Review- The Nightingale

The Nightingale

Goodreads Summary– Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Vianne finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.

As the war progresses, the sisters’ relationship and strength are tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.

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  1. The ending– No spoilers (obviously) but I was really impressed with how Kristin Hannah handled the end of this book.  It was touching and brought a tear to my eye.
  2. Family relationships– Families are complicated and I liked how this book handled the sister relationship between Vianne and Isabelle, as well as their relationship with their father.
  3. Female perspective of WWII–  I greatly appreciated reading from the perspective of women during the war. It was interesting to get some insight in to what women experienced during that time.

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  1. The characters–  I hate to say this but I did not connect to any of the characters.  In a book like this one I think it is so important to become attached to characters in order to become invested in what happens to them.  That just did not happen for me. They didn’t feel like real people to me- especially the sisters.
  2. The romance– I was not expecting instalove in this novel but that is what I got! They romance is not a big part of the story but I wish it was just not included at all.

I always thought it was what I wanted: to be loved and admired. Now I think perhaps I’d like to be known.

Perhaps that’s why I find myself looking backward. The past has a clarity I can no longer see in the present.

It is easy to disappear when no one is looking at you.

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It hurts me to say that I had such mixed feelings about The Nightingale because it has a 4.54 rating on goodreads and so many people love it.  I think the book had so much potential and I liked the story but it just did not live up to some of my favourite WWII fiction novels.  I actually have a blog post talking about some of my favourites. In summary, I liked it but I wish I could say I loved it.

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