You know that book that you purchase as soon as it comes out because you are dying to read it? You go to the bookstore, snatch it off the shelves and buckle it into your passenger seat on the way home. You head inside, you get distracted and then the book ends up on your shelf for three years? The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah, was that book for me.
I had been told I would love it. I figured that I would. However, it just never was the right time and, as I began reviewing books and accepting review copies, most of my poor bookshelf babies remained unattended.
When Chelsea, from The Suspense Is Thrilling Me, and I started brainstorming for books for our online book club, this book immediately came into discussion. We wanted something that had been widely read, so a majority of people would be able to chime into our book talk, and we wanted something that would give us a break from our regularly scheduled genres.
I knew generally speaking what to expect when I began this novel, but I couldn’t get over how diverse Hannah is as a writer. When I think of Kristin Hannah, my first thought is usually “chick lit”. This novel is so much more.
The novel opens with the introduction to sisters, Vivanne and Isabelle. Both very different, yet close, the girls are thrust together at the start of the German occupation in France during the Second World War. As the war progresses, the sisters are tested and their lives change in unbelievable and horrific ways as they find themselves in the middle of the war, the center of resistance and doing their best to survive.
From the first pages, I was absolutely captivated with the story of these two sisters. Told in alternating perspectives, the reader is given two completely different views and two completely different situations. I was completely carried away by the story and become lost in the French countryside during the WWII.
It is hard to say anything about this book that hasn’t already been said since I am truly coming late to the game but I know for sure that this book will sit with me for a long time; it was absolutely brilliant. I would highly recommend it.