By Kristin Hannah
5 out of 5 stars
Oh my. If you are not in tears as you turn the last page, you have no soul.
Set during the Nazi occupation of France, The Nightingale follows Viann and Isabelle, two very different sisters who handle the war very differently. Viann’s husband goes off to fight and she is left at home with her young daughter. As the occupation intensifies, she finds herself housing a Nazi soldier. Isabelle, who lives with her sister for a little while (after a long time being sent from school to school) , finds herself angry and working for an underground Communist group. They butt heads but at the core, they both are sisters with so much more in common than they know. One will take downed pilots across a rough terrain to safety and the other will save Jewish children from certain death.
The book begins with an older woman receiving an invitation for a reunion of survivors who made the pass during the war. She is reaching the end of life and now with the invitation, all the memories are flooding back. Her son doesn’t even know her story.
I have had this book on my shelf for a long time. I don’t know why I haven’t picked it up until now. I always enjoy Kristin Hannah’s books but this one is very special. You have to wonder if you would have the courage that these women possess. They were fighters, in different ways but still, fighters. I cried quite a few times during the story. Like I said, if you don’t, you must have no soul. Beautifully written, heart-wrenching, sad, it’s a story that will make you cry, make you angry and ultimately make your heart feel good.
I happily received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Macmillan in exchange for an honest review.