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The Nightingale by [Hannah, Kristin]
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The Nightingale Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 241 customer reviews

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“I loved Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale. She has captured a particular slice of French life during World War II with wonderful details and drama. But what I loved most about the novel was the relationship between the two sisters and Hannah's exploration of what we do in moments of great challenge. Do we rise to the occasion or fail? Are we heroes or cowards? Are we loyal to the people we love most or do we betray them? Hannah explores these questions with probing finesse and great heart.” ―Lisa See, #1 New York Times bestseller author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

“In this epic novel, set in France in World War II, two sisters who live in a small village find themselves estranged when they disagree about the imminent threat of occupation. Separated by principles and temperament, each must find her own way forward as she faces moral questions and life-or-death choices. Haunting, action-packed, and compelling.” ―Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train

“I read The Nightingale in one sitting, completely transported to wartime France, completely forgetting where I was. A historical novel-built on Kristin Hannah's proven skill with story, complex and enduring family ties, and passion-that will captivate readers.” ―Marilyn Dahl, Shelf Awareness

“I found The Nightingale to be absolutely riveting! I started reading it one night after supper, with every intention of reading just a few chapters for that evening, and could not put it down. Not only is it an emotionally inspiring story with well-drawn characters who you grow to care about deeply but it is also historically informative....Read this book. It will keep you guessing throughout about the two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, both brave young women who did what they thought was the right thing to do in the most difficult of circumstances. They had--in the words of Lawrence Langer the World War II historian-scholar--too often to make 'choiceless choices.'” ―Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff, director of the University of Miami Holocaust Teacher Institute

“A beautifully written and richly evocative examination of life, love, the ravages of war, and the different ways people react to unthinkable situations-not to mention the terrible and mounting toll of keeping secrets. This powerhouse of a story is equally packed with action and emotion, and is sure to be another major hit. I loved it.” ―Sara Gruen, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants

Product Description

#1 New York Times bestseller

Named a top five book of the year by Amazon

Named a best book of the year by: Buzzfeed, iTunes, Library Journal, Paste,, The Wall Street Journal, The Week

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 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 WWII 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.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1677 KB
  • Print Length: 449 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (Feb. 3 2015)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00JO8PEN2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 241 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #145 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Couldn’t put this one down! I give it a 6 out of 5.

Two sisters find themselves abandoned by their broken father when their mother dies shortly after his return from the Great War.

Vianne and Isabelle are worlds apart in age and temperament. With the outbreak of Germany invading France in WW 2, Isabelle is sent fleeing Paris to join her sister in their family home in Carriveau. With Vianne’s husband off to war, their home becomes a billet for a Nazi captain. Isabelle’s outrage threatens their lives.

Isabelle’s freedom fighting actions have her returning to Paris and working in the underground movement.

What the women of France did to protect their families, stay alive and aid in the fight for freedom in the midst of escalating horror, starvation, danger and atrocities makes this an amazing story that takes us from France to Spain and to Germany.

The Nightingale is Isabelle’s plan to smuggle allied airmen out of France into Spain walking over the Pyrenees Mountains as Juliette Gervais.

This is based on a true story.

I loved it so much on my reader that I bought a hard cover copy to loan out.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Nightingale brings to mind the typical classic WWII movie, with the usual romances, rebellious women, brave men of the French resistance all caught up in a horror that 70 years later is still hard to fathom. If you love that sort of thing you will not be disappointed. But if you are bothered by mistakes, annoyed by carelessness in timelines and just think an author should be more respectful of her audience, then you might want to give it a pass. Read "All the light we cannot see" instead. Perfection.
I gave it 3 stars because it is a good story. Not great, not original, with many mistakes that in the end, are a bit too distracting.
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Format: Hardcover
This is not a typical WWII story. It is a story set, for the most part, in small town France during WWII, and while it is a historical war story it is also a story about family and friendship and love. Most of all I found it to be a tale of women displaying immense courage under the worst of circumstances.

Vianne and Isabelle are sisters but they are somewhat estranged perhaps because they are so very different in nature - Vianne, the eldest is married with a daughter, settled and happy just to be a wife and mother; Isabelle, still a teenager, is unable to bow to authority, an admirer of Edith Cavell, she yearns to emulate the heroine of the Great War.

"Isabelle had always simply reacted in her life. Someone left her behind, she followed. Someone told her she couldn't do something, she did it. Every barrier she turned into a gate." (Pg.194)

Both sisters are forced to deal with the turmoil and despair happening in their lives and in their country, in the only way they know how.

The home-grown French Resistance is brought into stark focus and Ms. Hannah has managed a very vivid account of harrowing events that it would appear have been well researched.

For both sisters there are life and death questions that must be answered in the moment. With passion and courage and immeasurable fortitude these women must find their own path to survival.

It is the ending that will make your throat tighten and leave you with the question: `What would I have done?'
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By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER on July 19 2016
Format: Hardcover
This epic and breathtaking journey transports us to France during World War 11 and is one of the most powerful stories I have read in a long time. This is one of those unforgettable stories that will leave some a little choked up with its extraordinarily vivid and evocative scenes. The narrative will stay with you for many weeks after turning the last page.

It opens in 1995 with an old woman looking backward at her past and taking us through her life in France during the German occupation and in flashback segments we have a heart-pounding tale of two sisters, Isabella and Vianne, who needed to survive the horrors of war and the devastating choices they learn to make. Which sister is reminiscing, we won’t find out till the very end.

This story is based on a real Belgian woman who did what Isabella (the main player) did. Isabella made a difference by joining the Resistance to shepherd downed Allied airmen across the Pyrenees to Spain and Vianne journey is less dramatic but no less wrenching, risking her life to save many Jewish children from deportation. This character driven novel showcases the actions of women who are willing to risk their lives for children, friends and strangers. Are we heroes or cowards? Are we loyal to the people we love most or do we betray them? These are the questions explored with probing finesse and great heart in “The Nightingale”. There is a lot to this book and is absolutely riveting. Not only it is an emotionally inspiring it is also informative.

This haunting, action-packed and compelling story is a must read book.
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By Brian TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 27 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
Mon dieu, this is one profound, compelling book! In short, it is why we read. It is also difficult to review such a brilliant piece of writing, fearing that in some way I will forget to mention all of the nuanced praise it deserves, as this is easily one of the most powerful books I've read in a long time. Like many, I still have tears in my eyes as I write this, feeling a multitude of emotions.. Triumph, redemption, love, anger, melancholy, and most of all, a sense of sadness that this story has come to an end simply because Kristen Hannah has given us a tour de force in historical narrative fiction, one that will forever hold a special place in my library.

This is a story about family, endurance, love, cruelty, passion and more importantly what war does to us, especially in some of the choices we're forced to make. What distinguishes this novel from the plethora of books surrounding WWII, what makes it truly unique and relevant, is that its protagonists are for the most part all female in nature. It is a story about the side of history that isn't glamorized with a sense of clichéd machismo (as men have always taken up the bulk of the war's tales of heroism).
Vianne, one of the book's protagonists eludes to this sad truth..

J: 'Why have I not heard anything about this?'
V: 'Men tell stories.. Women get on with it. For us it was a shadow of war. There are no parades for us when it was over, no medals or mentions in history books. We did what we had to do during the war, and when it was over, we picked up the pieces and started our lives over.'

In the very least, Kristen Hannah has given a platform to the unheard stories of WWII from the female perspective in The Nightingale.
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