Genre: Adult historical fiction- WWII
Publication Date: 2015
Page Count: 440
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Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale was a Goodreads Choice 2015 winner, and a great piece of historical fiction. I have been in the mood for historical fiction lately, and WWII is my favorite time period to read historical fiction about. I love how women come to the forefront of these stories and run the world while the men are gone. Today, I thought I would do something a little different and instead of a traditional review I would give you five reasons why you should read The Nightingale.
1. It takes place in occupied France.
I have never read a WWII novel that took place in occupied France. Plenty take place in the U.S. or England, but this was a new setting for me. I loved seeing a new view of the war. The things that went on in occupied France were horrifying, but don't seem to be recounted as much as the experiences of other countries.
2. It follows two really strong and different female protagonists.
Isabelle and Vianne are sisters who have a difficult relationship with each other. I loved both of these characters, they were both frustrating and brave in multiple ways throughout the story. I loved seeing the growth and resilience of both characters as well as seeing changes in their relationship with each other.
3. The second half is impossible to put down.
The first half of this novel does a really great job of setting up the characters, and the pacing of the novel imitates the pacing and progress of the occupation, but the second half of this novel is impossible to put down. I couldn't stop reading when the horrors started escalating. I felt that the novel was a bit rushed towards the end, but I needed to know how it ended.
4. It's an emotional roller coaster.
So much happens in this novel, just when you start to get comfortable, the Nazi's throw a wrench in the lives of the characters, This novel highlights all of the tragedies of war and hate, but is also so full of love and bravery. And the end, oh my gosh.
5. This quote:
"Men tell stories, I say... Women get on with it. For us it was a shadow war. There were no parades for us when it was over, no medals or mentions in the history books. We did what we had to during the war, and when it was over, we picked up the pieces and started our lives over."