect book, if there is such a creature. There were some slow parts that could have been shortened or edited out all together. And I wish the author hadn't used a bunch of American terms and measurements. For example, a "cup" measurement is not used in France. But whatever, I enjoyed it a lot.In the silence between them, she heard a frog croak and the leaves fluttering in a jasmine-scented breeze above their heads. A nightingale sang a sad and lonely song.Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | Store

  • Violet wells
    2018-11-15 17:57

    It was the comparisons to All the Light We Cannot See that attracted me to The Nightingale. Though both novels are set during WW2 the similarities for me stopped there. All the Light is a magical novel electric with beautiful resounding prose and refined artistry; The Nightingale is a novel motored essentially by cliché and exaggeration. Clichéd writing isn’t just resorting continually to stock phrases (though Hannah does this a lot); it’s also straining for tension through exaggeration to the point where dramatic tension degenerates into melodrama. No surprise that clichéd phrases often perform a task of exaggeration. - “She was scared to death.” “She couldn’t believe her eyes.” The Nightingale reads like YA fantasy fiction. Everything is wildly exaggerated so that WW2 is perceived as a kind of post nuclear holocaust world where this one event utterly eclipses the world we live in. The perspective of the novel is one of hindsight as if all the characters are experiencing not the daily hardships of the war but the totality of all WW2’s horrors. It’s like her research consisted of jotting down every single horror story and deprivation and shoe-horning them all into her story. It’s mostly set in a small town in the middle of France yet this small town is “swarming” with German soldiers, Gestapo, SS, Jews, bomb damage as if the entire war is centred there (I was only surprised Hitler and Eva Braun didn’t have a holiday home there as well). The two main characters are loaded with the ordeals & accomplishments of an entire circuit of resistance members. Isabelle is every SOE heroine rolled into one and Vianne is a kind of female Schindler. Plausibility is often sacrificed to “thrills and spills”. In the space of three pages a Jewish woman is told the Nazis will arrive at her house the next morning. Three paragraphs later – or two hours later - she has magically acquired false identity papers. Three paragraphs later she is about to cross through a peaceful checkpoint when inexplicably the German guard begins machine gunning everyone as if he got bored just checking papers. He even takes the trouble to shoot the woman’s nine year old child in the back. This is all passed off without explanation as if it were a normal wartime incident. The big surprise though is that the ending is genuinely moving and really well managed. Hence all the gushing reviews. Basically to enjoy this you need to anaesthetize your critical faculties. That done I guess there’s enjoyment to be had because Hannah is a decent storyteller and is good at developing human relationships. No doubt it’ll soon be a Hollywood film.

  • Lori
    2018-11-17 17:10

    With tears still running down my cheeks I'm writing this review. I've started this review several times and I don't think I'll be able to adequately put into words the power in which this novel has moved me. Truely a remarkable story that I, literally, beg everyone who loves historical fiction to read. I will be gushing about this novel for some time to come.

  • Regan
    2018-11-12 09:53


  • Hailey (HaileyinBookland)
    2018-11-22 09:44

    I've been told by so many people that I need to read this book. It gets so much hype that I thought there was absolutely NO way it would live up to it. But it did more than that. It surpassed it. My favourite books is a pretty exclusive list and it usually takes me a while to decide whether a book fits that list or not but this was an instant favourite. I absolutely adored it. Even just thinking about it now I am fighting back tears because this was such a beautiful and vivid story. I felt like I was with these characters through all of their terrible experiences and I just wanted to shelter them from it all. The women in particular, the sisters, were absolutely inspirational. They showed incredible strength in this terrible time and I loved seeing how women contributed to the war. This was just a story that really resonated with me. It has a special place in my heart for it was truly, beautiful. If you like WWII historical fiction, or even if you don't, I encourage you to try this book out. I know I'm going to be encouraging basically everyone I know to read it.

  • Laura
    2018-11-10 15:46

    So many 4 & 5 star reviews here, but I'm afraid I just thought this WWII historical novel was okay. There are so many novels about this time period and I didn't think this one rose above the heap. The last one to do that for me was Kate Atkinson's Life After Life and this just can't even compare to that or to David Gillham's City of Women.There's some nice detail about the home front in France, which I have read less about than the English home front. And there are some exciting scenes featuring the French resistance's efforts to get downed pilots out of France. But there are also some small but annoying anachronisms (antibiotics were not really available until after the war; Germans didn't put up signs saying people would be put in "concentration camps"). Everything seemed very predictable: a hiding place in the barn is introduced; you just know it's going to figure in hiding Jews later. A kind Nazi is featured, as well as a sadistic one. And the last quarter of the book races through torture and concentration camps and death marches in a way I found tedious and unenlightening. Then there is what is supposed to be a twist at the end, but I felt like I saw it coming.So if you really, really love WWII historicals this might be worth your time, but I've read better from Kristin Hannah and much better about WWII.

  • Aestas Book Blog
    2018-11-20 14:55

    ::: FULL REVIEW NOW POSTED ::: 5 STARS!! ::: HOLY WOW!!! This book was absolutely epic! A sweeping, breathtaking journey that captivated me from the first page with the strength and beauty of the writing. Truly an unforgettable story!The Nightingale has a 4.8/5 rating average on Amazon (which is HUGE!!) and what that basically means is that practically everyone who is reading it is loving it. And I'm now adding my own 5 STAR rating to that list because this book owned my heart. The ending was so powerful that I read the last 10 pages with tears pouring down my face and days after finishing my read, I still can't stop thinking about it.I will say upfront though that this book was a little different than the kinds I usually read and review though because it wasn't solely focused on a love story, even though there were two love stories within it.While men endure great hardship during war, it affects everyone. This is the often-unspoken story of women's war. Mothers, daughter, sisters, wives... this is the story of their strength, endurance, sacrifice, and courage during the darkest part of their lives. So many of them didn't just wait for their men to return but took many grave risks to save as many other lives as they could.We begin the story in 1995 with an old woman towards the end of her life, moving out of her house into a retirement home. Without much of a future ahead of her, she begins to look backward at her past, taking us with her through her life story beginning in France 1939, right before the war changed her peaceful life.The flash back segments of the book are largely focused on two sisters: the older Vianne, the rule follower, and the younger Isabelle, the rebel. Vianne's idealic life in the countryside with her husband, Antoine, who she'd been in love with since she was fourteen and their young daughter, Sophie, was changed when he was to be mobilized and called to duty to fight in WW2. The postman became a soldier overnight, and the man she loved was sent to the front, leaving her behind not knowing what the future would bring.He stood up slowly and took her in his arms. She wanted to bottle how safe she felt in this moment, so she could drink of it later when loneliness and fear left her parched...“I love you,” he said against her lips.“I love you, too,” she said but the words that always seemed so big felt small now. What was love when put up against war.Months into her husband's deployment, with no word still from him and with their already-dire situation getting worse and worse after France surrendered to Germany, Vianne and Sophie's lives are once again changed when a young German officer requisitions their home, making it his own. Faced with one hardship after another, they both do everything they can to survive, and pray for Antoine's safe return.“You needn’t worry, Madame,” he said. “We have been admonished to act as gentlemen. My mother would demand the same, and, in truth, she scares me more than my general.” It was such an ordinary remark that Vianne was taken aback.She had no idea how to respond to this stranger who dressed like the enemy and looked like a young man she might have met at church…He remained where he was, a respectful distance from her. “I apologize for any inconvenience, Madame.”"My husband will be home soon.”“We all hope to be home soon.”Miles away, Vianne's younger sister Isabelle attends a sort of finishing school for French woman and hates every single moment of it. Her outspoken and rebellious nature unwilling to bow to their rules. When the war comes though, she makes her way through the wilderness to Paris.Her beloved city was like a once-beautiful courtesan grown old and thin, weary, abandoned by her lovers. In less than a year, this magnificent city had been stripped of its essence by the endless clatter of German jackboots on the streets and disfigured by swastikas that flew from every monument.Refusing to accept France's surrender, and despite her sister's pleading to stay quiet and safe, she follows her heart and meets a young man named Gaetan. She falls in love with him and his belief that the French can fight the Nazis from within France. But when things take an unexpected turn, she decides to take matters into her own hands, regardless of what anyone tells her she can't do, and joins an underground group, The Resistance, that risks their lives to make a difference and help save as many others as they can.On this cool October morning, her life would change. From the morning she boarded this train… she would no longer be the girl in the bookshop… From now on, she was Juliette Gervaise, code name the Nightingale.You know that feeling when a book is so absorbing that you just want to cancel all your plans so you can keep reading it... and even when you can't read it, you're thinking about it? Yeah, that was me with this book! Once I started reading, I could barely put it down until I'd reached the last page.As the past and present storylines began to entwine, these shivers ran down me as certain reveals were brought into the light. Real shivers. Tears would spring to my eyes with even the simplest of things -- but ones that had such a hugely powerful impact on the story. A letter from Paris. BOOM. Tears.“Please… Just say strong and be there for me when the time comes for me to leave this cage… Because of you, I can survive. I hope that you can find strength in me, too, V. That because of me, you will find a way to be strong. Hold my daughter tightly tonight, and tell her that somewhere far away, her papa is thinking of her. And tell her I will return.I love you.”This book is honest in portraying the events that occurred to these characters, but not overly graphic. It doesn't need to be. The things that happen, and they way they are told are so powerful that you FEEL them. There are some scenes though that are hard to read because they are quite painful and I'll warn that there may be triggers for some people, but then again, this is a story that takes place during a brutal war. There's everything you can expect from such a story -- brutal firefights, prison camps, beatings, near starvation, sacrifice... but there is also hope, resilience, survival. As I neared the end of the book, during the last few pages, tears began to pour down my face. It was achingly beautiful.Many of you will be wondering if there is a happy ending. I don't want to give things away, but I want you to know that I was completely okay with this ending. It's naturally not all sunshine and roses, how can it be with such a setting? But my gut feeling tells me that even hard-core romance fans will still love this book. I was moved to tears several times, but in many ways my heart was healed.“I love you, Antoine Mariac, and I expect you to come home to me.”Kristin Hannah's writing is some of the best I've ever read. It's extraordinarily vivid and evocative. This was my first book by her and I felt like I was right there with these characters -- not only were their emotions so strongly conveyed, but the picture of their surroundings came to life before my eyes.I have searched for years without luck for a book that could even come close to comparing to my all-time favorite book, The Bronze Horseman (more into here). This book however, is the closest I’ve ever come to one that captured a similar feeling. The story is vastly different — while The Bronze Horseman completely revolved around one love story that was the driving force behind the entire trilogy, The Nightingale was focused on two sisters and their experiences surviving the war -- while the sisters each had their own love stories, it was their personal journeys that this book was focused on. I also found TBH to generally be more emotional than TN. So, it’s not of course a direct parallel. But I will say that if you’re a fan of TBH and if, like me, you’ve been searching for years for a similar book, then you absolutely must read this.This was honestly one of the most powerful stories I've read. It will stay in my heart, I know this for a fact. More than anything, what I take away from it is gratitude... gratitude for every single freedom and luxury that I know so many of us naturally take for granted. They are precious. This book reminded me of that. Rating: 5 STARS!! Standalone novel. _______________________________________For those of you who want to know who lives and who dies... (view spoiler)[ Antoine survives the war and returns home to his beloved wife Vianne and daughter Sophie -- who both also made it. They rebuild their family and eventually begin a new life together in America (although you do not see this in detail, it is implied). Isabelle's rebellious nature and choice to risk her life to save others eventually gets her caught (towards the end of the book). She is beaten almost to death and thrown into a camp. She survives this only barely. When the war is over, she returns home and is reunited with her love, Gaetan. She dies in his arms without regrets for the choices that led her there. The ending of the book is a hugely emotional reunion in 1995 for the survivors of the war.(hide spoiler)]_______________________________________ For more of my reviews, book news and updates:✦ Main blog: Aestas Book Blog✦ Facebook Blog Page✦ Twitter ✦ Subscribe by email ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    2018-12-01 12:46

    I'm not sure what I can say about this book that hasn't already been said, but the quality and sheer excellence to this story blew my mind. I'm not typically a fan of historical fiction, which is likely why I've avoided it for so long, but once this was described to me as "historical fiction light" I felt it was safe to take a gamble on it. When we decided for this to be the Suspenseful Clues and Thrilling Reviews September book choice, I was nervous because WHAT IF I HATED THIS BELOVED BOOK?! Clearly this is a WWII saga, but at heart I felt this was a variety of love stories. Sure there was romance, but I'm talking the love for a people, the love for a country, and the love for fighting for all that is good and right. It'll be awhile before I can pick up another emotional read because I don't know how I'll recover from this one! Please, even if (like me) you steer clear of historical fiction and love stories, do yourself a favor and pick this up. ❤️*Feel free to join in our discussion via the link below!

  • MomToKippy
    2018-11-15 17:59

    For me this was a fusion of sub-literary chick lit and WWII fiction in that it was too cliche and melodramatic much of the time. I thought the female perspective of occupied France and the tales of the resistance as well as the opposing sisters' perspectives were generally good ideas but the whole thing lacked in the execution.The tone of the book doesn't feel authentic to the time period and there are numerous unbelievable incidents and interactions. The historical facts are covered but the atmosphere and characters feel too modern. There are just too many dialogue and behavioral anachronisms. It's as if the the history had been researched only superficially and the rest filled in by the author's imagination with caricatures and stereotypes. Sorry but I think Hannah's fans deserve better.

  • Elyse
    2018-11-14 09:51

    I'm late to the party...But here goes:"The Nightingale" begins with an unnamed elderly woman as the narrator. She is living in Oregon, and the year is 1995. Her son is helping her she is downsizing her possessions. She insists that she must bring her old- large- trunk that she kept stored in the attic. In the truck contains 'past memories'. There is a WW11 identity card of a young French women, named Juliette Gervaise. As the story transports to France, 1939, we are wondering about Juliette Gervaise... and the elderly unnamed woman in 1995 ... and how they are connected to the story, ( we don't find out until towards the end). We meet the Rosingal sisters: Vianne and Isabelle. ( when war was still in the 'threat-stage'). Their personalities are different. Vianne is 10 years older, married with a child....and lives in the country. Her husband is sent off to war. Isabel has just been been kicked out of - yet another- boarding school. She is 18 at the start..and sent back home to live with her father in Paris. The sisters father had abandon them years ago ( ages 14 & 4), after their mother had died, by dropping them off, with the caretaker out in the country. So, Isabel knows her dad is not going to be very happy to have her back home. When the Germans invade Paris, her father sends Isabelle to live with Vianne. As a result of the Nazi occupation, a German soldier is stationed at Vianne's house... And Isabelle ends up going back to Paris because her attitude, defiance, and rebellion, is putting Vivianne and her daughter Sophie in danger. Isabelle and Vianne both have different perspectives and reactions to the injustices of war. They both are standing for what they believe is right, they both have courage, and both show compassion in different ways. As the story moves on we see the sisters reconcile and/or at least acknowledge their differences. Through the storytelling -we see how the Nazi's treated France (and what police officers did to their own French people- especially 'all' Jews. ( The roundups, the hiding, and the deportations). The history is haunting & horrific. The real emotional impact of "The Nightingale", is towards the end of the book. It's hard not to 'feel' something.....Yet parts did not feel authentic to me...with scenes and dialogue being over exaggerated. Parts were predictable, and cliché. I think I'm the rare bird with this novel. 3.5 rating.

  • Mandy
    2018-12-08 12:02

    I don't even know where to start this review. I am typing it through teary eyes, so I will keep it simple. (Insert tissues here)My pick for Vianne when this becomes a movie is Naomi Watts or Kate Winslet and for Isabella is Julianne Hough or Amanda Seyfried. Let's see if Hollywood takes my suggestion!This WW2 novel was so beautifully written. This war was a time of bitter hatred and in this story Kristin Hannah brings to life love, survival, bitterness, strength, and persistence. Vianne and Isabelle are the most outstanding characters I've ever read. It would be an honor to know them if they were real. I have so much more I could add but I will not because it would take so much of my review.This is a story that will make you cry and have hope in believing that if you keep stepping forward and never looking back you will make it. I highly recommend this book. It's absolutely wonderful and a gorgeous story. I will cherish it always as it is now one of my top 3 favorites :)I'm looking forward to this movie becoming a film. I will be there opening night :) in the front row!!!

  • Nat
    2018-12-10 09:47

    “My nightingale, I got you home.”This review contains *spoilers*.I honestly didn't expect to like The Nightingale as much as I did.The premise of the book intrigued me (I've been really into historical fiction lately). This story follows two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, during World War II and their hardships trying to survive. My heart broke for each sister as I read their stories full of loss and pain. And I loved the shifting point-of-view that allowed me to see inside each character's head. But one of the best things about the story for me was Isabelle. I loved her as a main character and her character development was phenomenal. She started out as a impetuous 18 year old, but in order to survive the war, she turned into someone tough and driven and so strong.“She let fear give her a little shake and she almost gave in to it. Then she thought about the swastikas that flew from the Eiffel Tower and Vianne living with the enemy and Antoine lost in some prisoner of war camp. And Edith Cavell. Certainly she had been afraid sometimes, too; Isabelle would not let fear stand in her way.”Reading from Vianne’s point of view was just as nerve-wracking as reading from Isabelle’s. Herr Captain Beck made me really uncomfortable — whenever he helped Vianne and her daughter, I felt exactly as torn as she felt. Now I’m starting to get really emotional thinking about Vianne, especially thinking about her friendship with Rachel. Their friendship is so rich and real and it made Rachel’s departure that more emotional for me. I had actual tears running down my face when she helped Rachel and her children escape. Vianne’s character growth was outstanding and it definitely surprised me. “I’ll write if I can,” Rachel said.Vianne’s throat tightened. Even if the best happened, she might not hear from her friend for years. Or ever. In this new world, there was no certain way to keep in touch with those you loved.”This book definitely astonished me. It showed me kindness when I least expected it (Eduardo and Madame Babineau) and it showed me the losses and fears of so many people and their bravery trying to live through extremely difficult times. The story is moving and heartbreaking and the characters interesting and complex. What do I possibly read after this?“He smiled. “You have a habit of saying whatever is on your mind, don’t you, Isabelle?”“Always. Why did you leave me?”He touched her face with a gentleness that made her want to cry; it felt like a good-bye, that touch, and she knew good-bye. “I wanted to forget you.”Isabelle and Gaëtan made me really emotional. I’m glad we got to see him again after he left her. Their reunion made me smile after feeling sad for so long because of the events in this book. They are so good together. But being happy didn't last long because I found out that the older woman from 1995 wasn’t Isabelle she was Vianne— Isabella had died right in Gaëtan's arms. (I found this song to be really fitting while reading.)*Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying The Nightingale, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!*This review and more can be found on my blog.

  • Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
    2018-11-30 16:42

    1.5 stars. Oh, the IRONY. You might have never heard of it, but in 1981 French author Régine Deforges released a book called La bicyclette bleue, 1939-1942 (part of a trilogy), which related the story of two sisters** during WWII in France. Léa, the outspoken, rebel and reckless one, who joins the Resistance after fleeing from the invasion of Paris and Françoise, the older, who has to live under the same roof of a SS during the Occupation. RING A BELL? This novel, many times bestseller in France, borrowed A LOT from Gone with the Wind, which led to many trials (that Régine Deforges won, in the end, saying that it was all part of "a game" with her editor - Where have I heard that before? Hmm). Anyway. It seems oh so ironic to me to find so many similarities between The Nightingale and La bicyclette bleue, 1939-1942, because, you know, I'm resilient, but reading the same story is starting to get old. Of course, of course, I exaggerate, and I'm not saying that Kristin Hannah plagiarized Régine Deforges's novel. As for Gone with the Wind's parts, there's none here as far as I'm concerned. No. Both authors of these WWII novels must have used the same inspirations is all - especially real testimonies, surely. Yet it throws me off, even if I didn't even like La bicyclette bleue, 1939-1942 - I'm not a fan, but I can't forget the plot either, and Kristin Hannah's characters don't strike me as interesting enough to follow the same storyline again. I know, I'm talking about WWII settings and I should love and suffer and FEEL for these characters but ... I just don't. They seem very flat and unrealistic to me? Sorry?Oh, and you know what else throws me off? The shameless lack of any researches about the world. Anachronisms everywhere. Post-card France in one meal (I mean, the Baguette, the canelés, the ile flottante, Cognac (for reasons), the Lavander and Rosamery (which are Provencal plants but WHY THE FUCK NOT). Vianne & Antoine luxurious - YES, those meals and houses are VERY luxurious for that period of time - lifestyle that their jobs cannot explain. Antoine is a postman, alright? In 1939 his salary should be around 600 francs per year. As for Vianne, as a teacher, she could pretend to 900 francs, tops. How in the WORLD can they have 65,000 francs in the bank?! Tell me, really, I need to know how to multiply my funds like that (if that's explained later in the book, I apologize). Perhaps it sounds like details to you, and perhaps they are. But when I read an Historical novel, more than Historical facts I need for the book to carry me away in another time. I need to BELIEVE in it. I sure don't want to read about some cliché, too modern world lacking any savor, picturing my country in such a stereotypical way. So fake, really. Not to mention that I found the writing repetitive and too dramatic, the dialogue awkward and way too much telling rather than showing.The Nightingale tackles such an essential issue - indeed I believe that the portrayal of women's role in WWII is VERY important, and I understand why it would appeal to many readers. Yet I can't see myself finishing it, because really, the similarities and clichés are killing me. Wasted potential, sadly. They do have the curse words right, though. Merde.PS. This is a detail, but I do not know one Parisian who would INSTANTLY say something along the lines as, "oh, the bomb must have fallen into the 2nd Arrondissement". Nope. Streets, districts names like la Bastille or Les Halles, alright, but randomly quoting an arrondissement when YOU'RE NOT EVEN PARISIAN? Pl-ease. Unbelievable - like the whole thing, apparently. The Nightingale is FULL of inaccuracies like this one, and I expected more from the winner of the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award in HISTORICAL fiction. Ugh. ** Three, actually - thanks Anne for reminding me :DFor more of my reviews, please visit:

  • Petrik
    2018-12-09 13:44

    A moving, strong and inspiring tale of survival, love, and female heroism during World War II.Memoir and historical fictions are genres that I rarely visit. However, ever since last year after I finished reading the inspiring memoir by Yeonmi Park, I decided to at least read one book that revolves around war or its kind to remind myself to always be grateful. For that, The Nightingale is my pick of the year, and it ended up being one I will remember.“If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: in love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.”This line was taken right from the very first page and it encompassed the kind of story you’re getting into here. The plot in The Nightingale follows the tale of two sisters—Vianne and Isabelle—with opposite personality, trying to survive in their own way during World War II. Let’s get real here, World War II is one of the most adapted war stories of our time. It’s been more than sixty years since it ended and all kind of entertainment media never stopped telling and reminding us of its darkness and horror. However, do they always succeed? Some did, some didn’t. Some stories such as The Schindler’s List and The Book Thief excelled in capturing the tragedy, but some other stories like Call of Duty video game franchise lean more towards “badass people killing people” that ended up changing the conception of World War II as “cool stories”. The Nightingale, lean more towards the first example, and it’s exactly the kind of story I’m looking for in order to remind me to always be grateful for the life I have.“But love has to be stronger than hate, or there is no future for us.”I don’t think I need to say a lot more on this review, all you have to know is that The Nightingale is a powerful tale about female power, nationalism, and most of all, the horror of war and how important love is. It’s a book that I will recommend to everyone who’s looking for a great World War II story, not All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, a book that I see this book has been compared to several times. Unlike All the Light We Cannot See, I found The Nightingale a superior book due to its memorable story and easier to follow prose. All The Light We Cannot See has a powerful storyline that also depicted the same message, the horror of war towards its victims, especially the citizen who has nothing to do the war itself, but in my opinion the full of metaphors writing hurt the quality of the book. Hannah’s prose is simple and much easier to follow. I think any kind of reader will be able to read and enjoy this book without scratching their head thinking what the author is trying to say.Two minor cons I have on the book was that there was some part that in my opinion can be cut out as it slowed down the pacing unnecessarily. Another one being there was an instalove that although quite well written, I found it too unrealistic.“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.”Reading this passage got me thinking that there were countless unnamed and unknown heroes from the war that has been lost with the passage of time, and we probably won’t ever know or remember who they are. While we complain and goes on a rampage about trivial things like books doesn’t have a matching cover and sizes, these victims of war had to deal with life threating situations such as poverty, violence, and many more unimaginable things we’ve heard about and most likely will never truly understand the horror of it. For that, I will say that every victim of war is a hero in these shadow wars; not only World War II but all kind of war. We may not know who they are, but the time of peace we’re living in right now, in a way is because of them. These victims, survivors, and the deceased are heroes. We are all in a way, their legacy. Always be grateful.“Wounds heal. Love lasts. We remain.”You can find the rest of my Adult Epic/High Fantasy & Sci-Fi reviews at BookNest

  • Angela M
    2018-11-30 12:06

    I almost didn't read this book and it would have been my loss if I didn't, because I would have missed out on knowing Isabel and Vianne , and the story of their indescribable bravery and volition to save lives in their roles in the French Resistance during WWII. Oh I know this is a work of fiction and these two women are characters in a novel . But I also know as history tells us there were real men and women risking their lives doing the very same things Isabel and Vianne did . A recent article tells how Hannah based the story on real events and real people ."The subject of “The Nightingale” was an outgrowth of research Hannah had done for her earlier novel “Winter Garden,” when she came across information about a Resistance heroine — the 19-year-old Belgian woman Andrée de Jongh. This brave teenager, inspired in turn by the earlier World War I heroine Edith Cavell, established the Comet Escape Line, a secret network of people who risked their lives to help Allied servicemen escape over the Pyrenees to Spain. De Jongh’s story inspired Hannah to conduct further research into the French Resistance, finding stories about women who had put themselves and their children in peril by hiding Jewish families. And de Jongh became the model for Isabelle, the younger sister, who, as “the Nightingale,” personally led downed Allied pilots over the mountains to safety." ( Seattle Times February 22, 2015)The story is all encompassing in many ways , depicting not only the war , the holocaust, the suffering and starvation, the death , the concentration camps , the emotional, physical and mental toll on people and the unrelentingly will of the people in the Resistance . We see the depth of friendship between Vianne and Rachel , a mother's or father's love for their children and the sacrifices they will make to save them with Vianne and Sophia and with Julian and Isabel and we see the raw innocence of first love that becomes a deeper love with Isabel and Gaetan .I almost didn't read this because I had previously read two other books by Hannah , one of which I loved and one that I didn't , but I could not continue to ignore the 4 and mostly 5 star ratings that so many of my Goodreads friends gave this book . These are friends who are drawn to the same books that I have loved . I'm glad I paid attention to them . My Goodreads friend Evelyn said that by the end of the book she couldn't breathe. I think that she described the feeling perfectly. I wonder why it is that the books that make me feel like I can't breathe are the ones that I love the most . I think it's because these books evoke the feelings that make us human. In this case it is a story that begs us to remember what happened. I couldn't recommend it more .

  • Jennifer
    2018-11-10 12:03

    The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah may be my favorite novel of 2015... and yes, I realize it's only February. It's just that good. The setting is World War II, Nazi-occupied France. The story follows two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, and how they each respond in times of great challenge. Their parallel stories are as different as their personalities, but are just as suspenseful, complicated, and emotional. Although The Nightingale is considered fiction, it is firmly planted in well-researched truth. Isabelle's character is based on the late Andrée de Jongh (1916-2007), an amazing woman who repeatedly risked her life helping British and American servicemen escape on foot from Nazi-occupied Belgium and France. You can read more about the woman herself HERE.Sadly, Andrée de Jongh is only one of the many quiet heroes that our future generations will likely never know if not for inspired authors like Kristin Hannah. The Nightingale offers a story of women surviving in unthinkable circumstances - the underestimated gender finding a way to take action. It shows readers that at times protectiveness requires dangerous risks, fear often proceeds acts of bravery, and those who may appear weak can indeed possess incredible strength. I didn't want this book to end because it's not just about the ravages of war, it's also about love, life, and rebellious courage. These women, who had everything (and everyone) to lose, put it all on the line to help others. I have been spared from the direct horrors of war, but I asked the same question that Ms. Hannah herself asked in an interview about her book, “I found myself consumed with a single, overwhelming question, as relevant today as it was seventy years ago: When would I, as a wife and mother, risk my life — and more important, my child's life — to save a stranger?” Most of us wouldn't. But which is worst: The fear of the risk or the fear of letting children grow up in a world where good people do nothing to stop evil? I cannot recommend this book highly enough.My favorite quote:“If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: in love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.”Note: Isabelle started out her life as an unruly child, but her tendency to rebel led to great things. If you're raising a hellion yourself, just hang in there – you never know what their independent spirit might develop into!

  • Nea
    2018-12-09 13:52

    Kristin Hannah is a pro in the chick-lit genre, and I applaud her efforts to break into historical fiction with The Nightingale. Unfortunately, I cannot say that I loved the result. When I read historical fiction in a war setting, I expect a certain rawness that just wasn't delivered here. Yes, she included historically accurate descriptions of carnage, but the tone was destroyed with a barrage of trite elements. The two main characters happen to be beautiful, irresistible, young sisters with daddy issues. Of course! Isabelle is a rebellious, virgin brat who engages in her first act of passion with a handsome, bad-boyish, older guy who doesn't seem to notice that they are both starving, injured, stinking to high hell, covered in blood, and stuck outside after running for days from enemy planes and bullets. Vianne, the older sister, is equally beautiful and naive, but also disgustingly helpless, fragile and unable to think for herself. I daydreamed of slapping her several times.Character development allowed for some improvement in the women, so they weren't totally unlikable throughout the book. However, they never felt real. They felt like Hollywood characters: The perfect actresses who play the roles of average people. I think I threw up in my mouth a bit with the addition of a strikingly handsome, kind Nazi acting as some type of Prince Charming on his time off from beating and killing people. Between the lines I read: "Oh yes, Mr. Nazi, you're irresistible, let's enjoy forbidden moments and fall in love, and hope the reader actually enjoys this bullsh!t."My complaints aside, I didn't rate this book too poorly because there were good parts. The Nightingale offers historically accurate details, moments of intrigue, and even some glimpses of true female strength. It simply lacked a consistent, believable tone. The unnaturalness and many nuances constantly jarred me away from the WWII setting. I liked the end most of all, so I suggest finishing the book if you start it.My recommendation: If you're a big chick-lit fan, this book may be for you. On the other hand, if you prefer literary fiction or just want to read a great war novel, look elsewhere.

  • Helen Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος Vernus Portitor Arcanus Ταμετούρο Αμούν Arnum
    2018-11-19 10:07

    Το υπέροχο λυπητερό κελάηδημα αυτού του αηδονιού με συγκλόνισε εξ αρχής, με αγκάλιασε και με ταξίδεψε σε ιστορικές διαδρομές γεμάτες φρίκη και πόνο με μοναδικό κίνητρο επιβίωσης την αγάπη και όπλο αντίστασης την δύναμη που κρύβουμε μέσα μας και δεν το γνωρίζουμε.Μεταφερόμαστε στη Γαλλία κατα τη διάρκεια του Β´ παγκοσμίου πολέμου και εκεί αρχίζει να αποτυπώνεται η απόλυτη σκληρότητα,η ωμή βία, η εξαθλίωση και η απόγνωση των απλών ανθρώπων που γίνονται έρμαια στους δυνατούς του κόσμου που την τύχη μας ορίζουν. Αφού οι ναζί εισβάλουν και καταλαμβάνουν την Γαλλία,δυο αδελφές εντελώς διαφορετικές μα και τοσο ίδιες ξεκινούν το δικό τους αγώνα,που δεν περιορίζεται μόνο στην επιβίωση αλλά ξεκινούν την αντίσταση και την ανιση μάχη ενάντια στους κατακτητές σιωπηλά και θαρραλέα αψηφώντας τις αμείλικτες συνέπειες και τον όλεθρο του πολέμου. Η μια ειναι μάνα και έχει σημαία και λόγω ύπαρξης το παιδί της και την οικογένεια της. Η άλλη ειναι μια παρορμητική ατίθασα θηλυκή φύση που ενώνει ολα τα ιδανικά και τις αξίες της στο όνομα ενός μεγάλου έρωτα. Όνειρα και ελπίδες, ανατροπές, λυρικές περιγραφές και πάνω απο ολα απρόσμενη τρυφερότητα και ανθρωπιά. Συμπόνοια και αλληλεγγύη ανακατεμένα με πόνο τρόμο και στερήσεις σε κάνουν να αισθάνεσαι περηφάνεια, συγκίνηση και βαθύ σεβασμό για τον αγώνα αγάπης αυτών των γυναικών. Το αηδόνι ειναι ο καλός οιωνός,το μόνο ελπιδοφόρο σημείο αναφοράς που με το κελάηδημα του φέρνει χαρμόσυνες ειδήσεις και ελπίδα. Ειναι ένα μικρό απροστάτευτο εξαθλιωμένο και μοναχικό αηδόνακι που ζει μόνο με αγάπη. Ειναι είδος υπό εξαφάνιση. Και κινδυνεύει. Ίσως να υπάρχουν κι αλλα αηδόνια που η ζωή τους εξαρτάται απο την πίστη και την αγάπη για τον συνάνθρωπο, την οικογένεια, τη φιλια, τα ιδανικά,την ισότητα,το δίκαιο, την ελευθερία και την ειρηνη. Ναι, αναμφίβολα υπαρχουν ανάμεσα μας- μέσα μας. “Η αγάπη πρέπει να είναι δυνατότερη από το μίσος, αλλιώς δεν έχουμε μέλλον"Συστήνεται ανεπιφυλακτα Καλή ανάγνωση.

  • Maxwell
    2018-11-28 16:43

    I feel like I went on the journey with these characters, that I lived these years with them. It's a story I won't soon forget and definitely one that I hope to revisit in the future. An absolutely stunning book that I can't recommend highly enough. 5 stars

  • Gabriella
    2018-12-06 14:09

    I really tried, you guys. There was even a 20% period when my standards were reduced so low from the previous 70%, that I thought maybe, maybe 2*. But the last 10% was offensive. Yes, I said offensive. Review later. And by review, I mean bitch rant fest.---------People keep asking me how I didn’t like this book. Honestly, I want to ask them how they did.Never have I ever read a book by such a clueless, air-headed author.And I actually don’t even mean that to be mean, or to pick on KH. It’s just that quite frankly, those are the truest words to describe what was obviously in Hannah’s mind when she wrote this book: nothing.She forgets what she writes a chapter, a page, a paragraph, hell, in a few instances, even one sentence, earlier. Examples? Mais oui, but of course! 1. She forgets to age characters (this in the first chapter. Isabelle is 4 and Vianne is 14 when their mother dies. Vianne is taken crying to Le Jardin and falls in love. At 16, she’s pregnant, at 17 she has a miscarriage. Then, of her miscarriage, Hannah writes: “She’d crawled into her grief and cocooned it around her, unable to care about anyone or anything—certainly not a needy, wailing four-year-old-sister.”)2. She forgets the weather. Isabelle treks out of the house pre-dawn in “knee-deep snow” and then steals a bicycle that same morning from an SS officer who is across the street in a cafe. Okay, so I’m from Ottawa, which in 2015 was the coldest capital ON EARTH. I’ll PRETEND you can actually ride a bicycle in “knee-deep” snow (you can’t). But Isabelle takes the bike straight to Henri’s apartment to hide it—I’m sorry but TRACKS?!?!?! The SS officer will walk out of the cafe, see the missing bike…and see tire marks that lead straight to the French Resistance headquarters. Or do you want to tell me people were plowing the streets in this village of a 1000 people?!3. She forgets the season. Winter temperatures Isabelle climbs over a rose-covered wall. WHICH, to be fair to Hannah, I live in Tuscany, where roses do grow on some mild winter days. But roses certainly are not growing in Carriveau in the wintertime because...4. She forgets CLIMATE. Again, I’m from Ottawa. Hannah’s descriptions of this French winter in her imaginary town in the Loire Valley seem to be inspired by the Arctic Tundra, because she’s got (wait for it, ARE YOU READY?) knee-deep snow, hail, ice rain, sleet, frosted windows, “ice-sheened glass” and “frost-limned windows”, “she didn’t want to go out into the cold white world again … she stepped over the threshold … and out into the snowstorm”, “Bending forward, angling into the wind, she trudged through the wet, heavy snow … hit the ground, cracked her head on the snow-covered step”.5. She forgets where her characters are placed (in one instance, Vianne exits her bedroom in the middle of the night to write down the Jewish children’s names on the kitchen table, then finishes her job, leans back, thinks about her own kids for a bit…then reaches out and strokes her sleeping children’s heads, then cuddles in bed with them).6. She forgets when characters have no money. Vianne stuffs newspaper print in her coat for extra warmth and gets a tin can of oil in the queue…but has money to just hop on a train to see Isabelle in prison. Forget the permits she would need since by then ALL OF FRANCE was occupied.She also doesn’t seem to understand the definition of several key words in her novel: refugee, garden, village, poor. REFUGEE: is NOT local inhabitants of a city under attack fleeing to distant relatives in the countryside or neighboring towns, or lodging in hotels in the countryside or neighboring towns. I also took a lot of issue with how Hannah describes these fleeing locals. 1. Chaos. Dust. Crowds. The street was a living, breathing dragon of humanity, inching forward, wheezing dirt, honking horns; people yelling for help, babies crying, and the smell of sweat heavy in the air.2. like flotsam in the reeds of a muddy river3. Like a thousand-legged centipede, the crowd moved forward into the great hall. [Side rant: as for this “thousand-legged centipede” does she perhaps mean a MILLIPEDE?!]4. The refugees who had arrived before her would have moved through the town like locusts, buying every foodstuff on the shelves.5. clothes so tattered and patched she was reminded of the war refugees who’d so recently shuffled through Paris, hoarding cigarettes and bits of paper and empty bottles, begging for change or help. [Isabelle, when meeting Gaetan—notice how she’s not part of these “war refugees” even though SHE WAS.]6. There were dozens of people in her yard; mostly women and children, moving like a pack of hungry wolves. Their voices melded into a single desperate growl.7. The crowd surged around him like water around a rockNotice how they’re all…not human? Lumped into a collective beast (a dragon, rushing water, millipede, pack of growling, hungry wolves) that is THE REFUGEES? But what’s more sickening about all of this is that Isabelle was part of them, and yet never once does Hannah include her in these ominous descriptions of (dun dun dun dunnnnn) THE REFUGEES. Instead, she was getting kissed by the handsome Gaetan, because she’s above the smelliness of refugee status, apparently. Also, we’re reminded three times throughout the book that “the refugees” broke Vianne’s gate. This kind of language that dehumanizes refugees needs to stop.GARDEN: Le Jardin is supposedly a garden, and literally means “The Garden” in French. But this “garden” is a fucking farm because in a 1940 French village it has chickens, rabbits (both plural), a stone wall covering all of it, a BARN with a car inside it, and ANOTHER cellar, a hill with a “hillside between the garden and the barn” and is so big that Isabelle can come in the middle of the night with three communists and move the car in the barn and hide a dead body and Vianne, inside at home, HEARS NOTHING. More implausible still, even after the wall was torn down, not ONE of the poor, starving French people broke in to steal her fruits, vegetables, and live stock. VILLAGE: This village of 1000 people has Nazis, SS, and Gestapo, and a networked train system. POOR (Part I): Seriously guys, what class were these people? Farmers? Because they own a farm. Village people? Nope, because they have expensive silverware, Limoges plates, Alençon lace, original impressionist paintings, and a spare bedroom. Let’s break down the math. Isabelle is 19 in 1939. She is 10 years younger than Vianne. So Vianne was born in approx. 1910. Which means…despite a dead mother, a drunk absent father throughout her entire life, growing up in WWI, living through the GREAT DEPRESSION that followed, getting pregnant at 16 (and going to university while pregnant, according to Hannah) miraculously her and her parents had money (they live in a house a mile away from a village of 1000 people, keep in mind), for a car and to put both girls in university. A car, a property with an acre of land, university for both daughters—I mean, I’m jealous here in 2016. Isabelle is bilingual, and knows how to drive a car, and is 19 years old and still in boarding schools in 1940 France, LEARNING TO CUT AN ORANGE. I just can’t stress the time period enough. Getting kicked out, no less, for failing to learn how to cut an orange. At 19. So then who taught her English, if her school was so worthless? I doubt it was her dead mother or absent father. To say nothing of the fact that back then at 19 you should be married. POOR (Part II): During the war, they were eating cats and rats. People were stealing bread. There was nothing. Salt was precious as gold and used for preserving food, NEVER for seasoning it. Some examples of starvation during wartime poverty in this book:1. but what about the coming winter? How could Sophie stay healthy without meat or milk or cheese? [Because bread, vegetables, and fruits were in abundance in wartime winters] 2. She had sold off her family’s treasures one by one: a painting to feed the rabbits and chickens through the winter [EAT. THE FUCKING. RABBITS. This is Europe in the 1940s for fuck’s sake. Eat the goddamn rabbits.]3. Moments later, she carried out a heavy ceramic tray bearing the fried fish surrounded by the pan-roasted vegetables and preserved lemons, all of it enhanced with fresh parsley. The tangy, lemony sauce in the bottom of the pan, swimming with crusty brown bits, could have benefited from butter, but still it smelled heavenly. [Wartime poverty equals no butter, got it.]3. “There is no food here in the city, Isabelle ... People are raising Guinea pigs for food. You will be more comfortable in the country, where there are gardens.” [As long as you have a garden, you’re fine.]4. Vianne began finely chopping the mutton. She added a precious egg to the mix, and stale bread, then seasoned it with salt and pepper.This book read more like a Mediterranean slim fast diet and a vintage fashion catalog than anything else. Other than Hannah constantly saying how much they were losing weight and starving and going without, I would never have known. Take away her adjectives like stale and precious, and it’s fucking gourmet.If this book wasn’t so heavily inspired by Andrée De Jongh, I might not be so harsh on it. But it is. So, yes, a woman who WAS a war hero, after working for the Red Cross, who set up the Comet Line with her father, went to a concentration camp, survived—for Hannah to sentimentalise her life the way she did, it IS offensive. By focusing so heavily on Isabelle’s beauty, and having Isabelle’s beauty be the reason she so easily slides past the Nazis (even Isabelle admits this!), Hannah is actually ROBBING De Jongh of her strength, courage, power, heroism. And I have a bone to pick with Hannah: the real Andrée De Jongh was not blond. I find it wrong for a blond American author to take a real woman, change her short curly black hair and add long blond hair instead (hair so pretty when Beck comments on it, SHE CUTS IT OFF), and then start saying she’s “impossibly beautiful.” Especially in a book about WWII, where Hitler was prejudiced to anyone who was not of blond hair, blue eyed Aryan race. What the hell?!?!This book is no more historical fiction than Disney is a true retelling of the Brothers Grimm stories. Which gets even WORSE when you start looking at what Hannah opted to change from the real De Jongh. No mention of a spouse, in later life or during the war effort, is mentioned for De Jongh. She survived the concentration camp and lived until she was 90. She began establishing the Comet Line after she first worked in the Red Cross (ie, she didn’t scribble a V on a poster and hand out fliers and BAM, hiked Pyrenees). In contrast, Hannah gives Isabelle daddy issues, has her begin working for the rebels to impress a love interest, then has her die contentedly in her lover’s arms. What’s so astounding and disturbing is that all the things that Hannah changed about De Jongh, were the things that made De Jongh strong, powerful, resilient, caring, heroic.Then there is the writing style.The number of times that Hannah repeated the same mediocre turn of phrase had me feeling like she was just enamored with her own writing. Which was sad, because the oft-repeated turns of phrase were mediocre at best, rendered embarrassing after, oh, the fifth time. How many times does a car horn “aah-oo-gah”? How many times do characters note the black markings on the wall where pictures used to hang? Hint: one time too many. How many times is something “was all she could say”? (Seven times too many. Note to Hannah: if that’s all a character says, it goes without saying that that’s all she could say.) How many times do people “tent” their hands over their eyes? The French words peppering this novel were the most generic one word expressions (oui, merde) that felt like Hannah couldn't be bothered to consult a French editor so she stuck with the most basic words. Merde is not the go-to French cuss either. Nor is it especially not the ONLY French cuss word either.Similes that mix senses abound — “roses tumbling like laughter” is just ONE example. Clouds are stretched tight as clotheslines — it goes on. The result was, for me, a very cartoonish book with clothesline-hanger clouds (complete with clothes flapping), laughing roses, and a Roger Rabbit cameo every time a horn “aah-oo-gahs”. And, in fact, Hannah thought her little aah-oo-gah was so clever that she even turned it, in one instance, into a verb. Aah-oo-gahed. I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried, you guys. Think that’s not so bad? In the middle of a detailed rape scene, we have, ladies and gents, He kicked the door shut with his booted foot and then shoved her up against the wall. She made an ooph as she hit. This is exactly the kind of sentimental, senseless, ridiculous, bullshit chick-lit writing that is PRECISELY why men make fun of chick-lit, and what basically sets feminism back about a leap year or three.Then there was what I can only describe as empty calorie description. The only flowers Hannah seems to know of are jasmines and roses. Every time there is a group of people, a baby wails and women cry/scream. Every. Bloody. Time.Vianne sat down beside Sophie. She thought about their old life—laughter, kisses, family suppers, Christmas mornings, lost baby teeth, first words. This is a generic description of motherhood that I, a non-mother, could have come up with. I could go on about the idyllic descriptions of France in WWII. All I’ll say is seriously, just pick up a vintage hat catalogue and French magazine and you’ve got the best of KH’s The Nightingale. We’re talking picnics with checkered blankets, brimmed hats, aprons, pencil skirts, berets. The book was a fashion show, really. The anachronisms were so bad too that it felt like watching a shoddily done play where the only thing historical is the fashion. (Expressions like “I’m pretty sure” and “bombed the hell out of” make appearances.)Am I being too harsh? I could just be a little pissed of still from the fucking bullshit that was the last two chapters of this trash book.SO this book is about two polar opposite sisters in Nazi-occupied France. Sounds brilliant! Except it has fuck all to do with sisters. It’s all romance. All the book does is romanticise war. You might be thinking, but come on, what’s wrong with adding romance in a war story?Honestly? NOTHING.So why am I complaining that this is “romanticized”? Because Hannah uses war and tragedy in SERVICE of a romance. It’s a backdrop, a pretty set, for a romance to play out, just like the 5,000,000,055 references to clothes, hats, and valises. Hannah even uses a real women , a real war hero, to service her love story.Is this book really about two sisters learning to love each other? I wish.Isabelle puts not just her sister but also her NIECE in jeopardy by bringing the downed airman into the barn. She escapes, Vianne stays behind. What happens when Isabelle receives a letter saying that Vianne has a new Nazi billeting with her? This: Vianne was fine—she had been released after questioning—but another soldier, or soldiers, was billeted there. She crumpled the paper and tossed it in the fire. She didn’t know whether to be relieved or more worried. Instinctively, her gaze sought out Gaetan, who was watching her as he spoke to an airman. And then a page of her unrequited love for Gaetan. That, you guys, is all the passing thought she gives to her sister. Have you guys heard this famous quote by Winnie the Pooh? “Always remember: you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Well, have you also heard the modernized tumblr version? It’s the same, but with “and twice as beautiful as you ever imagined.” That last addition is usually written in bigger text or italicized for emphasis. I’m going to quote someone else now who analyzed it first:Why did girls feel like something was missing from that quote in its original form? … Because the message that we constantly receive is that girls are not valuable without beauty.Brave, strong, and smart are NOT enough for women—they must be beautiful, too.Why is this related to The Nightingale? Because of THIS:1. “[Gaetan] won’t think I’m pretty anymore.”2. Vianne kissed [Isabelle’s] cheek. “You’re beautiful,” she said.3. When he drew back, he stared down at her and the love in her eyes burned away everything bad; it was just them again, Gaetan and Isabelle, somehow falling in love in a world at war. “You’re as beautiful as I remember,” he said.4. It didn’t matter that she was broken and ugly and sick. He loved her and she loved him.Then in the last chapter, Vianne:1. “I thought she was reckless and irresponsible and almost too beautiful to look at.”2. “Isabelle Rossignol died both a hero and a woman in love.”According to Hannah, it isn’t that Isabelle survived the concentration camps and is a war hero that matters. What matters is that she came back STILL BEAUTIFUL.Yes, I do realise that she was bald and had malnutrition, weighed eighty pounds, had typhus and pneumonia and was coughing blood. I do realise that Hannah was saying that, despite all that, she was beautiful. Which at face value seems like a terrific message to send out.But more important than her dying a war hero, was that she died a woman in love. Because that’s Vianne’s final thought, the final thing about her sister at the speech at the end. That she died a woman in love. Not, as Hannah tried to pretend, after seeing a free France and being part of the resistance. In the camp, Isabelle “had to stay alive long enough to see an Allied victory and a free France.” But she does see a free France... and still her life is not “enough.” In fact, she wanders out in the rain because “Gaetan promised to find me after the war was over ... I need to get to Paris so he can find me.” Her life becomes “enough” when Gaetan appears.Why isn’t it enough that Isabelle is a war hero? That she was brave? Smart? Strong? Here’s a radical feminist thought: why can’t we, as women, just leave beauty out of the equation entirely? Even if she was a pretty woman, why does it need to be mentioned? And at every page, too? Which brings me back to that Winnie the Pooh quote. For women, to be brave, strong, and smart, it is not enough.Because Isabelle was exactly all three of those things.And let me ask Hannah the same question she asked in the book.“You should take a break, maybe. Let someone else do your mountain trips.”[Isabelle] gave [her father] a pointed look. Did people say things like this to men? Women were integral to the Resistance. Why couldn’t men see that?Yeah, Hannah? Well, do people say “He died both a hero and a man in love”? I think not.Let it be enough that she was a war hero, please.

  • Cheri
    2018-12-10 10:10

    3.5 StarsI read this now (rather than maybe sometime in the future) because a goodreads friend (thank you, Jennifer!) mentioned in her recent review that they were making a movie out of this book. I enjoyed this, but it would be inaccurate for me to say I loved it. I just never really believed in the characters, I never felt they were authentic or “real.” As a result, all of Isabel’s behavior and actions felt created for the purpose of manipulation, and I never really could shake that feeling for long enough to allow myself to believe in this story. Vienne was much the same, but is more of a background character.Yes, there are moments and parts of this book that felt more genuine than others, and it isn’t that I felt any scenes were impossible or inaccurate. This isn’t a history book, and I wasn’t concerned with historical accuracy as much as it just didn’t work for me as well as it did for others. It felt a bit like a YA version of something like Nancy Drew. Good enough, but not great, not “All the Light We Cannot See.”For me, where this story really shines is toward the end of the book. The real history haunts us, we read about it, hear stories about it, and we try to push it to the back of our minds, if momentarily, enough so we can go through our days, do the shopping, mow the lawn, go to work. I was moved by reading this, but you can’t help but be moved with even the mention of those days, the horrors, man’s inhumanity to man never gets to the point where one will say “oh, that again.” I’m glad that this reaches an audience, for me, that is enough.

  • Melissa
    2018-11-20 16:11

    “In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.”This is a story that will stay with me for a long time to come. I think most people would agree, the best kind of books are those that evoke strong emotions and make you feel. Among my favorites are books that made me think about life, fall in love or ripped me to pieces and left me in tears. THE NIGHTINGALE managed to do all of those things.I’ve always had a fascination with World War II stories and with anything taking place during this time period, you have to be prepared for a tragic story. Even though this book was beyond sad, I’m not exaggerating when I say I broke down, it was beautifully written and utterly captivating.The Nightingale is a story of two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, from France, who find themselves in the midst of the Nazi invasion and the struggles of war. With an alternating perspective, Kristin Hannah tells two very different stories through the sister's eyes. Two different perspectives that made me ponder what I would have done in their situations. Would I fight against the horror or sit back and follow the rules instead?Vianne, the oldest sister, lives in rural France with her husband and young daughter. When she gets the news that her husband's been called up to fight against the Germans, she’s terrified. She convinces herself the best thing to do, for her and her daughter’s survival, is to keep her head down and follow the rules. Surely, everything will go back to normal when Antoine returns.Isabelle, the younger sister, has always felt alone and unloved. After her mother died, she was abandoned by her father and shipped off to a boarding school by Vianne and Antoine. She’s become a risk taker and rule breaker, which won’t allow her to sit back and do nothing while the Nazi’s take everything and destroy France.Amongst all the darkness, devastation and loss, there were some bright spots. The biggest being Gaetan. It destroyed me that Isabelle finally found someone that truly understood her and shared her passion. Someone that she desperately wanted to love, but the circumstances made it impossible for them to even try and make a go of it. Ever the optimist, I found myself hoping against all hope that they could find a way to make it work. Where there's a will there's a way, right?“If we weren’t here - hiding in a safe house - if the world weren’t ripping itself apart, if this was just an ordinary world, would you want there to be an us, Gaetan?”Vianne and Isabelle's story destroyed me. I don’t think that I've ever found myself sobbing the way I did at the end of this book. It was both the best and worst ending imaginable. This by far is my favorite book this year or maybe ever.

  • Matthew
    2018-12-01 12:54

    4.5 to 5 stars - This is a very complete book. I hope that makes sense when I say it. I was satisfied with the entire experience.Emotional and at times nerve-wracking. Love and hope mixed with fear and suffering. Hard choices that are unavoidable, easy choices that come with great risk. This book is a historical fiction roller coaster ride.Even if you are not into historical fiction or WWII, I think this is worth checking out. Also, I would highly recommend it to those who enjoyed Between Shades of Gray and/or The Book Thief.

  • Heather 'Bookables'
    2018-11-09 11:52

    This book wrecked me. Let me say that again, It WRECKED me. I have never cried so hard while reading a book. It was beyond amazing, beyond moving and it’s a story I will never forget.🇫🇷 📖I’m sure you’ve heard of this book. It’s been hyped ever since it came out & will amazing reason. I’ve stayed away from it because of the hype & because I’m not the biggest fan of historical fiction but I was so glad to be proved wrong on both accounts.📖🌌This is a book that will grip you from the minute you start it and will not let you go. It makes you feel for every single character and it shows you the journey of 2 sisters who live in France when WWII begins. I’m not going to sugarcoat it; this book is brutal. It shows you the horrors of war, the scary, horrible things that happen. These 2 sisters went through the worst things possible. 🏙🇫🇷Suffice to say I loved this book. It’s by far my favorite book of the year ( and if I’m honest I don’t think anything will top it.) and it will be a favorite for life. If your hesitant to pick it up please don’t. It will change your life, it will make you sob, but it will make you hope and make you fall in love.SERIOUSLY READ IT RIGHT NOW!I probably won’t ever shut up about this book, sorry in advance.🌌Just kidding I’m not sorry, it’s amazing and everyone should read it.

  • Drew
    2018-11-20 14:00

    Oh my goodness, I loved it. I loved it so much.I haven't felt this invested in a book for a long time. Those addictive, fast paced YA books come and go - think Heartless, a 2016 favorite of mine. And then there are those rich, descriptive adult books that fill you up with new knowledge - like The Martian and The Wonder. It's rare when a book combines both of these things. And that's exactly what The Nightingale somehow, brilliantly managed to do.This book takes a look at two sisters living in France during World War Two. No one believes the Nazis will invade France, but that's exactly what happens. We follow Vianne's side of the story; her sadness as her husband is drafted and she's left to look after her young daughter by herself. When a Nazi general moves into her house, things become even more complicated.Then there's Isabelle, Vianne's eighteen year old impulsive, reckless sister whose hatred toward the Nazis drives her to join a French Resistance group. But passing out pamphlets isn't enough, and soon Isabelle is caught up in a dangerous, secret rebellion.I loved Vianne and Isabelle so much. They were strong women who were put through the worst. They showed the females' side of the war. As Isabelle said, most people thought of men being involved in war, but didn't remember the female pilots, medical workers, or women back home surviving until their husband's return.“Men tell stories,” I say. It is the truest, simplest answer to his question. “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.”The writing was so gorgeous and it astounded me how exciting the plot was. You would think the average 400+ page adult historical fiction would be pretty boring, right? I know I did, and I was so wrong. The tense plot had me ripping through the pages as Isabelle manipulated her way into Paris or Vianne slept under the same roof as a Nazi.Ironically, I just finished another WWII book, Blood for Blood, and I said how brutally it showcased the horrors of the Nazis - but The Nightingale makes that book look nice in comparison. Make no mistake - this book has rape, torture, death, and doesn't shy away from details of children going hungry or women being sent to concentration camps. But I hugely appreciated the detail, even if it made me flinch or tearfully want to skip ahead, because it put me in the minds of two survivors. I felt their suffering, pain, and determination.A beautiful, heartbreakingly honest story.

  • ❄️Nani❄️
    2018-12-06 10:51

    20/12/17I've never been able to write reviews for WWII historical fictions. Something about books set in that dark time filled with great monstrosities and unthinkable human sufferings just makes expressing emotions… difficult. This was no different. I’ve been trying to write something, ANYTHING since the moment I finished and… I’m seriously blocked. But I will try... First off, wow.The Nightingale is a harrowing and emotional tale of courage and endurance. It tells the story of two estranged sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, living in Nazi-occupied France and their involvement in the Resistance, a movement that swept through the nation of France following the German occupation through the end of the war. It is a character-driven novel that pays homage to the women who risked their lives and those of their families to save those in danger during the war, a time in history when women’s opinions and contributions to the world/war were greatly overlooked.It is a story of heartbreak but also of great humanity and strength during the darkest time in our history and the great many sacrifices these women have had to make as they each follow significantly different paths in their fight to survive. I wouldn't say that it gripped me right from the start, in fact, I found it quite slow at the beginning but once the pace started to pick up in the second half, I Could Not let Go. Through Vianne’s story, the 'rule-following' sister, we see the terrible common themes of quiet sacrifice and choices made by women, while Isabelle, who's resistant to authority and unwilling to compromise her beliefs, puts all her rage and energy into a dangerous role within the French Resistance - making her a pillar of strength throughout the war.Although this is a story that takes place during a brutal war there are still some painful scenes that are hard to digest so there may be triggers for some people. But there're also displays of compassion, resilience and survival.All in all, this is a powerful book that packs so much punch - the changing nature of love in wartime; ways of expressing (or failing to express) love; loyalty; familial obligations; gender inequality and the societal expectations of women in wartime, and so much more. This is one I'd recommend it to anyone and everyone.18/12/17I cannot believe I’ve ignored this book for as long as I have.😔 So many emotions I don’t yet know how to put into words. RTC16/12/17Normally people wake up excited about their weekend plans... I woke up with the uncontrollable urge to read this heartbreaking historical fiction.I blame YOU ALL for writing persuasive reviews. 🤨🤔

  • Lady Vigilante (Feifei)
    2018-11-15 11:52

    4 stars!I can see why this book is loved by many and it really does warrant all the high ratings. It’s written in such a raw and poignant manner I think every reader will be moved in some way by the tragic beauty in this story. Also, this review will be weird and shorter than normal because:A) I’ve been distracted lately and have lost the ability to reviewB) This was a really good book and that right there says it allThere are two main female leads, sisters Vianne and Isabelle Mauriac and the story is told through both of their POVs. Vianne is the more passive woman who easily conforms and Isabelle is the fierce rebel. I think what surprised me the most was that even though I’m usually drawn to strong, independent characters like Isabelle it wasn’t her that stood out to me – it was Vianne. I’m a sucker for in-depth character development and seeing Vianne become a stronger, tougher, more assertive woman as the plot progressed made me root for her. Isabelle’s character didn’t change – once a rebel, always a rebel. I did think some of her actions were childish in the beginning and lacked maturity but I also got that in war times nothing else matters besides life and death. It was equally heartwarming and heartbreaking to read about their sisterly bond and strained relationship with their father, and the sacrifices both made to survive. There’s also a German captain who I felt SO much for. I cried a lot while reading this book and one of the reasons I did was because of him. Usually if a book keeps my attention and makes me ugly cry it’ll automatically go onto my favorites list. While I liked this book immensely, my problem with it is that there wasn’t anything else that made it stand out among the many, MANY other war stories I’ve read. The commonality for these kinds of books is that they will:1. Make me cry2. Be extremely riveting and keep my attention3. Be read in one sittingAnd that was the case with The Nightingale: nothing more, nothing less. Just like those other war stories, this one’s unforgettable in its own way, but didn’t make me want to jump on rooftops and scream to the whole world that this was a one of a kind book. Personally, I feel like those who’ve read many books with this same setting will like it, but also find little that makes it an outstanding read but those that want to dip their toe into historical fiction will find this to be a big winner. Either way, happy reading to all!

  • Carol
    2018-12-07 14:06

    NIGHTINGALE is an excellent WW2 novel, but, in some instances, not unlike others of its kind. It explores the horrors of war via occupation by the Nazi's, their brutality and mass murdering of Jews, and the despicable treatment in concentration camps.What separates this work of historical fiction from all the rest is the emphasis placed on the important part women played during wartime. The amazing stories of bravery by two sisters, Vianne who struggles to keep the home fires burning while battling starvation and invasion by SS Officers, and the rebellious and beautiful Isabelle who joins the resistance full steam ahead by passing secret messages day and night and smuggling downed pilots through treacherous mountains so they can fight another day. There is, of course, a wonderful love story intertwined with all the inhumanity as well as a most interesting end to the novel. Enjoyed it!

  • Brandie
    2018-11-21 12:46

    By far the most heart breaking and one of the hardest books emotionally that I have ever read. It has been a long time since I've cried so much reading a book. Even though it's tough to stomach, it was a really incredible story that I know will stay with me for a very long time. _________________After sleeping on this, I haven't stopped thinking about it and had to bump it up to 5 stars, with a proper review.I like a good cry once in awhile. What I wasn’t expecting was the sob fest I would get while reading this incredible book. It has been a long time since a book has brought me to so many tears, and I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. Just that this book was heartbreaking and at times very difficult to read because of the subject matter. Most of all it was a complete eye opener for me.I have never been a fan of historical fiction. But having read almost all of Hannah’s books, including Winter Garden, which was historical and I loved it, I decided to give this book a try.History was my least favorite subject in school, and I retained very little information about the Holocaust and the Nazi’s, other than obviously how completely awful it was. Clearly Hannah did a lot of research for this novel because, even though it’s a work of fiction, it felt so true to life and it completely devastated me. The horror people went through during those times is unfathomable to me. And I lived it through the eyes of these two sisters. It broke my heart over and over again. So much that I can’t stop thinking about the book still today.The book starts in 1995 from the POV of an older woman who’s son is about to put her in an assisted living facility, then it takes you to France in the 1940’s. As this woman is reminiscing about her life during WWII, you don’t know who she is until the very end of the book, and that was brilliant on Hannah’s part.Although the flashbacks to France and the war are incredibly difficult to read, I couldn’t put the book down because I had to know who the woman was at the end. And I needed to know what happened to these two sisters in the story, more than I needed sleep last night. Seeing the war through their eyes was unlike anything I’ve ever read before. Hannah’s prose is beautiful, her writing flawless. I have always loved her novels and have rarely read one without crying, but this book was by far the most emotional novel I’ve ever read. Beautiful and tragic at the same time, this book will stay with me for a very long time.If you are a fan of historical fiction, this is a must read. If you haven’t read Kristin Hannah, I recommend you add her to your list immediately! Just make sure you have a box of tissues close by. And trust me, every single book of hers is worth all the tears!

  • Jennifer Masterson
    2018-12-05 10:48

    Sniffle sniffle!!! 5 HUGE STARS!!! There should be a warning that comes with this novel: "don't listen or read the end without a box of tissues!" The Nightingale was fantastic!!! I didn't expect to love this book the way I did. I wanted to be Isabelle at times! Her bravery was remarkable! This is a GREAT audiobook! The narrator was phenomenal!The Nightingale is basically about two sisters in Nazi occupied France during World War II. Vianne the older of the two sisters and the young and adventurous Isabelle. Although their stories are totally different they both endured tragedy beyond comprehension. What they endured was almost too much to bare at times. The novel goes back and forth in time to 1995, seamlessly. Although most of this book takes place during the War.At times the book did seem a tad bit cliche but it was so wonderful that I'm not knocking it down by even half a star. This was my first Kristin Hannah novel but it certainly will not be my last! I highly recommend this book to EVERYONE! It's being made into a movie and I'm putting it out there that Emily Blunt should definitely play Vianne and Melanie Laurent should play Isabelle!