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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Nightingale

ISBN: 0312577222
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 02/03/2015
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 5 Stars
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes an epic novel of love and war, spanning from the 1940s to the present day, and the secret lives of those who live in a small French town.
Viann and Isabelle have always been close despite their differences. Younger, bolder sister Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann lives a quiet and content life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. When World War II strikes and Antoine is sent off to fight, Viann and Isabelle's father sends Isabelle to help her older sister cope.
As the war progresses, it's not only the sisters' relationship that is tested, but also their strength and their individual senses of right and wrong. With life as they know it changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Viann and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.
Vivid and exquiste in its illumination of a time and place that was filled with great monstrosities, but also great humanity and strength, Kristin Hannah's novel will provoke thought and discussion that will have readers talking long after they turn the last page.
"An epic love story and family drama set at the dawn of World War II. A profound and compelling portrait of two ordinary French women living in a city under siege and in a country at war, where surviving sometimes means doing the unthinkable."

My Review

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. (Beautiful front cover)
The bar is set high for award winning best-selling author, Kristin Hannah’s upcoming THE NIGHTINGALE. The author delivers her “best” yet, with a poignant and compelling historical fiction, of two strong and courageous sisters faced with challenges, and choices of love, life and survival.
“Wounds heal. Love lasts. We remain.”
As the book begins, in 1995, an elderly widow is moving into an Oregon nursing home, pushed by the controlling son and surgeon, Julien. However, she receives an invitation to return to France to attend a ceremony of those honored, aiding those during the war where we are transported to 1940s.
From US present day to France in the 1940s WWII, we read about two sisters; a novel of love and war, and the secret lives of those who live in a small French town.
There are two sisters – one who follows the rules and one, not so much. Living in a small village, Vianne is content living in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and her daughter.Antoine is leaving for the war to fight, and she does not want to think the Nazis will invade France. However, when the unspeakable happens, she must survive by making difficult choices.
When World War II strikes and Antoine is sent off to fight, Viann and Isabelle’s father sends Isabelle to help her older sister cope. As the war progresses, it’s not only the sisters’ relationship that is tested, but also their strength and their individual senses of morals -right and wrong.
Her sister, Isabelle lives in Paris. A rebellious girl full of passions and meets a partisan, Gaetan who believes in fighting the Nazis and falls in love. However, all does not turn out the way she planned—now she must risk her life to save others.
Master storyteller, Kristin Hannah delivers an emotional, intense, and riveting tale, starting with the two sisters with vivid settings and impeccable research of the turbulent and devastating times during the war, the Germans, Nazis, and risks taken in order to survive; extraordinary courage and endurance of Frenchwomen during World War II.
Beautifully written, a heartbreaking story of two sisters during the French Resistance and their loves, family, passion, losses, and triumph over tragedy. A gem you will not want to miss!
I enjoyed reading about the inspiration behind THE NIGHTINGALE. In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are. And sometimes, perhaps, we don’t want to know what we would do to survive.In war, women’s stories are all too often forgotten or overlooked. Women tend to come home from the battlefield and say nothing and go on with their lives.
The Nightingale is a novel about those women and the daring, dangerous choices they made to save their children and their way of life.
I have read twenty-two of Kristin’s books, and an avid fan for a number of years. Fans of Diane Chamberlain, Karen White, Jane Green, and Sarah Jio will enjoy Hannah’s style; an author and book, you cannot miss - one of the top historical fiction books of the year!
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About the Author

Kristin Hannah is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 novels including Winter Garden, True Colors, and the blockbuster Firefly Lane.

Her novel Home Front has been optioned for film by 1492 Films (produced the Oscar-nominated The Help) with Chris Columbus attached direct.

Kristin’s next release is the highly anticipated The Nightingale, which will be in stores on February 3, 2015.

Kristin was born in September 1960 in Southern California and grew up at the beach, making sand castles and playing in the surf. When she was eight years old, her father drove the family to Western Washington which they called home.

After working in a trendy advertising agency, Kristin decided to go to law school. "But you're going to be a writer" are the prophetic words she would never forget from her mother. Kristin was in her third-and final-year of law school and her mom was in the hospital, facing the end of her long battle with cancer. Kristin was shocked to discover that her mother believed she would become a writer. For the next few months, they collaborated on a novel. After her mom's death, she packed up all those bits and pieces of paper and research they'd collected and put them in a box in the back of her closet. Kristin got married and continued practicing law.

Then Kristin found out she was pregnant and was on bed rest for five months. By the time she'd read every book in the house and started asking her husband for cereal boxes to read, she knew she was a goner. That's when her husband reminded her of the book she'd started with her mom. Kristin pulled out the boxes of research material, dusted them off and began writing. By the time their son was born, she'd finished a first draft and found an obsession.

The rejections came, of course, and they stung for a while, but each one really just spurred her to try harder, work more. In 1990, Kristin got "the call," and in that moment, she went from a young mother with a cooler-than-average hobby to a professional writer, and has never looked back.

In all the years between then and now, she has never lost her love of, or her enthusiasm for, telling stories. Kristin feels truly blessed to be a wife, a mother, and a writer. Her novel, Firefly Lane, became a runaway bestseller in 2009, a touchstone novel that brought women together. Website Facebook






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