My second review is going to be on the book The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah. If you haven’t read this book then you shouldn’t read this post because there are spoilers.
My first thought of this book even before I started reading it was eh, I’m not sure I’ll be into all this war stuff. I had to read it though because I love Kristin Hannah. She’s one of my favorite authors. As I started to read the book, she got me sucked in again. This book has so many aspects of it. It has love, it has violence, it has strong willed women, brave soldiers, combat. you name it, it has it. I just couldn’t put it down.
It takes place right before the start of WWII. Isabelle and Vianne are sisters who blatantly seem to loath each other. The war breaks out and Vianne is left with her toddler daughter, while her husband leaves her for battle. Isabelle, the younger sister of Vianne feels like a burden. Nobody wants her but she’s supposed to be this gorgeous girl that all the men want if that makes sense. Her sister doesn’t want anything to do with her and her father is a drunk who also wants nothing to do with her.
Isabelle is a strong a fierce girl. She lets nothing stand in her way. She is eager to fight the Germans so she can win her country, France, back. She leaves her sister and decides to go out on her own and take a stand with others that feel the same way as she does. Along the way she meets this French man, who from what I imagine is a very handsome man. His name is Gaetan. She falls in love with him but he finds her just a girl and very complicated. They part ways and she doesn’t seem him until much later in the story.
Vianne eventually has Germans billeting in her home and feels herself falling for him, which is a big no no. Her husband has been away for sometime and wonders if he’ll ever come back.
Isabelle gets into some trouble down the road and hoards airmen to keep them safe against the Germans. She hides them and rescues them and sets them free into a safe zone. This is where she is now called the Nightingale. Her name is Isabelle Rossignol, also meaning ‘Nightingale’.
The story goes on as Vianne ends up killing the German soldier that’s living in her house, who she was falling for. All because he was ready to kill her sister Isabelle, who was hiding an airman in Vianne’s cellar below the ground in the barn.
Vianne yells for Isabelle to leave her alone and to never come back again. She does as she is told.
Later on in the story, Isabelle is captured and sent to a concentration camp where she is left to die. Vianne meanwhile, is getting raped by the new German that is staying at her home. She winds up getting pregnant. By this time the war is almost over. He leaves the house and never returns. Isabelle is in such a state that she is dying.
Antoine, Vianne’s husband escapes the prison and heads home. Only to find that the two of them are very different then they were. She doesn’t tell him about the pregnancy, so they make love and makes him believe she got pregnant that very night he comes home.
The end Isabelle finally comes home to Vianne’s and they apologize profusely. Gaetan finds her again and confesses his love for her, but it is too late. Isabelle has died in his arms, but she heard him tell her that he loved her. That’s all she needed to hear.
I am amazed at this story. It was well written and very well researched. Kristin Hannah did it again by taking the characters and bringing them to life. I smiled, I cried, I was angry, and I was shocked. So many emotions in a book that I couldn’t believe. This has got to be my favorite one by far from her. She captured everything so well. She did a wonderful job of story-telling where I felt like I was right there with them all of them.
I applaud her for this novel. They’re making a motion picture of this one and I cant wait to see it, to see if it coincides with the book. Sometimes they change things around, which is understandable. But come on, this was just amazing. Through and through.