Hello, Dear Bloggites! It’s me, again! 🙂 Today’s book review is over The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I must provide a disclaimer on this one: I am not a fan of books about war. I come from many generations of military men who have served in most of the wars and do not like to watch or read about anything in regards to it.
Now that the disclaimer is given: I loved this book!
At first I put off reading it and put it down once the author, Kristin Hannah, started going into the history of the war with Germany (side note: my father was in Germany and watched them open the Berlin wall that separated East Germany and West Germany, I was the dummkopf who left a month before it happened). Once I was able to push past the history information, I was hooked and read the book in one evening.
I was sucked in, best way to express my interest, by the different roles played by the people in times of war. The story is about two sisters, Vianne & Isabelle, who totally handle dealing with the war in complete opposite approaches: one fought the invasion and one “played nice” and followed the rules handed out by the Germans for the French citizens. Both sisters had their own demons to deal with after they lost their mother and the father removed himself from his duties leaving the sisters to raise themselves and turn into the two women you read about in the book. A big plus I will point out is the book is written in the third person, now on to my review. 🙂
This book, The Nightingale, did something to me that rarely happens: took me on an emotional roller coaster throughout the entire novel. I am not an emotional person, I have always kept my emotions in check, never giving into the whims as many do. This emotional roller coaster was brought on by two things: I was fighting a cold/flu bug and (the most important) AMAZING writing by Kristin Hannah.
I am not familiar with Kristin Hannah and her writing even though I know she has written many successful novels. This is one of the reasons I feel all avid readers should visit or join a book club in their area: to step outside their reading boxes and delve into other types of genres in the Amazing World of Books. 🙂
Kristin Hannah did a wonderful job at creating a storyline and intertwining life on a daily level during a war-torn era without focusing too much on the war aspect. The characters throughout the book were true to the nature on how they acted toward others that were not liked them: i.e. Germans versus Parisians. Some accepted the current fate during the war like Vianne did: focusing on trying to keep life as usual for her daughter and some fought the fate during the war like Isabelle: working with the rebels to fight against the German invasion in Paris.
Being a “doer” I related more with Isabelle than Vianne, but being a mother, I totally understood Vianne’s need to keep life as normal as possible. The overall meaning given throughout the book was: never give up hope and never give up on love. Each character in the storyline had their own challenges to face and overcome and the author did a wonderful job at helping you see those challenges. The book was written in such a way that even the characters you may hate were still shown as human beings doing what they had to in order to survive.
The ending was my emotional undoing because what I wanted to be true of the different key characters turned out to be true, but ended entirely different from what I wanted. Yet the end was the true way life ends up.
I give The Nightingale 5 out of 5 Bookmarks and highly recommend you, Dear Bloggites, to give it a turn.