Book Talk: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Published: St. Martin’s Press
Released on: February 3rd, 2015
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance


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I judge books by their cover but don’t we all. The nightingale has a beautiful cover with all the elements of the story that it has to share.

Family bonds are stronger than we know and love is deeper than we express. France 1939, two sisters discover their strengths, weaknesses, purpose and love as war comes knocking at their door. Coming from a broken family where a war returned father is unable to love his two daughters after the death of his wife, the sisters struggle to cope with the dejection. Vianne and Isabelle are sisters only in blood and poles apart in temperament.

Vianne bids her husband goodbye as he heads for the fronts she fears he will come back a changed man just how her father had many years back. The sensible and practical Vianne doesn’t believe defeat is possible but then France is overrun by Nazis and she is forced to take an enemy into her house she makes decisions after decisions to protect herself and her child that leave her changed in ways she could never have imagined.
Isabelle a young eighteen year old who loves to defy rules is asked to leave yet another boarding school and returns home to her drunken father. She is packed up and set on her way to her sister’s when the despair of war is on the brink of revealing itself. Longing to belong and find a purpose she joins Resistance without thinking of the consequences even when she finds herself in love.

“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.” 
 
The Nightingale is a story about two sisters’ experiences of surviving war. Each sister has her own love story but their personal journey makes the core of this book. The story begins in 1995 with an old lady reflecting into her past and takes us to France of 1939 just before her life changed because of World War II. 

My favorite quotes from the book:

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 off 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.
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.
In love, we find out who we want to be.
In war, we find out who we are.
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…