Book Review: “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah

Reviewed by Bev Scott
The Nightingale. Kristin Hannah. WWII. Historical fiction. Book review.

Kristin Hannah has written a gripping book titled The Nightingale. She takes the reader through the perils and dramatic moments of the French resistance and the Nazi occupation of France during WWII. Two sisters provide the contrast. Isabelle displays the rage and defiance of a resistance fighter. Vianne, a mother, cautiously protects her daughter while waiting for her husband to return from the war. Isabelle is youthful, impulsive and brash. She joins the resistance spontaneously and risks her life to rescue soldiers, pilots and others endangered by fighting the Nazis. But Vianne is mature, yet insecure, timid and gullible. Wanting to avoid conflict and any involvement, she is vulnerable to the disingenuous kindness of a Nazi officer.

Hannah’s masterful writing brings the reader right into the drama. Isabelle takes tense “life and death” risks defiantly. Meanwhile Vianne acts in ways that are chilling, troubling and cautious. Not only does Hannah take us deeply into the action but her descriptions are so vivid, as a reader I felt the emotional experience of the protagonists. She captures the tragic, harrowing vicious and poignant moments of the brutality of the Nazis. Her characters face serious ethical dilemmas that raise questions and provoke reflection in the reader. She demonstrates how her characters love differently and how love influences their actions in a fascinating and absorbing book.

The Nightingale is a great read and I highly recommend it.

One Reply to “Book Review: “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah”

  1. Loved your review! The Nightingale sounds very interesting! All the best! Paul

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