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The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Historical fiction

The Nightingale

by Kristin Hannah

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Quick take

What are we capable of when survival is the only thing that matters?

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Feminist

    Feminist

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_War

    War

Synopsis

In love we find out who we want to be.

In war we find out who we are.

FRANCE, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says good-bye 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, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gaëtan, 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.

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Why I love it

"In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are." Our first title chosen By Member Request, The Nightingale is a beautifully written WWII historical fiction. Two sisters bravely face the heartbreaking challenges of daily life as France is invaded by the Nazis. The younger joins the resistance; the older tries to save her family. It's a moving portrait of the effects of wartime on these female characters —mothers and daughters, sisters and wives— their strength, and the sacrifices they make for family and country. Ultimately, the book forces us to confront the question: What are we capable of when survival is the only thing that matters?

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Member ratings (14,405)

  • Audrey T.

    Thornton, CO

    Five stars isn’t enough to truly give recognition to this book. Beautiful, heartbreaking story of the power of women through an atrocious era. Cried through the last 20 pages. ⭐️❤️⭐️❤️⭐️❤️⭐️❤️⭐️❤️

  • Yenny D.

    Fairfax, VA

    Phenomenal! The Nightingale is an intimate portrayal of what true courage and sacrifice look like in the face of war and how a family’s bond and love for one another are truly unbreakable. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Chelsey D.

    Lebanon, OH

    What a beautifully told story of love, loss, family, friendship, survival and perseverance. Kristin Hannah never makes me regret leaving my comfort blanket mysteries every once in a while. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Alyssa S.

    Minneapolis, MN

    “Love has to be stronger then hate or there is no future for us.” Not sure why someone didn’t make me read this one earlier. Such a great story with amazingly strong women characters! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Kat S.

    walnut, CA

    I just finished this book and want to recommend it every single person I know. Kristin Hannah takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions, it is such a beautiful and vivid story. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 STARS!

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