General Rating: Kristin Hannah’s best novel. There’s a reason 81% of over 280,000 people have rated this five stars. I’m not a fan of World War books but loved this. The Nightingale should go down as one of the best war books ever written, a classic.
Skip factor: Nothing.
Who should read: Everyone. This describes female courage during wartime, both subtle bravery and gallant heroism.
Summary: Vianne and Isabelle, born in France, are the daughters of two good parents, but when their father comes home from war, he is a changed man and cannot love as he did before. When their mother dies, the sisters deal with her death quite differently. Isabelle becomes defiant while Vianne falls in love and marries young. When their father can no longer deal with Isabelle, he sends her to live with Vianne. By then Vianne has experienced the loss of several babies and is not in the best state of mind to care for her little sister.
Then the Germans invade France.
By now, Vianne has one child, Sophie, and when her husband, whom she relies on for everything, must go to war, she becomes obedient to the German rules in order to protect her daughter.
Opposingly, Isabelle is consumed with fighting the Germans and believes women should be as much a part of the crusade against Germany as the men. Someone notices her defiance and recruits her for an underground circuit that hides fallen pilots, guiding them across the mountains to safety.
She becomes what the Germans refer to as the nightingale.
Writing: Kristin Hannah is by far one of the best writers I have ever read. She relays the most intriguing stories in perfect sentences. Her cadence and beats are simple yet exquisite. She doesn’t overwrite. Her descriptions aren’t wordy. She captures a reader’s emotions and never lets go.
Read this author again? Yes, working my way through all of hers.
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CJ Zahner is the author of The Suicide Gene, a psychological thriller; psychic thrillers Dream Wide Awake, Project Dream, and The Dream Diaries; and Chick Lit novels Friends Who Move Couches and Don’t Mind Me, I Came with the House. Zahner’s dream series novels were inspired by first-hand experiences. See the video of her 9/11 premonition here. Download her Beyond Reality Radio podcast here. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, BookBub, or LinkedIn. Purchase her books on Amazon.