Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Title: The Nightingale
Author: Kristin Hannah
Year Published: 2015


Genre: Adult historical fiction
Pages: 564
Rating: 5 out of 5

Location (my 2018 Google Reading map)France and Germany

FTC Disclosure: I bought this with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): 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.

Review: I loved Hannah's novel, The Great Alone, so was very excited to read this novel. And other book bloggers have raved about this novel so that got me looking forward to it as well.

Wow. Just wow. What a wonderful novel with fantastic characters, lots of action and history, and... it just sucked me in and spat me out crying at the other end. Know that I cry when the happy stuff happens (birth, reunions, etc).

Even though both Isabel and Vianne were sometimes unlikable, I loved both of them and their surrounding cast of characters. They were living through the hell of World War II, doing the best they could to survive, and they were so human. So real. I could sympathize and empathize with all of them (well, maybe not the nasty Nazis). The relationships were well done as well. Siblings, parent / child, oppressor / oppressed, spouses / lovers, and friends. It's all there and well developed.

The history was well told and super interesting as it wasn't just the standard WWII stuff; this novel brings the reader into the details of a small French town under Nazi occupation so that we really understand what it was like, both the mundane and the huge.

If you like historical fiction at all, I highly recommend this one. Even though it is well over 500 pages, it certainly reads quickly.

Challenges for which this counts:  none

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