The Nightingale

The Nightingale

Book - 2015
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"Viann and Isabelle have always been close despite their differences. Younger, bolder sister Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann lives a quiet and content life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. When World War II strikes and Antoine is sent off to fight, Viann and Isabelle's father sends Isabelle to help her older sister cope. As the war progresses, it's not only the sisters' relationship that is tested, but also their strength and their individual senses of right and wrong. With life as they know it changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Viann and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, [2015]
ISBN: 9780312577223
Characteristics: 440 pages ; 25 cm


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From Library Staff

Author Kristin Hannah's latest focuses on the experiences of two sisters in France during World War II, with memorable descriptions of survival in an occupied town, plus the reality of working for the Resistance and what happened to those who were caught. One sister has a child and a missing husb... Read More »

From the critics

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Oct 04, 2020

Heart wrenching story of regret, survival, resilience and sacrifice for love and humanity. Beautifully told. It’s engaging story.

Sep 12, 2020

The experiences and reactions of two very different sisters to the nazi invasion of France. One joins the resistance while the other struggles to maintain her family in the face of starvation and persecution. Heartbreaking what people endured.

Sep 11, 2020

I was really anticipating a better written book than this turned out to be especially in the wake of having gotten through a couple of books set in the same era/locale by Pam Jenoff (The Lost Girls of Paris and The Orphan's Tale) both of which I'd also found to be lacking in real verve and style. Would that The Nightingale had lived up to its glorious cover art and the promise of its storyline and setting. I hear that there is a movie due out next year based on this novel starring the Fanning sisters. It might make for better cinema. I'll give that a shot ~ fingers crossed!

Aug 16, 2020

One of the best books ever!

Aug 14, 2020

Excellent story line - keeps you engaged from beginning to end.

Aug 04, 2020

In war-torn France during WWII, two sisters with a troubled past face the consequences of living in the German-occupied country. Vianne, the eldest of the two, finds herself in an inescapable situation of danger and fear when a Nazi officer demands she allow him to lodge in her home. Soon every move of her and her daughter are being carefully watched and held against them. What makes the circumstance even dire is when Vianne’s eighteen-year-old sister, Isabelle, comes to stay. Isabelle, who believes that the Germans have no right to invade her country and take the lives of so many, joins the resistance. This book highlights the power of love and trust in such a dark period of time, as the sisters and their beliefs clash with every bit of added peril to their lives.
This book was very interesting, and while the middle section of the story sometimes felt a little slow, it still captured my attention. The ending was exciting and very emotional and did a very good job of showing the devastating results of post-war. It was fascinating to read about such opposing beliefs between Isabelle and Vianne, and since Isabelle couldn’t understand her sister’s hesitance to aid the resistance, they had to navigate their trust for each other as well. I recommend this book for ages 14 and older.

Aug 04, 2020

Such a wonderful novel! I highly recommend it! The ending was beautiful. This book is now the standard that I compare all other novels. It is perhaps the best book I've ever read.

Jul 29, 2020

I love this book. Although it got a little slow in the middle, it picked back up quickly. I found this novel to be one of my all time favorites. I was sad when it was over only because I wanted to read more!

Jul 26, 2020

This was a well written book about WWII in France. One sister lives in Paris as an undercover agent who helps to sneak American and Canadian pilots out of France, the other sister stays in the country side where a German officer is billeted at her home while her husband is taken prisoner. The book is very detailed (not too graphic) but does seem to repeat itself a lot. However, this book does seem more realistic than other books about WWII women because it doesn’t make everything end with a fairy tale happy ending. It does have a bitter/ bittersweet ending. I heard that this will become a television show and there is certainly enough in this book to do that.

Jul 21, 2020

For being a fiction story is really reads as realistic fiction or historical fiction. I love how the story weaves back and forth between the sisters to share their struggles during the war.

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Add a Quote
May 23, 2019

“Ask for help when you need it, and give help when you can.”
― Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale

May 23, 2019

“I had forgotten how gently time passes in Paris. As lively as the city is, there’s a stillness to it, a peace that lures you in. In Paris, with a glass of wine in your hand, you can just be.”
― Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale

May 23, 2019

“But love has to be stronger than hate, or there is no future for us.”
― Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale

Aug 07, 2018

“It’s better to be bold than meek...If you jump off a cliff at least you’ll fly before you fall.” - Isabelle to Sophie

Jun 25, 2018

"They couldn't touch my heart. They couldn't change who i was inside. My body... they broke that in the first days, but not my heart, V. Whatever he did it, it was to your body, and your body will heal." - Isabelle

ArapahoeChristine Apr 24, 2017

Wounds heal. Love lasts. We remain.

ArapahoeChristine Apr 22, 2017

She wouldn't have understood how dark a side of love could have, how hiding it was the kindest thing you could do sometimes.

M_ALCOTT Feb 20, 2015

"If you're going through hell, keep going."-Winston Churchill

M_ALCOTT Feb 20, 2015

"If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are."-Vianne

M_ALCOTT Feb 20, 2015

"Some stories don't have happy endings. Even love stories. Maybe especially love stories."-Micheline


Add Age Suitability
Aug 07, 2018

BudgiesNbooks thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jul 13, 2018

latwell1 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Jun 24, 2018

gac thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Mar 24, 2018

julsolmo thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

ArapahoeChristine Apr 24, 2017

ArapahoeChristine thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Aug 31, 2015

Nvfera thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


Add a Summary
SPL_Brittany Dec 12, 2016

“In love we find out who we want to be… in war we find out who we are”.

France 1939, Vianne Mauriac lives in the French countryside village of Carriveau with her husband Antoine and their young daughter Sophie. When war breaks out, Antoine is called away to the front leaving Vianne and Sophie alone and vulnerable. When a German Nazi captain billets at their house, Vianne and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money, danger escalates all around them, and she is forced to make one impossible decision after another.

Passionate, impulsive and rash, Isabelle is kicked out of yet another boarding school and flees to Paris to live with her father only to be told that she is to help Vianne in Carriveau. While Isabelle and Vianne struggle to mend their relationship, Isabelle struggles with desperately wanting to play a role in the French resistance yet knowing that in doing so puts Vianne and Sophie at risk. Throughout the war Vianne and Isabelle find their bond as well as their respective beliefs tested by a war that changes their world in horrific ways, each embarking on their own dangerous path toward survival, love and freedom in Nazi occupied war-torn France.

Kristin Hannah writes a sweeping and captivating tale of France during the Second World War shifting between the perspectives of Vianne and Isabelle. It is a novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit, and focuses on the role women played during the war. It is a novel that tests the bonds of love, family and friendship. Hannah slowly weaves her magic and by the end of the novel your emotions will be engaged and you will be captivated by her storytelling. This is a novel that will stay with you for a long after you have read it.

Jul 11, 2016

The Nightingale portrays a realistic look at German occupied France during WWII. The novel focuses on two sisters who face enormous obstacles as they live their lives as French women. One must think first of her family, provide food and shelter for them, and attempt to protect them from the savage effects of war. The other thinks first of her country, seeks to fight in any way possible, including helping downed airmen to flee France to safety. Through it all, both women become stronger through their actions and in-actions and find an appreciation/love for one another that has been missing since their youth.


Add Notices
ArapahoeChristine Apr 24, 2017

Sexual Content: Rape scene

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