The Nightingale

21853621Rating: 5 Stars
Published: February 2015
Genre: Historical Fiction
Favorite Quote:

Some stories don’t have happy endings.  Even love stories.  Maybe especially love stories.

Summary taken from Goodreads:

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.

I hadn’t heard much about this book but then I read some good reviews and I knew I had to get it.  The first page, first of all, is just incredible. What a start.  It may just be my favorite first page ever.


  • I’m slightly addicted/attached to WWII stories.  It was such a terrible time but most of my favorite books take place during that time period. Maybe it’s because my grandparents (and some aunts & uncles) survived the war. My family survived and now I’m addicted to reading what could have been their fate.
  • I love that this story focuses on the women left behind. It also isn’t based on just one or two but the many women who’s stories are forgotten or never told.  And while it seems a little unrealistic that two sisters both have an impact on helping people, this book is meant to bring to light those stories. Go strong women!
  • I adore that it takes place in Paris and I would slightly remember being there and I recognized some of the streets and could place the landmarks.

I had forgotten how gently time passes in Paris.  As lively as the city is, there’s a stillness to it, a peace that lures you in.  In Paris, with a glass of wine in your hand, you can just be.


  • IsabelleVianne. Gaetan. Antoine. Captain Beck.
  • All of you lovely lovely people. (Not really all truly lovely but fully-fleshed and real).
  • I love the strong women in this book. I love books about women during the war because they’re so much braver than I think I ever could be.  This reminds me a little of Code Name Verity, which is also a fantabulous book and you should read that, too, if you haven’t already.
  • I read on another blog (I’m so sorry, I don’t remember which one!) that Isabelle was loosely based off of this brave, strong woman.

She gave him a pointed look.  Did people say things like this to men?  Women were integral to the Resistance.  Why couldn’t men see that?

HOLY, WOW. THIS BOOK. GUYS. This book. Read. This. Book. Hands down, one of my favorites of 2015.  I’ll admit, I got teary.  Not a lot of books do that, though, more often than not, it’s the books about WWII.  This book wasn’t perfect. There were some random parts of the wording of sentences that bothered me but nothing that truly bothered me.

Bottom Line: The writing was beautiful, the story was heartbreaking, and I loved every single minute reading about Sophie & Isabelle. I’ll be recommending this to just about everyone.

Have you given in to the hype? What are you thoughts on this book?

Happy New Year’s Eve!! Are you celebrating or staying in with a book? (I’m doing a little of both: going out to eat for dinner after work then reading until I pass out.)


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