Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

As a general rule, I love Kristin Hannah's books and The Nightingale is no exception.

The Nightingale is set in Nazi Occupied France and follows two sisters - Isabelle, who wishes desperately to help the war effort and Vianne, who just wants her husband to come home and to keep her daughter safe. Both of them do very different things, but both of them were strong and brave in their own way.

To be honest, I didn't like Isabelle for the first half or so of the book (even after she started doing heroic things). I know that what she did was incredible, but her inability to see anyone's point of view but hers and her preoccupation on her feelings was annoying. But luckily she did grow up, and by the end of the book, I quite liked her as a character.

Vianne was a character I liked from the start, probably because she had her flaws, but was also focused on keeping things as normal (and safe) as possible for her daughter. She was a real lady, because it's easy to let your anger show but hard to keep it in. Although she was not honoured as much as Isabelle by the end of the book, I think her achievements were equal to her sister's.

The story is loosely framed as a flashback, but that only matters towards the end, because many years are needed for closure for the characters. For the most part, I was firmly in the horrifying past.

I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a moving story of love and bravery during war.

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