The Nightingale: A Novel by Kristin HannahThe Nightingale: A Novel by Kristin Hannahsticker-burst

The Nightingale: A Novel

byKristin Hannah

Hardcover | February 3, 2015

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A #1 New York Times bestseller, Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year, and soon to be a major motion picture, this unforgettable novel of love and strength in the face of war has enthralled a generation.

France, 1939 - 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 World War II 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.

Goodreads Best Historical Novel of the Year . People's Choice Favorite Fiction Winner . #1 Indie Next Selection . A Buzzfeed and The Week Best Book of the Year

Praise for The Nightingale:

"Haunting, action-packed, and compelling." -Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Absolutely riveting!...Read this book." -Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff, Director of the University of Miami Holocaust Teacher Institute

"Beautifully written and richly evocative." -Sara Gruen, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"A hauntingly rich WWII novel about courage, brutality, love, survival-and the essence of what makes us human." -Family Circle

"A heart-pounding story." -USA Today

"An enormous story. Richly satisfying. I loved it." -Anne Rice

"A respectful and absorbing page-turner." -Kirkus Reviews

"Tender, compelling...a satisfying slice of life in Nazi-occupied France." -Jewish Book Council

"Expect to devour The Nightingale in as few sittings as possible; the high-stakes plot and lovable characters won't allow any rest until all of their fates are known." -Shelf Awareness

"I loved The Nightingale." -Lisa See, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Powerful...an unforgettable portrait of love and war." -People

Kristin Hannah is the New York Times bestselling author of novels including Night Road, Firefly Lane, True Colors and Winter Garden. She was born in Southern California and moved to Western Washington when she was eight. A former lawyer, Hannah started writing when she was pregnant and on bed rest for five months. Writing soon became a...
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Title:The Nightingale: A NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:448 pages, 9.43 × 6.31 × 1.42 inPublished:February 3, 2015Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0312577222

ISBN - 13:9780312577223

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Customer Reviews of The Nightingale: A Novel

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty Good The Nightingale was a pretty good book. I liked the different approach to this period in time, instead of the typically written stories of the male-war-hero and damsel-waiting-for-war-hero-return. Very empowering and emotional, some strong female characters.
Date published: 2017-08-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Didn't finish I didn't finish the book and this should be kept in mind when reading my review. I feel like it had a lot of potential but Hannah spent too much time describing tiny external details such as the food they were eating or the flowers in their garden. Personally I prefer plot and character driven stories to descriptions so it wasn't the book for me
Date published: 2017-07-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Breathtaking It is so refreshing to read about the woman's perspective during a WWII historical fiction. This novel made me smile, gasp and it definitely made me cry. The ending was perfect.
Date published: 2017-06-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great book Interesting and yet sad at the same time
Date published: 2017-06-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I really loved this novel! This novel was beautifully written. It described events in such a detailed and intricate way. Highly recommend this book.
Date published: 2017-06-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Incredible story, amazing character development, emotional. At points I found myself with tears in my eyes. A really powerful read, especially about the strength of women.
Date published: 2017-06-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Nightingale I really enjoyed reading this book. I was swept into it from the first page and found it hard to set the book down to eat or use the bathroom. It is that great of an emotionally well written story. I found that I could relate on a level with the sisters, Vianne and Isabelle and their relationship because I have a sister. I found myself asking what would I do in their shoes and I am kind of glad that I do not need to find out. Grab a copy and read this story for yourself, you won't be disappointed. Just make sure you have a kleenex on hand to capture that tear or two that escapes. I received this book for free from SheSpeaks and I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
Date published: 2017-05-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Its a completely different story than most of these novels out there. So entertaining. I could not put the book down. Def a good purchase!
Date published: 2017-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 5 stars not enough! Kristin Hannah really outdid herself this time. Her books about relationships between sisters, mothers and daughters are so good. This particular one with the sisters both doing good for the war in their own rebellious ways shows great strength of our women in the 30-40s. Nightingale was a profound and important story that needs to be shared, I think it should be in High school curriculums. Well Done Ms. Hannah
Date published: 2017-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Slow start but great once I got into it.
Date published: 2017-04-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must Read A must have book for anyone's library collection.
Date published: 2017-04-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly recommended!!! I absolutely loved this book. It is very well written, the story is well developed as are the characters. I have never been so moved by a book as this one, moved to tears at many occasions but mostly at the end. Kristin Hannah is a masterful storyteller, she weaved a beautiful story that stays with you long after you have closed to cover. Makes you think, not only about the characters that you have grown to know well but about the atrocities that happened during WW2 and how humans, very easily could turn into such being who inflict unimaginable cruelty. Bottom line, highly recommend this book but get your tissues ready!
Date published: 2017-04-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must read! Wonderful characters and insight into war history
Date published: 2017-04-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING!! Such a good book throughout. I LOVED it. The ending made me cry. Such a beautiful book about such a terrible moment in history. Such a strong love story but with such strong heroines throughout. An interesting take on different players in the war.
Date published: 2017-04-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Book In A Long Time. Please Read It. If I could give 6 stars to this book I would. Very well written, touching and thoughtful. The author deserves all the credit she's due for a novel that keeps you guessing to the end and brings a tear to your eye when you're finished. Really goes in depth on a subject you don't hear about often enough. Thank you, Ms. Hannah.
Date published: 2017-04-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from OMG LOVED IT This book was absolutely amazing! couldnt put it down
Date published: 2017-04-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favorite book I loved this book from the first paragraph to the last. I loved the setting the story took place in and the characters strength and courage. I will read this book again and again.
Date published: 2017-03-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read! So beautifully written. Could not put it down!
Date published: 2017-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from beautiful! In love we find out who we want to be. In war we find out who we are. Although I don't really read historical fiction which involves World War, but there was something about this book that hooked from the beginning. Kristin Hannah is a wonderful author. Her narration kept me awake for nights, reading the book, tapping my e-reader for the next chapter. I live in a time where I have no idea what does "freedom" mean because it is something I had not desired. In this time, we are all born in "free" countries and can never realize what people went through during the war. Though, it is a work of fiction but I'm sure there would be many Isabelle and Vianne who dreaded everyday but still fought for their family's future. This is a story of sisterhood, love, sacrifice and still shining after all the hardship. Definitive 5-star!
Date published: 2017-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book I loved how this book flowed and even though it had multiple story lines they were easy to follow.
Date published: 2017-03-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not worth the time I'm in the minority in my low review, but I honestly couldn't stand this book. I was so excited to read this but I was disappointed with the characters and just the story in general was just lacking.
Date published: 2017-03-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic novel This is probably one of my favourite books of all time. Highly intriguing and hooks you at the beginning. I would recommend this to anyone, but especially someone with a sister. Fantastic read
Date published: 2017-03-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just average This was an average story, not sure what all the hype was about.
Date published: 2017-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book. Well written, descriptive. Flows.
Date published: 2017-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must Read Such an uplifting story. I was so impressed with how perfect this book really was. It's a great addition to my collection of books.
Date published: 2017-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book One of the best books I've ever read. The Nightingale herself is one of my all time favorite heroines.
Date published: 2017-03-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down After finishing this book I wanted to forget about, only to be able to re-experience it all over again.I found the story of the two sisters and how they each played there part incredibly touching.
Date published: 2017-03-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book Tough story of the unsung heroes of WW2
Date published: 2017-03-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Riveting and emotional read This book was just too good to put down. This was such an emotional book that made me cry a few times, especially at the end. Such a powerful and riveting story, where the characters drew me in right from the star. It really defines the power of family, even in the roughest of times. It really brought me into the world of these two amazingly brave women.
Date published: 2017-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read I got this book as a Christmas present and loved it. It was a pleasant surprise.
Date published: 2017-03-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect story This was such a wonderful book. The Nightingale tells the story of two sisters trying to survive in a war-torn France. The juxtaposition between their lives makes the story that much sweeter when they both find themselves war heroes under very different circumstances. This is a tale of loss, fear, bravery and most of all, love.
Date published: 2017-02-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful A story meant to be told, humanizing history. Well done !
Date published: 2017-02-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Made me cry, it was so good I was literally sobbing after finishing this book. The characters are so well developed that I formed a connection with the main characters and the feelings!! OMG! You need to read this one.
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly a Favourite! I could not put this book down! It has been one of my most favourite reads to date, thank you Kristen for creating this story! The story enfolds you into the lives of the characters in a way you can only hope for when reading a novel. This is a must read!!
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best book I read in 2015 I finally got my hands on this book and wow...just wow. This captivated me from the first page and kept me up way past my bedtime. READ THIS if you haven't already!
Date published: 2017-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of My Top 5 This book is one of my top five favorites of all time. It was historically accurate, emotional and difficult to put down. It is a novel I would love to read with an older class of students, as it demonstrates a more real and raw portrait of what it was like living in occupied areas during the war. LOVE IT!
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Eye opening A very readable look into the conditions of women in war-torn France, the resistance and the everyday life. I love the juxtaposition of 2 sisters, so completely at odds with their views on how to move forward.
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beatutiful Story I often recommend this novel; it's a great story and written beautifully.
Date published: 2017-02-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!! This book keeps you interested right from the first few pages all the way until the end! It really gives you some history on how bad things were in france during the war and how naiive some of the people there were about the Nazis. It was absolutely amazing!
Date published: 2017-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Liked it It was an entertaining and informative read. It has sparked my interest and I will be following this.
Date published: 2017-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It!! Is was so different from Kristin Hannah's usual stories but I feel it was her best. It's an amazing read and you won't want to put it down.
Date published: 2017-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An enjoyable history lesson "If you're going through hell, keep going". Winston Churchill's quote pretty much sums up this book. Wow. It's midnight and I just finished The Nightingale in 2 days. This is my first Kristin Hannah book and I am now a devoted fan. This story is incredibly moving and inspiring. I have read many Holocaust stories, fiction and non-, and have enjoyed them (if one can really enjoy a Holocaust story); however, I have never read a story from the perspective of occupied France and the way the war ravaged this country. Nor was I aware of how many downed RAF pilots were rescued by common citizens who rose up with the courage to resist...an evil regime. This story was extremely humbling for me. I highly recommend it.
Date published: 2017-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from SO good! I absolutely loved every second of this book. You feel like these characters could be your own family. The women in the story are so strong and make you feel like you are part of their world. Really love the perspective and the whole story. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Liked it This is a good war story about two sisters and the choices they have to make.
Date published: 2017-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A favourite The book was in dual perspectives between 2 sisters; Vianne and Isabelle. I believe there was an age gap between the two of 7 years which made things a bit rough between them. Vianne was all about family and protecting her children and her home whereas Isabelle wanted and needed to do something to make a difference in this war. Each of the sisters went through their own hardships throughout and sometimes their paths crossed throughout the years of France being occupied by the Nazis. A few chapters also take place in 1995 and you don’t find out until the end which sister it is. I was surprised when it was revealed! I really liked the romance between Isabelle and Geitan. It was realistic for the times and their realities. Isabelle’s story is very inspirational and makes you want to go out and do something and change something. It makes me wonder if her storyline was based off of someone in particular or if it was pure imagination. I also really liked the relationship that was building between Vianne and Beck even though it would’ve been very wrong, I don’t know if that’s the right word for it. She was very lucky to have him as her billet at her place during the rough times. I didn’t find that the book dragged at any point. Each chapter kept me wanted to go on and find out what happens to either of the sisters. World War II historical fiction is one of my favourite genres to read and this setting was different than the others I have read. I love the different takes on countries affected by the war. It’s different each time.
Date published: 2017-01-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read this book I was blown away by this book. It nearly brought me to tears, I was so moved by it.
Date published: 2017-01-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting read This book opened my eyes to what Nazi occupied France was really like. Definitely recommend this book. Kept me interested from beginning to end.
Date published: 2017-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This is such a wise tale. Kristin Hannah is adult-historical fiction's most fabulous writer. Her words are dramatic, especially perfect for the genre that we find Isabelle and Vianne in—perfect for this world setting that many have experienced in other books. This is fiction, but many stories like this must have happened, which causes me to believe and imagine a real nightingale like Isabelle somewhere out there. The Nightingale was highly recommended to me by a friend who is obsessed with WWII/Holocaust tales, and I was hesitant, because I find that many of these stories could compare to each other and turn out the same. This, this wonderful piece of literature by Kristin Hannah, was truly out of the ordinary. One of the first traits I seek in a historical fiction novel is uniqueness, diversity. World War II tales usually follow the same kind of format: a boy/girl is surrounded by a new world, a society that does not seem like an ordinary society in their European country that has been captured by war, and they may or may not fall in love and things somewhat go their way alongside the fear of being killed or being caught as different. Kristin Hannah takes this in an Anne Frank kind of direction; Hannah forms a story that has to do with multiple themes, all captured together to redesign a story that has not been quite yet found of in the past. "We are all fragile, Isabelle. It's the thing we learn in war." Kristin Hannah begins the story with past and present flashbacks to Isabelle's life. Honestly, the story is mostly surrounded by her, but we are introduced to secondary/partially main characters who make a difference in this protagonist's life, and whose message I still remember, weeks after I actually read it. Readers get to know Isabelle, who is a young and reckless teenager living in France during the time of the Second World War. She is surrounded by endless possibilities, some including forbidden love and taking risks. When she decides to join the Resistance, her life as she once knew it changes completely. She is brought into the life of her abandoning father, who has never showed a speck of love to her or her sister, Vianne. The summary is awfully correct: this is a story of love, friendship, courage. I am unable to forget any details of the novel—it seemed so real as if I could read Isabelle's story off the news or in a biography. Kristin gave in all of the details to make this the best WWII experience I have had in a long time. (I am pretty judgemental about historical fiction, so you should believe me on this one). I absolutely adored this one. I seriously need more of Hannah's writing in my life to keep me sane, you know? The romance between Gäetan and Isabelle was... extraordinary. I, as well as other lovely readers, were put in the place of reading about the struggling life of a girl who has to deal with not knowing. Not knowing about where her love is, whether their love will survive or not... it is practically endless. The possibilities are, where readers are instantly captivated with Isabelle's story and the action that arrises, leaving me not knowing what to do. After I finished reading, I sat there clueless, as if I never read a book before. The events are still plummeting my head, and I am just so in love with this book.
Date published: 2017-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A tale from a new perspective. I make a point to read many books regarding war and Jewish heritage. I feel strongly connected to my families history. That being said, when I found that this book was from the point of Women in France during occupation, I found it to be a refreshing point of view. Not only do you follow two sisters driven by the urge to do the right thing and to find their place in the war, you follow two sisters who both make mistakes, who falter and stumble, but who also find strength they need to get through the darkest of times.This book was incredibly moving, and I loved and hated many of the characters. It evoked uncomfortable feelings of sympathy where I didn't think I'd have any, feelings of sadness, happiness and hope. It was beautifully and tactfully handled. I highly suggest this novel.
Date published: 2017-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Definitley Recommend! 5++++ This was such a good read even though it was heartbreaking.
Date published: 2017-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating story This book was simply beautiful. It was so well written and the story was one of the best I've ever read. I loved it!
Date published: 2017-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! I loved this book. One of the few that has actually made me cry though. I enjoyed how history was intertwined with fiction. It is about family, love and the need to survive. It has the right amount of romance and suspense thrown in too.
Date published: 2017-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such a good book Heartbreaking, compelling, interesting. It was one of those books I was really sorry to have to say goodbye to!
Date published: 2017-01-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Tour de force A super historical account of warn-torn France. I loved the polar opposite sisters, they play well off each other.
Date published: 2017-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Left me speechless This book captivated me from the very beginning. The two story of the two sisters and their different, yet similar views on the war is exceptional. After finishing the book I wanted to forget it just to be able to reread it and and experience it all over again.
Date published: 2017-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gut Wrenching yet beautiful This one really surprised me. I have never read of the war in the perspectives written. To read of the emotions of each person, those against the war, those with Hitler and those that did it because they were afraid and just doing what was expected. Amazing...
Date published: 2017-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great book A great historical fiction book that I could not put down.
Date published: 2017-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book This was one of those books that really draws you in to the world and lives of the characters. I didn't want it to end!
Date published: 2017-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED IT!! I've been very into historical fiction lately - especially set during ww2, and this book was perfect. I love reading from the perspective of women during wartime, because more often than not, their stories are often forgotten about. Vianne and Isabelle are two sisters with two completely different ways of coping in this disaturous war. This story is beautiful as it is heartbreaking. Everything about it I loved. Kristin Hannah does a wonderful job providing accurate details, while painting a heartbreaking image of what life was life 75 years ago in Europe.
Date published: 2017-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great read AMAZING read! a real book you wont be able to put down
Date published: 2017-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely incredible I honestly think this is the most heartbreakingly beautiful books I've ever had the pleasure of reading.
Date published: 2017-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring Another Kristen Hannah books that I couldn't put down. After I read it, my husband picked it up and couldn't put it down either. The hardships the people endured and the personal sacrifices were just heart wrenching. This book will stay with you.
Date published: 2017-01-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great beautifully written and incredible story. Great insight from the perspective of women during this time, and found myself really rooting for the characters. Hard to put down
Date published: 2017-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I became obsessed with this book and could not put it down! The characters became so real, and I appreciated the accuracy of historical timelines. Highly recommend!
Date published: 2017-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from quite possibly my favourite book WOW. What an amazing novel. It is very interesting to hear about wartime from the women's perspectives.
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW A coming of self story that transcends the ages. I cried, panicked and laughed all throughout this book, and felt the protagonists strength and determination fly off every page. This is a story that should be shouted from the rooftops - or that at least every teenage girl and woman should read.
Date published: 2016-12-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best books ever This is one of the best books I have ever read. Beautifully written, and an incredible story.
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Made me cry Of course it made me cry, it's a book about the second world war and the holocaust. It shows the stresses of war and the tolls it can take on it - amazing read, well worth picking up.
Date published: 2016-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So Good! Really really good. The characters were well developed and easy to relate to. The plot was interesting and unpredictable.
Date published: 2016-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favorite books of this year It's hard to read because the characters become so real that you feel for the struggles they had to endure. Love this book; beginning to end.
Date published: 2016-12-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down! I bought this book, started reading on a Monday night and was finished by Thursday. I really enjoyed it and I liked reading a book about WW2 that was not focused on Germany, it was interesting to see how the war affected other countries. And I'm usually not even interested in war books!
Date published: 2016-12-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good but not great Good but not a great book. I found myself enjoying the story of one of the main character much more than the other one.
Date published: 2016-12-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from her best yet I thought this was her best book yet!
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic!! I was drawn into the story from the beginning and couldn't put it down. Such a fantastically well written work of historical fiction!
Date published: 2016-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! This was such a wonderful book. The Nightingale tells the story of two sisters trying to survive in a war-torn France. The juxtaposition between their lives makes the story that much sweeter when they both find themselves war heroes under very different circumstances. This is a tale of loss, fear, bravery and most of all, love.
Date published: 2016-12-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This story is just stunning and so well written. Definitely one of my favourite books of all time. I couldn't stop thinking about it for the longest time after I finished it.
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read Amazing read. Such a story of strength and courage beyond anything I've ever imagined. Emotionally provocative read for me personally.... Highly recommended!
Date published: 2016-11-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing What a great book. I have read a lot of WWII stories and after a while they all start to feel the same. This one was amazing. I could not put it down. I loved that is was written about the women in the war and what they did and had to endure. It was definitely at worth the read
Date published: 2016-11-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Phenomenal! One of the best books I have ever read! It helps to have an interest in World War II. I like that it viewed the War from a female perspective. I think this book should be on every high school/first-year university reading list. I look forward to reading more books by Hannah!
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good book! Entertaining book that held my attention, and stayed with me for a while, but ultimately I won't reread it. It was emotional, moving, and well written, but idk, something is missing that I can't describe. Still worth a read though!
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best! I have read many books, but this one is definitely on the top of my list! The story was incredible, and the writing ideal; I was able to put myself directly into the scene! #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant historical fiction This is quite possibly my favourite historical fiction novel of all time. At first I wasn't into it. I almost gave up, to be honest. I was neither invested in the characters nor in the story. I don't remember the exact moment that changed, but this book completely opened up the historical fiction genre to me. The ending gave me one hell of a wicked book hangover. This is an incredible story about two sisters, both equally brave and equally strong in very different ways. They couldn't be more different from each other. They are barely sisters, let alone friends. But their stories of strength and courage and suffering weave together as you unravel their past. The Nightingale takes place in France during WWII. This is a side to Nazi Occupied Europe that is not so commonly seen in English language literature. I cannot recommend this book enough.
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Moving read I really enjoyed this book. It was so well written, interesting characters,vivid descriptions and I found it to be really moving and sad.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Book of the year! Most definitely the best book I've read all year. Emotional, brave, vivid and well written.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hannah's Best This is one of the best books of the year. it is one of my go-to recommendations for friends. So sad, I cried so much. But really wonderful.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Loved this book. Would hight recommend it.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Book! I have read a few books from Kristen Hannah and loved them... but this one tops my list for favorite of all time! Beautiful and captivating, this book tells the story of two estranged sisters during WWII. I spent the last few chapters just bawling my eyes out. Kristen pulled the ending together perfectly. I will not write any spoilers, but please pick up this book... It is truly a beautiful read!
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Could not stop crying! A really good book, with great and strong characters. A page turner...I could not put it down. I would not recommend reading in public as each chapter is a tearjerker. The ending did take me for surprise . Heather did it again with her picks!
Date published: 2016-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A powerful account of the world's history from the tale of two sisters Now that I have stopped crying, I can write my review. In the beginning the story may have moved slowly, which may turn off some readers initially, but the deeper I read the more I became invested, while at the same time knowing what was to come. We all know the history here. When you start seeing the words pop up about lists, yellow stars on sweaters, round ups, Vel d'Hiv, etc you know what is about to happen to these characters you love and there's nothing you can do about it. But the end of war is not the end of pain and suffering for those who "made it". Now, with all things happening in the world today, more than ever these words got me: "But love has to be stronger than hate, or there is no future for us."
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book The story gives a very detailed account of a woman living in France during WW2 and it provided a unexpected insight of that time time period in France. I really like this book and definitely recommend it.
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Read A great story and well written. I hope they make a movie of this one. Strong female characters during this time FTW!!!
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book It starts off a little slow, but after a while I had a hard time putting it down. Tugs on the heartstrings, that's for sure.
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favorite books. I recommend this book to everyone you asks me for a recommendation. It is in my top 3 of books I've read. Would recommend it to anyone who loves reading especially about WW2. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really enjoyed this one! Even though I read this while I was really busy, couldn't put it down. The story is engaging, and the writing is easy to read. Interesting period of time to learn about, although I am not sure about how accurate the history is. Would be interested to know more about that. Either way good story.
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Top of the Top This is definitely one of my favorite books! The author tells us the story in just enough detail for us to be able to put together an entire image of what is happening. Although some parts are harsh, it's so important to realize that this is how life looked for one during that time. Because of this book, I've now invested in other works by the author!
Date published: 2016-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning The best book I read in 2015 and possibly the best book I've ever read. Truly a must-read for everyone, particularly those with a penchant for historical fiction. I cannot speak highly enough of this book. Any review would not do it justice. Strongly, strongly, recommend! #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from You Needed to Read This Yesterday I'm in love with this book! It was such a beautiful and moving story. I have read little like it. I laughed and cried, and couldn't let go of the characters. Simply breathtaking.
Date published: 2016-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Powerful Read This was honestly one of the best books I have ever read in my life. Do I base a lot of my ratings on how hard a book makes me cry? Yes. Did this book turn me into an emotional wreck? YES. It's such a powerful novel that teaches you so much and I can't recommend it enough.
Date published: 2016-11-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Better Then I Was Expecting It started off a little slow, but once it got going I couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2016-05-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sorry it's done. I borrowed this book from a friend, I was hooked from the beginning and I couldn't wait to read it every evening. Absolutely loved it! I'm sorry it's done. It's going to be hard to get into another good read.
Date published: 2016-05-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Read I truly enjoyed reading this book as it carried the reader through various stages of the characters' lives and traumatic events. The main characters are extremely strong women devoted to making their mark under the unfortunate circumstances they found themselves in. The description of the characters and their development was excellent, as well as the description of the times they had to endure. The author really made me feel as if I was living through the era being written about (World War II) and made me continuously empathize with the characters, hoping the next scene/chapter/day would turn out well for them. I didn't want to put the book down once I started reading, and when I had to, I looked forward to picking it up again each time. I am curious to know whether this author's other books are as good. I may have to try another one to see for myself.
Date published: 2016-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I could not stop crying.... This was such a great read and I could not put the book down. I highly recommend this book and loved how the main characters were woman who stopped at nothing to protect their families and friends.
Date published: 2016-04-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Loved this book The entire book was captivating. I was on the edge of my seat reading this. I love all of her books, but this one was unlike any other I've read of hers.
Date published: 2016-03-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Must-Read! Definitely one of the best books I've ever read! Captivating, emotional, and moving. You won't be able to put it down!
Date published: 2016-02-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Past is present Kristin Hannah has artistically brought the horrors of Second World War France and the Nazi occupation to life with her beautiful prose and realistic caricature of human moral strength in the face of unspeakable horror. The story's protagonist, code named 'The Nightingale,' serves as a model of the thousands of nightingales who resisted the evil of Nazi philosophy and aggression at great personal risk and loss. The reader is made aware of the great sacrifices made, the families torn apart, the senseless and often cruel loss of so many lives. In the end there is victory and redemption, but so too the scars born by those who survived. This is a must read book. The story is compelling and hooks the reader from the opening paragraph. One forgets that this is fiction because at the end one realizes that the events are real, they happened over and over again. This novel compels one not only to remember but to make sure such depravity never happens again. Though there is much good at the novel's end, there is a great sadness over the loss of so much more that was good.
Date published: 2016-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent! Wonderful read!
Date published: 2016-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! Wow. What an eloquently written novel. The story was compelling and I read the last chapter through tears. Very moving.
Date published: 2016-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW! This book was captivating, well written and just absolutely AMAZING! I haven't read a book like this in years.
Date published: 2016-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This is one of my favourite book of all times. A portrayal of the sacrifices women made during the war. It was heartbreaking and powerful.
Date published: 2016-01-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from children's book the plot is cliche. it's boring and not creative at all. no imagination whatsoever. the most distracting thing is that the wlaking speed of the characters are 10 times faster than reality. and they think like a 10 years old child. this is bedtime readings for your children.
Date published: 2016-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic I really enjoyed this book. Engaging and I was very sorry to have finished it so quickly. Highly recommend!
Date published: 2016-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Devastatingly Beautiful Gut wrenching, honest story and portrayal of the lives loved and lost during the war. Thought provoking, richly written and haunting.
Date published: 2015-12-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book. My husband and I both read this book and loved it.
Date published: 2015-12-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant! After reading Winter Garden I definitely wanted to give this a go and so glad I did. Brilliant book! Get the tissues out :)
Date published: 2015-10-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful One of the best books I've read in a very long time. Beautiful story. A real page turner. Sorry it ended.
Date published: 2015-10-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Read There are only a few books that have made me feel thankful for the privileges that I have, but THE NIGHTINGALE most certainly made me feel that way. I am so thankful that my bookclub selected this title. If you want a read that will make you realize the sacrifices that some did during the second world war, pick up this book. You'll love every page.
Date published: 2015-10-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Vivid and Heartbreaking I loved this book. If you love a great historical (and accurate) read, this is for you. The author does a great job of building amazing characters and tells a very accurate story of what the people of France experienced during WWII. I couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2015-10-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Draws you in This is one of those novels that pulls you into the pages and you find yourself feeling you are part of the story. Be sure to have a tissue on hand, or you will find yourself wiping your nose on your sleeve!
Date published: 2015-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing A vivid depiction of history that stays with you long after the last page. Kristin Hannah builds a world and shapes characters that become part of you.
Date published: 2015-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Have the hankies ready! Be prepared to weep when you read this book. What these women went through, what they suffered, what they saw. The brutality of it all and the unfairness of their situation – grabs you by the throat and never lets you go. What the novel excels at is the stark portrayal of the decisions these women faced on a daily basis. Imagine having a Nazi soldier take over your home? Your children starving because of the rations, the inability to do and go where you want? The fear and the not knowing.. The Nazis do everything to break the spirit of the French people and the death camps are in full operation…These scenes are amongst the most heartbreaking I’ve ever read. The relationship between the two sisters changes throughout the novel and the story of each one – how they came to be where they are and how they deal with their ‘ lot’ in life was fascinating and so well written. Decisions in wartime are unlike any other and these two very different personalities really gave a full and heartbreaking picture. I can not recommend this book enough – for the sheer scope and heart wrenching pull of the story. You are right in Vianne’s house and alongside Isabelle every step of the way and it’s a poignant and emotional journey. The strength of these characters – of women in wartime as a whole – is a remarkable angle from which to write a novel. This book pays homage to them and then some. Vianne and Isabelle show unbelievable strength and courage. Stunning and whole heartedly recommended. Tissues should come with each copy however to save the pages getting a soaking. And when you read the book you’ll know – The Nightingale has definitely sung.
Date published: 2015-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! Highly recommended, would suggest this book to anyone. Very touching story and couldn't put the book down.
Date published: 2015-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beutifully written. You will feel as though thcharcters are your neighbors or close friends. You will hope for them. You will wish for them. You will cry for them.
Date published: 2015-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Nightingale I loved this book right away there was so much Feeling I really felt like I was living this war I have herd story,s about the occupation of France this book brought it to life. I think everyone should read this book so we never Forget how ugly war is people should know there History. The old saying what does not kill you make,s you Stronger. The end of the book was bitter sweet.
Date published: 2015-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unforgettable! I could not put this book down it was so beautifully written and captivating. The story was incredible!
Date published: 2015-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Nightingale Couldn't put it down! It had so many twists and turns that it held your attention and kept you guessing!
Date published: 2015-09-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Nightingale One of the best books I have read in a long time. I couldn't put it down. The characters were awesome and the story set during World War 2 were very detailed.
Date published: 2015-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible!! This book brought forth so much emotion. It was a beautiful story and I recommend Kleenex while reading.
Date published: 2015-08-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing story! I have read a number of Kristen Hannah's books and again she has not let me down as a loyal reader. This novel haunted me while I was reading it. It made me cry, made me angry but in the end made me see the strength of the human spirit especially women during an awful time in history. The author's writing style, story and character development kept me riveted while reading the book. What a tribute to the women who helped so many during the Nazi Occupation and brutality.
Date published: 2015-08-15
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not Literature I was excited to read this after seeing the positive reviews, and it is on Heather's list which was supportive. I expected a literary historical fiction but I found the writing unimaginative and it felt amateur along the same lines of a romance novel. It doesn't hold a candle to the All the Lights We Cannot See. An easy, but frustrating read in my opinion.
Date published: 2015-08-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superior Fantastic read! great narration and historic details. So much suffering and love for France. You can feel for the characters, their love, passion, suffering and so much will to survive.
Date published: 2015-08-03
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Awful I read the reviews on this book and was keen to read it. I don't understand the hype nor the positive reviews on it
Date published: 2015-07-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The nightingale Well written, excellent story. Highly recommended I found it to be a very easy read. The best story I have read
Date published: 2015-07-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book My son, his wife and children gave me this book as a Mother's Day present. I am definitely addicted to reading and The Nightingale was a book that I highly recommend. If you like stories that took place during the war years, this book is for you. I could hardly put it down. I love Kristin Hannah's writing.
Date published: 2015-07-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Poignant Great story with well developed characters beautifully told. I haven't been so affected by a book in a long time. Loved it.
Date published: 2015-07-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Had a Hard Time Putting this one Down I really enjoyed this book. It was very well written. Can't wait to read more by this authori.
Date published: 2015-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Pulled my heart right out of my body. One of the best novels I have read in a long time. I read all the time but for some reason this book makes you look at life in a very different way. This story makes you realize that life is precious and family is valuable even if it takes a while to realize it. For some it is to late and for others you still have a chance to make a difference. You will have trouble putting the book down. Magnificent writing!!
Date published: 2015-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nightingale What a wonderful read. Almost from the first page I was hooked all wanted to do was be in this story. I cried, I really got emotionally involved. Thanks for this wonderful story.
Date published: 2015-07-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book! At first I thought the writing was annoying but I began to immerse myself into the characters and I began to sink into the stories the author was telling. I loved the book, I think I shed a tiny tear or two towards the end and I would recommend this as a great summer read!
Date published: 2015-07-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent book This book was excellent! I could not put it down and it took me 2 days to read. The courage these women have is amazing.
Date published: 2015-06-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read I can not put this book down. Very interesting, humane. I wonder why women in war were not given due recognition as men? This book tells us that women are as brave as men in times of despair and war, at all times
Date published: 2015-06-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I loved every part of this book. I finished it in two weeks! Definitely a tear jerker.
Date published: 2015-06-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nightingale It is one of my favorite books to-date. It was extremely well written and I had a very hard time putting it down. I fell in love with the sisters. I knew about the terrible things done to the Jewish people but the book brought it alive. r
Date published: 2015-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous The Nightingale is absolutely one of my all time favouite books. I would describe it as an opus. Of course, Kristen Hannah is a great writer and her stories are always enjoyable but, with The Nightingale, she has truly outdone herself. It would have been so easy for this story to become formulaic or trite but the author managed to avoid all pitfalls and tell a meaningful, powerful story. I loved that there were good and bad characters on both sides. I loved that, as in war, no one was necessarily 'safe'. I loved that the story was told as a flashback but the reader wasn't dragged back and forth through time chapter by chapter. About half way through the book, I realized I was making assumptions about the narrator that may or may not be true and this added another dimension to an already engaging novel. It is a story that will stay with me, filled with characters that now have place in my heart. I only hope the movie does it justice.
Date published: 2015-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The nightingale What a wonderful story! I couldn't put the book away. I loved both vivain and isobelle. Their strength of character and courage is an inspiration. Love is such an amazing emotion. Hurrah for author I am anxious to read another book by her.
Date published: 2015-06-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Fabulous Read What a great book!!! This is a book you certainly think about after the read!
Date published: 2015-05-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible, simply put An amazing read! Beautiful, strong, emotional ride. As others have said the best read in a long time.
Date published: 2015-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous! A Must Read!! I loved this book. I could not put it down. The type of book you find yourself thinking about throughout the day. It is beautifully written. Have Klennex close by!
Date published: 2015-05-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from beautifully and passionately written I cannot contain my self from recommending this book, to everyone I know. The French Resistance was an important part of the Second World War. Much of the fight was left up to the women and the 2 main characters in this book portray strong yet vulnerable people.They prove against all odds there is a strength within.
Date published: 2015-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Nightingale Loved the book recommend you read it had trouble putting it down will read other books from this author
Date published: 2015-05-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Nightingale Very good book. Good to read two perspectives and ways to look at and survive a horrific time. Although it was heartbreaking it was not too much - which can be hard to do for such a heavy subiect. Very much enjoyed it!
Date published: 2015-05-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Could not put this book down This is the best book I have read in a long time. It pulls at every human emotion throughout the story. There's nothing else to say - READ THIS BOOK! :)
Date published: 2015-04-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best book I have read in along time ! I have read just about all of Kristin Hannah's books as she is a great writer but This is the best book yet !! Could not put this book down .. every chapter kept you wanting more !! This is an excellent read !!:)
Date published: 2015-04-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nightengail The very best I have read for a very long time Soon very moving heartache and sorrow tears were a plenty
Date published: 2015-04-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An extraordinary book! How to describe a book that is unforgettable; well unforgettable, but this book is also so much more. It is a heartbreaking, mesmerizing, haunting & uplifting tale. The story is a fictionalized account of a French family during WWII and its aftermath as told from the perspective of two very different sisters. It is a family that has already been affected by tragedy & the First World War. What happens when they become embroiled in Nazi occupied France? The story show us their struggles, their fears, their loves and the horrors of war & the lengths that a person will go to in order to survive. We learn that no one really knows everything about another person, even when that person is a loved one. Everyone has their own story to tell. Sometimes the book was one I couldn't put down. At other times I had to take a break from the story - not because I didn't find the book enthralling but because it was. It was too real, too sad and too scary; all at the same time. The writing is exceptional & the characters come to life on the page -- they will live on in my heart & memory for a long time. Not only does the author capture the horror of war but also the courage and bravery of anyone who tries to right a wrong or offer help. Resistance is frightening but also empowering & beautiful. This is an excellent book that I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys historical fiction but also to anyone who wants to learn more about the human spirit. A beautifully written & a hauntingly poignant tale.
Date published: 2015-04-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must read What an amazing book. Such an important piece of history to be told.these characters make our hearts soar and break all at the same time. I cried at the end of this both for the characters fate and also the end of this incredible story.
Date published: 2015-04-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best book I've read in the past 12-months Great insight into how people lived under fear of the Nazi's during WWII. At the end of the book I just sat there and though about how lucky we are to have born after this terrible chapter in world history.
Date published: 2015-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So moving, so captivating! This story taught me more about WW2 than I ever knew. My grandfather was a British soldier & did not discuss the war - for obvious reasons - but after reading this it makes me understand and appreciate to a much higher level why he didn't discuss it (there was too much to say, and so much to forget). The dynamics in the relationships between sisters, parents, friends, strangers, was captivating. Truly a page-turner! I think women - and men - of all ages should read this book, and pass on to the next generation, and the next generation, and the next....so we don't forget these stories. Yes it is "fiction" but it is not - really - it's a glimpse into our past and the truth - and to remind us to always keep HOPE.
Date published: 2015-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful! The style of writing reminded me of Life After Life (Kate Atkinson), which is one of my favourite books of all time. Even though it's fiction, it still takes you back to a time you cannot believe ever was able to exist; makes you hug your kids tighter every night, and makes you thankful for every bite of food and warm bed. I was in tears many times and didn't want it to end.
Date published: 2015-03-24

Read from the Book

ONEApril 9, 1995The Oregon CoastIf 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. Today’syoung people want to know everything about everyone. They think talkingabout a problem will solve it. I come from a quieter generation. Weunderstand the value of forgetting, the lure of reinvention.Lately, though, I find myself thinking about the war and my past, aboutthe people I lost.Lost.It makes it sound as if I misplaced my loved ones; perhaps I left themwhere they don’t belong and then turned away, too confused to retracemy steps.They are not lost. Nor are they in a better place. They are gone. As Iapproach the end of my years, I know that grief, like regret, settles intoour DNA and remains forever a part of us.I have aged in the months since my husband’s death and my diagnosis.My skin has the crinkled appearance of wax paper that someone has triedto flatten and reuse. My eyes fail me often— in the darkness, when headlightsflash, when rain falls. It is unnerving, this new unreliability in myvision. Perhaps that’s why I find myself looking backward. The past has aclarity I can no longer see in the present.I want to imagine there will be peace when I am gone, that I will see allof the people I have loved and lost. At least that I will be forgiven.I know better, though, don’t I?My house, named The Peaks by the lumber baron who built it over a hundredyears ago, is for sale, and I am preparing to move because my sonthinks I should.He is trying to take care of me, to show how much he loves me in thismost difficult of times, and so I put up with his controlling ways. What doI care where I die? That is the point, really. It no longer matters where Ilive. I am boxing up the Oregon beachside life I settled into nearly fiftyyears ago. There is not much I want to take with me. But there is onething.I reach for the hanging handle that controls the attic steps. The stairsunfold from the ceiling like a gentleman extending his hand.The flimsy stairs wobble beneath my feet as I climb into the attic, whichsmells of must and mold. A single, hanging lightbulb swings overhead. I pullthe cord.It is like being in the hold of an old steamship. Wide wooden plankspanel the walls; cobwebs turn the creases silver and hang in skeins fromthe indentation between the planks. The ceiling is so steeply pitched thatI can stand upright only in the center of the room.I see the rocking chair I used when my grandchildren were young, thenan old crib and a ratty- looking rocking horse set on rusty springs, and thechair my daughter was refinishing when she got sick. Boxes are tuckedalong the wall, marked “Xmas,” “Thanksgiving,” “Easter,” “Halloween,”“Serveware,” “Sports.” In those boxes are the things I don’t use much anymorebut can’t bear to part with. For me, admitting that I won’t decorate atree for Christmas is giving up, and I’ve never been good at letting go.Tucked in the corner is what I am looking for: an ancient steamer trunkcovered in travel stickers.With effort, I drag the heavy trunk to the center of the attic, directlybeneath the hanging light. I kneel beside it, but the pain in my knees ispiercing, so I slide onto my backside.For the first time in thirty years, I lift the trunk’s lid. The top tray is fullof baby memorabilia. Tiny shoes, ceramic hand molds, crayon drawingspopulated by stick figures and smiling suns, report cards, dance recitalpictures.I lift the tray from the trunk and set it aside.The mementos in the bottom of the trunk are in a messy pile: severalfaded leather- bound journals; a packet of aged postcards, tied togetherwith a blue satin ribbon; a cardboard box, bent in one corner; a set of slimbooks of poetry by Julien Rossignol; and a shoebox that holds hundreds ofblack- and- white photographs.On top is a yellowed, faded piece of paper.My hands are shaking as I pick it up. It is a carte d’identité, an identitycard, from the war. I see the small, passport- sized photo of a youngwoman. Juliette Gervaise.“Mom?”I hear my son on the creaking wooden steps, footsteps that match myheartbeats. Has he called out to me before?“Mom? You shouldn’t be up here. Shit. The steps are unsteady.” Hecomes to stand beside me. “One fall and—”I touch his pant leg, shake my head softly. I can’t look up. “Don’t” is allI can say.He kneels, then sits. I can smell his aftershave, something subtle andspicy, and also a hint of smoke. He has sneaked a cigarette outside, a habithe gave up de cades ago and took up again at my recent diagnosis. Thereis no reason to voice my disapproval: He is a doctor. He knows better.My instinct is to toss the card into the trunk and slam the lid down,hiding it again. It’s what I have done all my life.Now I am dying. Not quickly, perhaps, but not slowly, either, and I feelcompelled to look back on my life.“Mom, you’re crying.”“Am I?”I want to tell him the truth, but I can’t. It embarrasses and shames me,this failure. At my age, I should not be afraid of anything— certainly notmy own past.I say only, “I want to take this trunk.”“It’s too big. I’ll repack the things you want into a smaller box.”I smile at his attempt to control me. “I love you and I am sick again. Forthese reasons, I have let you push me around, but I am not dead yet. I wantthis trunk with me.”“What can you possibly need in it? It’s just our artwork and other junk.”If I had told him the truth long ago, or had danced and drunk and sungmore, maybe he would have seen me instead of a dependable, ordinarymother. He loves a version of me that is incomplete. I always thought it waswhat I wanted: to be loved and admired. Now I think perhaps I’d like to beknown.“Think of this as my last request.”I can see that he wants to tell me not to talk that way, but he’s afraid hisvoice will catch. He clears his throat. “You’ve beaten it twice before. You’llbeat it again.”We both know this isn’t true. I am unsteady and weak. I can neithersleep nor eat without the help of medical science. “Of course I will.”“I just want to keep you safe.”I smile. Americans can be so naïve.Once I shared his optimism. I thought the world was safe. But that wasa long time ago.“Who is Juliette Gervaise?” Julien says and it shocks me a little to hearthat name from him.I close my eyes and in the darkness that smells of mildew and bygonelives, my mind casts back, a line thrown across years and continents.Against my will— or maybe in tandem with it, who knows anymore?— Iremember.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for The Nightingale:"Haunting, action-packed, and compelling." -Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author"Absolutely riveting!...Read this book." -Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff, Director of the University of Miami Holocaust Teacher Institute"Beautifully written and richly evocative." -Sara Gruen, #1 New York Times bestselling author"A hauntingly rich WWII novel about courage, brutality, love, survival-and the essence of what makes us human." -Family Circle"A heart-pounding story." -USA Today"An enormous story. Richly satisfying. I loved it." -Anne Rice"A respectful and absorbing page-turner." -Kirkus Reviews"Tender, compelling...a satisfying slice of life in Nazi-occupied France." -Jewish Book Council"Expect to devour The Nightingale in as few sittings as possible; the high-stakes plot and lovable characters won't allow any rest until all of their fates are known." -Shelf Awareness"I loved The Nightingale." -Lisa See, #1 New York Times bestselling author"Powerful...an unforgettable portrait of love and war." -People