Preview: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

by Heather Caliendo
The Nightingale - Book Club Chat

Released in 2015, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah hit several bestseller lists with plans for a screenplay adaptation. I’m an avid reader of all different kinds of genres but I kept putting this one off. I felt I had to be ‘ready’ for it in a sense and I am now.

I want to read this before I dive into her new one, The Great Alone.  Here’s the synopsis:

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can…completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

There’s a couple themes from The Nightingale: the strength of women and the cost of war.

This one doesn’t seem to glamorize WWII. But instead, shine the spotlight on both the women’s involvement in the war and how it impacted their lives. So many stories from WWII focus on men at the frontlines and women stories are oftentimes push aside. How many WWII books or movies fail to include any women? Too many.

Once you have finished this great read, check out my review.

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