The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is the story of two sisters during the French Resistance movement fighting the German occupation of France in World War II. After the sudden death of the mother, sisters, Vianne and Isabelle were separated as their father couldn’t bear to see their faces and take care of their needs. Vianne soon gets married and starts her family while Isabelle is set to one boarding school after another. War is brewing in Europe and Vianne doesn’t want to think about the possibility that her husband will go to war until he is sent to the Maginot Line. Isabelle is in Paris when the Germans invade and she is among the refugees who flee the city. She makes her way to Vianne’s home in the Loire Valley. Isabelle feels the desire to matter, to do something important during the war. She soon becomes a part of the French Resistance, a network of men and women determined to fight off the Germans. While Vianne is dealing with the German occupation of her town and her home as she is forced to house a German officer. As Isabelle becomes a vital part of the resistance, Vianne discovers she can no longer sit by and let the horrors she sees continue. She helps fight the Germans in her own way. Will the two sisters be discovered? Will they live to see the end of the war and each other again?
Once again, Ms. Hannah has created a beautiful story with a deep emotional impact. Every one of her books has a surprising twist at the end and even though I knew this, the twist in The Nightingale I truly did not see coming. There’s so much to talk about with this book but I can’t because it would give away too much. The historical detail is very well done and as we all know the horrors the Nazis did during the war, Ms. Hannah’s descriptions give the horrors a new light and you are shocked and horrified all over again. I highly, highly recommend The Nightingale.
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