by Kristin Hannah
In love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.
In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says ...
How would you rate this book?
Do not be put off by the “women’s fiction” classification of this book. THE NIGHTINGALE is a well- researched, well written discussion of the realities, cruelties and decisions that face an ordinary family in Vichy France. The book, beginning in 1938 as war approaches, is told from the viewpoint of the surviving sister many years later. The family, father and two sisters, is torn apart by their individual decisions when one sister and her children are forced to house a German officer in the family home in a small village after her husband joins the Allied Forces. The father, remaining in Paris, attempts to continue the family’s bookstore, while the second daughter chooses to join the resistance.
Village life under occupation and the dangers of resistance are clearly shown. The characters and situations are well developed and realistic. The supporting characters are shown to be humans acting under extreme duress – the good are not always good and the bad are not always bad.
I would have preferred to learn more about Rachel and her plight after she is forced from her job early in the occupation. We never quite learn how she is able to survive and seemingly thrive with no money and no way to get any.
Book groups will have a plethora of topics to discuss, including what decisions they would make concerning “outing” Jews, lying to friends and family, fraternizing with the enemy, murder, resistance, and many others.
5 of 5 stars
I loved this book. She brought the war right into my family room. It made me wonder, It was 1939 and the German\\\'s had invade my homeland and had taken over my home. France was a country of women, children and old men. Fear and terror was around every corner and food was scarce. What would I do to survive?
Kristin Hannah is one of my favorite authors and with this book she does not disappoint. The characters come alive in this book - and you hate to have the story end. In our life, it is hard to imagine the atrocities of World War II - however, Hannah does a great job of bringing these to light. Very thought provoking.
The book is about women, brave women who were often unsung heroes, but beneath it all is a story about love, what nourishes it and what undermines it. It is about love withheld and love given freely, about loyalty and fidelity. It is about what once was unimaginable brutality, as well.
Isabelle Rossignol was a spunky, feisty independent child and she grew into a young lady full of spirit and determination. Her older sister was the more cautious one. Each in their own way was a heroine, although one came late to that party. These women, and others like them, were called upon, by events beyond their control, to bear witness to atrocities they could or would not prevent. While nationalism, a deep love of her France, initially drove the younger to action, the elder was driven first by the need to protect her family, by the need to protect her daughter from the Nazi occupiers, and so she acquiesced to their presence; but then she was driven by the need to protect her daughter from a world that would be created by them, and so she began to resist them as well, to the extent that she was able.
What makes this book so special is its approach to the time. Although it is about World War II, it is not about the nitty gritty of the war itself, but rather it is about the French Underground and their effort to defeat the Germans, even as the French Government surrendered to Germany and succumbed to the Nazi way of life. Its emphasis is on the women of that war who fought alongside the men, not in the trenches but in the resistance, the women who endangered their own safety and lives to save others and fight back against Hitler’s Third Reich. They all faced imminent danger bravely and were often unsung heroes.
Many French men and women went along with Germany’s occupation happily, some simply to keep the effects of the war from their own doors, a notion of which they were quickly disabused. It was a kind of fool’s errand; “when you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas!” Those that cooperated with the Germans to protect themselves and even those that collaborated, soon faced brick walls. There would be no further opportunities or assistance offered to them for their safety. Their options would run out as soon as there were no other victims to be had, but themselves. Hitler’s net of hate and savagery was broad with tentacles that extended into every avenue of life. Those that defied Hitler did so by risking their own lives to prevent the loss of others. They were brave and selfless, and they believed that Hitler’s war was reprehensible. They would not learn how reprehensible for years.
The novel is centered on the relationship and points of view of Vianne and Isabelle, two sisters separated in age by about a decade. Isabelle was the younger of the two. When their mother died, their father fell apart and abandoned them both, leaving them with a cold, stern woman to bring them up. He was never the same toward them, growing evermore distant and aloof and drinking to excess. First, it was his experience in the Great War, WWI, and then it was the death of his wife that broke him and altered him beyond repair.
Hannah weaves a story about the women left behind with all of the responsibility of the home, the family, the food, the bills, and worst of all, dealing with the enemy soldiers who were, at first, polite, but later criminally abusive. When the Wehrmacht’s influence waned (the kinder and gentler of the German military organizations, if indeed any term like that can even be used to refer to anything Hitler designed), and the Gestapo became more powerful, with its sadistic SS soldiers, drunk on unimpeded power and violence, the women of Carriaveau were at their mercy; they were all required to do what they had to in order to survive and keep their families protected. There simply was no one else to call upon to help them, except, in some cases, for their church, and often, that was not a guarantee of safety or aid, when it came to Germany’s inhumanity to man. First fear immobilized everyone, but as time passed and the situation grew more heinous, they realized they could not simply stand by any longer. Vianne, who had ridiculed her younger sister’s efforts, finally took a stand against the heartless treatment of men women and children for nothing more than their political and religious beliefs, their mental health condition, or their sexual predilections, by saving the lives of orphaned children. She enlisted the help of her Church. It was very dangerous for her because she was forced to billet a cruel, malicious officer of the Third Reich who often abused her. She finally put herself at risk, even with him in her home. She also endangered her own daughter, Sophie, and her best friend’s son, Ari (Daniel), whom she cared for and protected, as well. When his mother was sent to a camp for being a Jew, she promised Rachel she would look after him. She pretended she had adopted him from her husband’s cousin whose wife had died in childbirth.
This novel is a masterpiece because it is a straightforward tale of courage and love, sacrifice and devotion. It is told from the point of view of the women left behind, the women who had to survive and fight back without the tools to do it effectively, but who rose to the challenge. So, it is not your typical World War II story or your typical story about the Holocaust’s immorality and the nature of its evil. The savagery of the Germans is told through the eyes of these women generally considered the weaker sex. They wanted to be relevant but the risk to them was even greater than to the men. The hardships they bore, and the suffering they endured will cause the readers’ eyes to fill. It was almost impossible to resist and yet almost impossible not to hate and want to resist. The author clearly showed the conflicts the soldiers dealt with and the conflicts of the French citizens. To survive, they had to look away, help the Germans, in fact, or be killed themselves.
Except for the despicable group of Germans who were nothing more than brutes and sadists, no one character was completely all bad or all good. Even the German soldiers, some anyway, and some citizens too, showed mercy to the extent they were able. Most, however, simply obeyed orders, even the French, especially the French policemen. They all thought they would be spared if they obliged the Germans, but it was like a creeping fungus, it kept sucking up more and more of the community and the people and disobedience led to monstrous retribution so the situation was fiendish.
All of the key elements of the war were touched upon, but it never felt overdone; rather, the clear cut and informative presentation provided only what was pertinent to the narrative. It never seemed exaggerated or cloying. I knew that there was a model Concentration Camp in Terezin, and that there were several death camps and crematoria, but I learned that there was also a camp designated just for women, in Ravensbruck. Kristin Hannah did a masterful job of research and showed not only the plight of the women during the war, but she showed their courage and competence in the face of all obstacles. She was inspired by the true story of a woman named Andree De Jongh who performed heroically during the war. So much of survival depended on choice, timing, kindness, and the sacrifice of others, and the message in the book is loud and clear that women did their share and then some. The story is very deliberately narrated by the audio reader, Polly Stone, who never over emoted or made the reading about herself. She simply presented the story in a pitch perfect way.
All members of our book club liked it. Of course it\\\'s sad but what war story isn\\\'t. It really portrayed the strength of women in the war and the hardships they had to overcome. Had a good discussion. Was also informative about the Resistance.
Loved this book, a beautiful piece of work. Very descriptive, you feel the fear, the happiness in places, it's like you are there.... Wonderful story that draws you in and yes, you'll cry at the end. Simply fabulous.
Not destined to be a classic, but a very good book, especially if you are a fan of historical fiction. This book leaves you with a real understanding and feeling for the horrific lives lived by ordinary people in France during the Nazi occupation.
A Nightingale is often known for its powerful and beautiful song. If that statement holds true, then this book was very appropriately named because it boasts a powerful message and a beautiful refrain of the courage, fortitude and unselfish acts performed by many during WWII. This story revolves around two sisters torn apart, at first, by the repercussions that WWI had on their family and especially their father. Later the ravages of WWII create an even larger barrier between the two as each fights for what they believe in and for that which they hold dear. This was a most gripping story that, I feel, will have a profound effect on my definition of "hero". For a generation whose numbers are dwindling each day and within another decade will most likely be gone, their story deserves to be told and remembered. And in today's society where it feels most people are concerned about no one but themselves, we need to be reminded of a day when there was compassion and reverence for our fellowman. We need to feel what it is like to be united in a common cause and to be a part of the solution. The Nightingale is a moving story that is sure to speak to your heart and makes for a wonderful discussion group.
I could not put it down. It is not like many of her other books - I think it is the best she has ever written. The characters draw you in and you feel their pain and there difficulties. You get a true feel for like in occupied France during the war.
Well written and informative regarding how the war affected families and the country. The grief and atrocities of the war are still haunting and heartbreaking 70 years later.
There are so many books written about the Holocaust that I am somewhat burned out on them. But every now and then a new one comes out that just is not like all the rest. This holds true to “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah. Ms. Hannah has the gift of articulating the complexities of families and relationships. The reader can feel the struggles the characters are encountering – the pain of emotions felt and beatings taken, the fear of being found out and of losing the ones you love most in the world, the agonizing hunger felt each day. You are right there standing next to the characters; you are pulled into and become a part of the story. I thought she couldn’t get any better than her book “Home Front”, but this one is just as good, if not better
In “The Nightingale” the sisters Viann and Isabelle live in the “Free Zone” in France. But this Free Zone soon becomes Nazi-occupied. It is difficult to read of the burdens the French people had to deal with each day for several years. People did what they had to do to survive. Some people were brave enough and humane enough to make attempts to save the Jews. Others, in self-survival mode, looked the other way. Others sadly joined the Nazis in their atrocities. The story here is very real. It reminded me of the book “A Woman in Berlin” about what the women had to do to survive, and they guilt and self-loathing they felt afterwards. One statement in “The Nightingale’ really hit me – “Men tell stories…Women get on with it…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 characters are very human with their strengths and their weaknesses. I loved them, I hated them, I feared for them, I rejoiced with them. Now the book is over but the characters live on in my mind.
This book was beautifully written. You won't be sorry you picked it up. Characters fully developed.
This book enveloped me. Once I started it, I could not put it down and finished it in one weekend. The ending was so heartfelt and sobering that I cried and then was disappointed that their story came to an end. Dramatic, sad and brilliantly done!
I finished this book a week ago and I still keep thinking about it. This is an epic novel filled with love, loss, survival. It will leave you thinking. I loved The Winter Garden, another historical fiction written by Kristin Hannah.. This one is even better. The characters and their struggles are heart tugging.
It\'s a difficult book, both in format and scope and subject matter. I found it a little lopsided. The pacing was a bit uneven but it was such a large book in terms of what it covered, I can understand why the author edited it the way she did.
It sparked a lot of good discussion, and really painted a picture of what it was like in Occupied France, so for those reasons, I recommend it.
I couldn't put it down, I loved it!
If you like reading 400+ pages of the horrors of war, with all the violence and death in your face, and you like being disturbed for days and having nightmare at night about the atrocities, then you should probably read the book.
I am constantly amazed by what people will do to fight oppression and to help their fellow man. Although this book is fiction, it paints what I think is a very REAL picture of survival in occupied France. I loved the characters and the story and I think it would make a great discussion.
I am so glad that our book club chose to read this book! It is the best historical fiction book that I have read about Occupied France during WW2. The author also ties up the ending which I like.
I found the use of vocabulary seasoned the story very well. It was so well written that throughout the book, one did not anticipate events happening as they did.
Our book club decided that we learned a lot about this difficult time period, and from a very different perspective than we usually get. The juxtaposition of the two sisters\\\' experiences brought lively discussion to the meeting.
Isabelle never gives up. I\\\'m not going to say any more because I don\\\'t want to ruin it for anyone!
Our book club fell in love with this engaging story of two sisters and the personal wars that they fought during the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. Not only is "The Nightingale" a rousing story, it explores themes that will engender lots of discussion.
I hadn\\\'t read any books by Kristin Hannah before, but after reading The Nightingale want to read other books by this author. The story is very well written, and the characters become so real. You follow the story of these two sisters with great interest, and at the end you feel their pain and also share in their redemption. An excellent piece of historical fiction. I was familiar of course with the Holocaust and its atrocities. This shows the perspective of those in France and the valor of those who hid Jews and helped downed airmen to escape to safety. Triumphant and heartbreaking at the same time.
on the edge of your seat reading...stayed with me and often think about their experiences through such a difficult time. Surprising end!
Wow, I loved this book. I read it immediately following "All The Light You Can See" because I had developed an interest in the French viewpoint/aspect of the war. Having recently visited France on a river cruise, I guess I was interested more in what had taken place in France. This book was a real page-turner. I loved the two sisters. Apparently, Kristen Hannah likes to write about sisters (several of her books have sisters as a theme). The book flowed so beautifully. It really showed how the German occupation in France affected the French, in this case, the women. I had no idea! German soldiers billeting in their homes, oh I can't imagine. A real eye-opener and a great book to discuss for book clubs. Don't miss it.
I liked the contrast of the lives of the two sisters, set in Nazi occupied France. It held my interest from the very beginning, and I certainly could connect with the main characters.
I enjoyed the read
I absolutely loved this book. A must read.
This is her best book yet! I couldn\'t put it down. I have read many books about WW2, but this was about an aspect of it that I haven\'t read much about. I highly recommend it!
A great read, interesting time in history. Discussion was interesting, the majority of the members were enthusiastic about their enjoyment of the book.
Our club loved this book. We had an awesome session tonight!!!!!! A lot of tears shed while reading this book. Highly recommend to all.
I found it to be very informative re WW|| . The characters were well constructed and inspiring with some exceptions. Great Book
Excellent writing, I enjoyed the characters. Hard to put the book down.
Great read...the kind of book you don\\\'t want to end. By far this book generated one of our liveliest discussions ever. We highly recommend it.
My book club has read several historical fiction books about WW2. I was not looking forward to another one. This one got to me though. I found it addictive and wanted to know what was happening next to the characters. The moral dilemma's made it a great book to discuss.
One of the most beautifully written books I have read in a long time. Very informative about the French Resistance during World War II. A heart rendering story that you cannot but down.
This was a delightful book to read. I did not think I would like it but I really enjoyed this book. You did not want to put it down. She provided closure - she came full circle letting you know exactly what had happened. You did not have to guess what happened once you completed the read. It was all there. I belong to three book groups and they all have enjoyed the book . Great book for a book club discussion
Excellent and well written. Our book club enjoyed comparing the situation in the story with present day.
As a group, we gave The Nightingale 4 stars. The story is compelling, the characters memorable, and the subject matter fascinating.
Wonderful story about two sisters during WWII.
Every club member praised this book and felt touched by the characters. They thought the book was well-plotted and enjoyed the wrap-around of the today chapters interspersed with the war ones. A few had questions about Antoine's disappearance in the today chapters and wanted to know how the narrator got to America. On the whole, however, these were tiny flaws that did not mar the overall effect of the book.
Beautifully written, moving story of 2 sisters and their struggles during the war. What happens during the war changes them, and this book depicts their lives very well.
This book was wonderful. I wanted to keep reading because I was totally engrossed in the story of the two sisters and how they dealt with their circumstances during WWII in France. I won't reveal the story as I don't want to spoil it for you, but there is a huge twist at the end of the book. I love it!
This book was fabulous. Each page was an adventure and I didn't get bored once. That is great for me. I learned a lot and have great respect for people who lived thru this time in France. Great, great job Kristin Hannah. Read this book. Today!
Excellent book! The author acquaints you with various characters on a personal level and carries you through all the difficult choices and times of that terrible war.
Wow, finally a book I could really sink my teeth into. Well written and captivating, right to the end, but getting it on library e Books I was down to 11 minutes, and it closed out just as Rachel was being buried - I don't know the rest. Please help me - have to go back on long list for ebooks, to get it again - and am so curious - please help me.
It was another take on the 2nd WW resistance of occupied countries. We have read too many books about this period of time and I did not find it any different than many others of the same genre
We loved this book. We've been together as a book club for ten years and we agree this is one of our favorites. Great character development, great plot lines, and it did in fact make us cry! Very well written when a book can make you feel true emotions for the characters!!
This was a well written tale of two sisters and their actions during World War 2. what they each did for love to protect their families and the country they loved was truly phenomenal. And while this is a fiction tale, I am sure those who lived the true stories were even more phenomenal. Lots to discuss about the political climate of the first years of the war and some current situations in the world.
A great story of a family with many difficult relationships that each had their own impact on occupied France.
Our book club loved this book - we were glad we picked this book. Had a great book discussion and used the research that Hannah did to obtain other books of that era. We loved the continuity and the flow of the women's lives - and the surprises at the end.
We all loved this book. The spirit of the women involved was so inspiring.
THE NIGHTINGALE is a good historical fiction read and provides some insight into the French Resistance movement from a female perspective. There were some things in the plot that I found questionable (such as no one revealing that Daniel was actually Ari, the Jewish son of Rachel), but this was a relatively minor issue.
This was a hauntingly beautiful novel. It was a captivating read that gave an unglamorous view of the resistance in France during WWII.
Very insightful book! Highly recommended.
This is the best book I read in 2015! Wonderful story!
Memorable characters and a compelling story. Presented a personal view of life in France during WWII.
The book was full of engaging characters. The setting - occupied France during WWII - provided lots of conflict and drama.
I couldn't put this book down. The author hooks you into the characters and their lives from the very beginning. You cheer for them, you cry for them, and you are deeply moved by all of the characters throughout their story.
One of the best books I have ever read! Powerful and gripping.
This was my third or fourth Kristin Hannah book. It is by far the best I have read by her. It was well written and kept my interest to the last page. My only problem was a few unnecessary or questionable creative licences taken.
this was sooo predictable and so cliché. about 1/4 of the way through I began reading some of the passages out loud to my husband. You just have to laugh when she faints in the arms of the handsome soldier. I finished this book because it received rave reviews. What a waste of my time!!! Please ladies - read something better.
Intriguing, and thought provoking.
One of the most enjoyable read I have had in a long time. Couldn't put it down!
A new perspective on WW2
A great look at history with well developed characters. I would recommend this book to everyone.
This book is about how a father and his two daughters rediscover their love for each other through their heartbreaking experiences during the German occupation of France during WWII. The father returned from WWI a broken man. After his wife's death, he sends his daughters away. The oldest daughter, Vianne, is a compliant rule-follower who is frightened of life. Her younger sister, Isabelle, is headstrong and rebellious. All three characters act courageously in their resistance to the Nazis, while being unaware of the courage each demonstrated.
Kristen Hannah did a superb job in describing life within France at that time, describing the extent of the work of the French resistance, and describing the ways the French acted honorably as well as dishonorably. Love seemed to be the unifying element in the personal and individual stories of each of the main characters.
Have tissues on hand.
Our Bookclub loved this book. We had many great characters to discuss. It also adds fresh insight into this World War.
Everyone in our club was affected by this book. We had more discussion on this book than any other; the scenes were so vividly written and emotion laden. We disagreed about some of the characters actions, but everyone in our group admitted the cried over it!
Excellent historical fiction. I learned so much after wartime France and le resistance. Fascinating book.
Kristin Hannah has a writing style that is very enjoyable to read. This novel shows a side of WWII that many people might not have known about. I enjoyed it very much!
Even knowing the horrible war time conditions you want to keep reading this well-written story. The characters struggles to survive and hope seem all too real.
Needs more editing. Reads like a YA novel, and is not always plausible.
I so enjoyed reading about what the women accomplished and had to endure during World War II occupied France.
Nice character development as you understand the different characters reactions to events, what what drives them.
VERY GOOD BOOK, VERY INTERESTING PLOT.
Wonderful story of two sisters in France during WW2.
Historical fiction at its best!
A ww2 story that doesn't add to the canon in any particular way. Several thinly drawn characters whose behaviours and speech are frequently unconvincing. Several phrases are repeated throughout the book , which add nothing to the reader's understanding - in fact tend to irritate!
Very brief discussion of the book, as insufficient depth to plot, and the dreary stock characters. A definite case of tell and not show, which makes this little more than a beach read.
This book was one of the best I have read. My book club had some great discussions.
Beautifully written, wonderful storyline !
Overall our book club liked the journey Kristen Hannah took us on in "The Nightingale." We found it compelling, informative and moving. Lots to discuss and a perfect book for a reading group.
The men in our group thought this was historical chick-lit, but other than that criticism, we had so much to talk about. We analyzed relationships between all of the characters. We speculated why the author used a couple of plot devices. It was a great discussion.
Some of us thought the book was hard to get into but once you stuck with it everyone enjoyed the book. Most of us thought this was one of the best books we have every read!
This was a good look at the women that lived
through terrible times and adjusted to help their families and others. They took dangerous steps to survive and endure the treatment of the Germans and some of the French people.. .
Beautifully written story takes place in occupied France during WWII. Hard to put down.
A heart wrenching story of survival, courage, and understanding. Brilliantly written.
I gave this book 4 stars, based on the opinion of the rest of my club. Most of them would've given it 5 stars. Personally, I would have given it 2 stars.
As much as the writing was superb, the characters fully developed and the clearly evident large amount of research the author put into this novel, I felt that there was just something missing. Something I honestly can't put my finger on, so I am not sure my 2-star rating is truly fair to the author. At the risk of sounding completely cold-hearted, the ending was a bit Hallmark-y to me.
That said, I do not want to take away from Hannah's impeccable writing. She does not miss ONE detail. I was able to easily imagine the scenery (views, scents, etc.) It's a beautiful story about sisters, family and relationships, during a horrifying era. The first two sentences of this book's synopsis sums up the message I took away from this novel.
This book is PERFECT for a book club. There were so many discussion points and it's an easy book to really delve into with others. We used the discussion topics from LitLovers.com
This was well write and very touching. It makes you appreciate your own life. The characters inspire the reader to take a risk for the greater good.
I learned a lot about the occupation of France during the war. Loved the story and the relationship between the sisters during such a difficult time. Cried like a baby when it ended. Our entire bookclub loved it.
Very good read....well written. Makes you feel as if you were there and having to deal with the emotions they were dealing with. Highly recommended
A beautifully written book
The Nightingale, is a Rossignol in French I like how the story is set in the present, but most of the chapters are written in the past. The sisters Vianne and Isabelle are both such strong women,and the writer uses their strengths to bring the story along. Such love of life...
Poignant story of two braves sisters in occupied France during the war. It's a story of love, loss and survival. I loved that it was written about how women helped during the war, since these types of books typically tell it from a man's perspective. It was an emotional read, so you will definitely need the tissues!
I LOVED this book and could hardly put it down! Read it in 2 days. The characters are all very compelling. You feel as if you you are right there with them, feeling what they are feeling and thinking. It makes you question your own survival abilities, your compassion and your bravery under unfathomable circumstances. I highly recommend this book! Warning...keep the tissues handy!
Our book club members each enjoyed the book and have recommended it to other readers. We discussed the events and how brave the characters were. As well we discussed how hard life must have been for those living through this time.
I've read quite a few of her books and this was by far her best! Her characters were so real and when she described how cold it was-it made me cold too!
Easy reading and fascinating. Good character development. Based on a true story
This book will spark conversation for ANY book club. This is a story of sisters, war, family, choices, luxury and survival, and everything in between.
Was such a great WWII story what women went through in Paris.
Everyone in our book club enjoyed this selection. We highly recommend it!
This one will keep you turning pages. Heart wrenching.
This is about the women who were left to cope with the German occupation of France while their men were at war. Many of them joined the Resistance and displayed unbelievable bravery. This story is about two sisters who helped in different ways, both heartwarming and dramatic.
One of the best book discussion book so in 2016 so far! The author did an excellent job researching for this book. Her characters where very well rounded and her writing was great! Loved learning about the women who sacrificed for others. Courageous, eye opening...would you give up everything maybe even your life for others??? Awesome a must read for book clubs.
I didn't think I was going to like this book.I loved it.I couldn't put it down.I loved every character.This is my favorite book by Miss Hannah and i have read them all.
Beautifully written, thought provoking book that gives insight to the everyday horrors that people on the home front in war endure
A beautiful, dramatic, romantic epic of a novel. A cant put down book.
This novel is based on the role of the resistance in France, particularly the role played by women. Isabelle and her sister fight for France in different ways-Isabelle places herself in dangerous settings while Vianne quietly saves her own child and others. The writing is graphic at times but the horror of war needs to be remembered.
Loved the book...couldn't put it down. Well written and eye-opening.
Beautiful book about a family, a war, Nazi's, and survival. Even days after reading it which I couldn't put it down, I would think about it and have a good cry. Love the book, love Kristin Hannah she never disappoints me. Bravo...
Excellent book! It was interesting and informative. I was totally transported to France and the war while I read this book. I felt that I was experiencing everything along with the characters in the book.
This is a book group must read. This historical fiction is a wonderful novel with compelling and inspirational characters. You are drawn into the story so much that you feel like you are there watching it unfold. Amazing writing right down to the final pages. Can't wait to read more from Kristin Hannah!
Absolutely true. As an ESL Literacy Tutor in 1998, I had a Russian woman tell me the same story except, as a 5 yr old with a 3 yr old brother & 24 yr old mother surviving the Germans invading & bombing Stalingrad. Right down to a German soldier discovering them. Hiding & instead of killing them, he told them to leave & where & how to go. He was the Captain Beck from The Nightingale!
Every member of the group thoroughly enjoyed this book. We loved both Vianne and Isabelle and how their individual strengths impacted the unfolding storyline. An informative and heart wrenching read that opened our eyes to the involvement of the French in WWII and the bravery of the Resistance.
You will not be disappointed x
This was diffidently a book that everyone in are book-club LOVED! You will be amazed by the courage of many of the characters in this book. Despite the seriousness of the WWII setting, this story was very inspiring.
Powerful story of two women experiencing the challenges of war and how each dealt with them.
This book confirmed how strong the spirit to survive is !
The book starts very slowly and the author is overly descriptive which slows down the story even more. However the book has a powerful ending that makes it worth the read.
This is a finely crafted tale of Nazi-occupied France from 1941-44 told through the memories of a survivor in the 1990's. It is amazing to see the "Nightingale" evolve throughout the story. The characterization is realistic, yet not predictable. The plot unfolds gently with only purposeful descriptions of the violence of this era. I highly recommend this novel.
This world war two historical novel showed the bravery of women during a perilous time. It was very sad to read what people went through during this time and knowing someone in real life probably experienced this very same thing. Even though it was fiction, it has a believable reality to the story. The end did surprise me. I do think all the ladies in our group enjoyed reading this book.
Wonderful book. Couldn't put it down.
Our Book Club thought this was a well written book, about a less known part of WWII, the occupation of France, and the Resistance Movement. It was thought provoking and lead to lengthy discussions about a number of issues: the character of Beck, the transformation of Vianne, the issue of Ari being returned to a Jewish family, family secrets, etc.
This book may well be the best one our club has read in 10 years. It is captivating from the first page until the last word. I wish we could give it more than five stars.
Joined my book club last fall. This was the best book so far - quite addictive and very inspiring. I've recommended it to colleagues and friends and they all agree. Read it!
Inspiring book about women in France during the Holocaust. Beautifully written with strong female characters trying to survive and rescue others.
Everyone in our book club liked this book. It was a good, easy read. Not much depth and rather predictable
As we discussed this book it was surprising how many had stories of WWII that we either remembered or that was handed down to us from our parents or grandparents.
It was amazing how these two sisters with such different personalities had helped so many people and in their own different ways.
This was a great book for discussion. All the feelings it evoked and horrors you never could dream of happened to many, makes you appreciate your life as you know it.
Riveting story. Really loved it to the end. Well thought out.
well written and was easy to read
A beautifully written book about two sisters who experienced life in occupied France during World War II--one as a member of the Resistance and one who stayed home and tried to maintain a sense of normalcy for her children. It is an emotional story filled with horror, sacrifice and triumph.
I really enjoyed the love story that was mixed in with all of the sadness that was involved in the story line. Be forewarned have plenty of tissues when reading.
Wonderful book about family, the hidden strengths that people have when faced with very difficult times. Wonderfully written - moving - brought me to tears
This book had everything! I couldn't but it down and didn't want it to end.
This was a tale of the extreme hardships of living in France in WWII under the German occupation, concentrating on the lives of 2 very different sisters and how they existed during the occupation.
The effect of Hitler on the people of France has not been described well until recently. This book, along with Sarah's Key and a couple of others, are starting to fill that void.
couldn't put it down. We were traveling & everyone was reading it and told us we should also read it
A must read! Fantastic! Our whole book club had quite a lively discussion. Easy to read, good pace, interesting characters, incredible what each experienced. Nazis & holocaust are not my favorite subjects but this book kept me enthralled. Loved it!
Excellent book! If you enjoy historical fiction and WWII history, read this book! I loved the characters and the story, although tragic at times. This book gives the reader information on the Nazi occupation of France and the French resistance. Wonderful ending! Read this book!
Occasionally everyone in our group agrees on our book. This is one of them. We all enjoyed it a lot. We found it to be a rather quick read, because the reader wants to know what happens next. It brought tears to the eyes of each of us (one of our discussion questions). The book includes many storylines including adventure, love, war, historical, survival, espionage, and family.
Kristin Hannah's novel is extremely engaging, descriptive and personalizes the horrors of war for 2 sisters in France. It is heart wrenching and simultaneously wonderful. Highly recommend.
The Nightingale is not a lighthearted read or discussion, but provides a poignant view of life in France during WWII. The theme of our discussion kept coming back to "Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it". The book itself is a beautiful story and most members loved it, but expect to be haunted by the ghosts of WWII.
I LIKED THE BOOK; I THOUGHT IT STARTED OUT SLOW BUT IT PICKED UP LATER. I LIKED THE ENDING (THE REUNION)
This was undoubtedly the best book that I read in 2016. Subsequently I chose it as my book pick for my club in 2017. Everyone loved it. I highly recommend this book.
The treatment of men and women during the Occupation is unbelievably sad. But the power of the woman's human spirit is unbelievable. It's an amazing book, exhausting and inspiring at the same time.
Everyone loved the book especially the two protagonist, whose characters were very well developed. The plot was exciting and was a page turner. The fact that women could be capable of so much under trying circumstances was a constant subject with the group.
So good that the book club barely had anythingelse to say about it. Can't recommend it highly enough.
Like all holocaust novels, very sad. Learned a lot about the resistance and survival.
What a great read. Two sisters experience life during World War II in different ways. A great historical fiction that places you in France. It is so believable, you swear
that your listening to your older aunt telling her experience. Grab your hanky, your going to need it.
One of the best books I have ever read. A reminder of the absolute horror, persecution and suffering the Jews and those that tried to help them endured during the war. Mans inhumanity to man is inconceivable.
Wonderful story of 2 sisters & their experiences during WW2 in France. Both very heroic in different ways. I loved learning about activities of the French Resistence.
This book was about two sisters during WWII in France and the decisions they had to make to survive. The day to day hardships and unexpected horrors that came out of the blue gave us so many topics to discuss. We all loved this book.
A wonderful story of misunderstanding, deprivation, grief, and ultimate triumph during WWI Iin France. The characters are unforgettable. Beautifully written.
Fabulous . Didn't want it to end!
This book kept me reading from front to back. Have a box of tissues with you at the end!
Our group really enjoyed discussing this book, challenging each of us to put ourselves in the characters' positions, what we would do, how we would act, what we might think, during a time when everything we hold dear is taken from us. The story was gripping, expected, yet unpredictable but, for some, the literary style could have been more expansive.
This book has everything - love, drama, historical references, sadness and joy. Keep the Kleenex handy, as there are some very poignant and heartfelt parts to this story. Well written; couldn't put it down. My entire bookclub gave it an overwhelming rating of 5!
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