Good morning, bibliophiles! Today, I’m going to dive right in to this latest review because it’s the day after I closed the book and I’m still absolutely stunned by what I’ve read. It’s a book I’ve had sitting on my shelf for awhile, and I’m really sad it took as long as it did to get to it! However, I’m really glad I did, and I can’t wait to tell you what I thought! The book I’m discussing is The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. It’s been on several Best Seller lists, and with good reason. You should read this review and then go pick up a copy if you haven’t already!
This was a gorgeous yet heartbreaking book. Anything else I say will not properly express my sentiments towards the power of this story. Regardless, I’ll do what I can to explain and convey my experience in the French countryside the best I can.
There’s something about World War II novels that always draw me in hook, line, and sinker. Maybe it’s so I never forget what our universe has dealt with in history, maybe it’s because the sheer terror of what happened on such a grand scale that borders on unreal when we discuss it these days, maybe it’s the tales of the survivors that make me feel empowered as a human being. Who knows, but this one had me savoring pages as if I would never read again.
My heart was in my throat for Vianne and Isabelle the entire story. Living in Nazi-occupied France was an absolute nightmare. These women would wake up each day and not know what to expect. Their tremendous will to survive and live through everything they experienced puts society today into perspective. When these women and their families had to go without things like coffee, bread, a coat, or fitted shoes, my heart shattered for them to have so little. The sacrifices they made, and how they endured for years was nothing short of unreal. The fact they could both call themselves heroes at the end of it all made it so much better and allowed me the opportunity to smile for them and what they achieved. I would go into detail about their contributions to the war efforts, but I’d honestly rather you be surprised and experience their courageous acts on your own.
The ending was powerful and tied past & present together so perfectly. I had a feeling as to who a few mystery characters were, and when their identities were revealed, I was misty-eyed. Although much of the story was sad, and to recall such a horrific time in World History, it also had its triumphant moments as well. That’s all we want in tales of darkness, to see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel and hope that it will all wind up okay.
I could not be more elated that I picked this book up in my travels. It deserves the goodreads award for a reason. Do not hesitate in giving this a read!