Side effects of finishing this novel:
Remembering those lost and those who lived.
“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness” – Elie Wiesel
Other than sharing the same family name, sisters Isabel and Vianne have little in common. Isabel, the sassy, passionate, and radical sister contrasts Vianne, the elder, level-headed, rational and protective one. Yet their narratives bump and weave together throughout Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale. Told from both of their alternating points-of-view, the story focuses on France during World War II. Vianne, confident of her protection from German occupation while living in a small French country village, finds her world threatened when a Nazi German officer belays at her home while her husband is away fighting at the Front. Alternatively, Isabel, immediately on fire to protect France, joins the Resistance. Both face their own terrors and risks, both take on responsibility, heartbreak, sacrifice and challenge in the face of war and both emulate the complexity and endurance of deep family ties.
Personal Concluding Remarks:
What would it take for us, in our own individual ways, to gather the courage to take a stand, whether for the protection of family, love, or home? It can’t be predicted if any or all of us will have to face this question in our lifetime, but Kristin Hannah surely paints a beautiful answer to how two sisters mustered audacity in a time of great defeat and danger. The Nightingale touches on a variety of genres be it historical, wartime, romance, adventure/survival, or even thriller and will surely touch even the most hardened of hearts. While WWII is a common backdrop for historical fiction novels, this particular one gives voice to a rare story of that era and reminds readers of a sometimes forgotten piece of history – that of the war for those left at home, far away from the front, yet still a war that called for bravery, struggle, and durability.
“She wanted to bottle how safe she felt in this moment, so she could drink of it later when loneliness and fear left her parched.”
“Love, it was the beginning and end of everything, the foundation and the ceiling and the air in between.”
“I know now what matters, and it is not what I have lost. It is my memories. Wounds heal. Love lasts. We remain.”
For Fans of:
Written by: Elise Cantini