Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Nightingale

by Kristin Hannah

I'm rather leery when it comes to selecting books by their 5-star reviews on Amazon because I've been led astray more often than not. So I'll start by saying this time I was not disappointed! For about a year I have had friends tell me I need to read The Nightingale. Whenever I get a recommendation from a friend, I immediately add the title to my Goodreads "to-read" shelf and then I read the book jacket summary. The reason I kept delaying picking up The Nightingale was because it is a WWII story and I have read many, many of those. Since you too are likely to have read your fill of them, I want to reassure you, this one is not like all the others. It's not that I haven't liked reading about that time, or that I haven't liked many of the aforementioned books, it's just that at some point there becomes a lot of overlap. Not here.

This is the story of two sisters living in France when the Nazi's begin to take over their country. Vianne and Isabelle have never been close, and when the German's come into their small town, they take entirely different directions that lead them even farther apart. Isabelle begins working with the resistance by helping downed English and American pilots escape the country and return to business, while Vianne just doesn't want to cause a stir. Each of the sisters contends with physical hardships and emotional heartbreak and fight the enemy in their own way.

The story is well written, the characters are engaging  and mostly believable, and despite it being a rather long book, it is a fast read. While some of the actions of the characters may have been a bit too modernized, I really enjoyed this book and have pushed it on a few of my followers already--- just read it!

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