When I first started reading The Nightingale I was immediately reminded of Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See. Both novels are very similar, in some respects. They both take place in France during WWII and deal with the German occupation of the country. Both are tragic tales about the courage of ordinary people who become extraordinary.
The Nightingale is a novel about family. Two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, have been torn apart by the tragic death of their mother and their father’s inability to take care of them. As they grow older the rift continues to deepen. Vianne marries early and starts a family as her way of coping with the loss, while Isabelle escapes from various boarding schools making her way back to their father in Paris before being sent out again.
The war brings the two sisters together again in their family home in Carriveau. Isabelle is determined to stand out and help the French Resistance, while Vianne is determine to hide in the background and take care of her young daughter. But naturally, nothing goes as planned in war.
The sisters soon find themselves doing things they never thought they would to protect those they love and find the glory they wish to achieve. They realize things about each other and themselves that they had refused to see before. And find out that maybe the other sisters’ way of thinking may not be so wrong after all.
Isabelle becomes further and further involved in the Resistance, earning the name The Nightingale. Vianne becomes a force herself trying to protect the children of Carriveau and surrounding areas.
I don’t want to say too much however. This is a novel that you must experience for yourself. It is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. I did indeed cry for about the last quarter of the novel. There is so much tragedy that is all the more heartbreaking because it happened. People’s capacity for hope is an amazing thing. Even in the bleakest of times there is something to strive for.
Stay tuned for the next, and last, installment of Book Battle 2015. Happy reading!
Next up in Book Battle 2015 is a novel that I started reading but didn’t finish. There aren’t many novels that I start and don’t finish simply because I have a compulsive need to finish every novel even if I don’t particularly care for it. In this case, I just couldn’t read the novel fast enough. I checked Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale out from the library many moons ago and started to read it but couldn’t finish in time before I had to return the novel. I’ve placed a hold on the novel and have finally got it back so that I can finish it.
I can’t wait to finish the novel and see what happens to each of the characters. I have a feeling that this is one novel that will bring me to tears. The other Hannah novel I read for this challenge, The Winter Garden, had me crying and I feel this novel will be very similar.
Stay tuned for the full review of The Nightingale. Happy reading!
I’m going in the complete opposite direction from my last book selection and am now reading a book that I think will make me cry. For me this was a hard book to choose, like the last category, a book that will make you laugh, because how do you know it will make you cry if you haven’t read it yet? So I chose to go with a novel by an author I’ve read before that made me cry.
I’ve decided on Kristin Hannah’s Winter Garden. I read Firefly Lane, also by Hannah, and am not ashamed to say that I cried like a baby towards the end. It has a similar plot to Beaches, the movie with Bette Midler, which also made me cry. Though I do find that the older I get the easier I cry. As a child, my brother and I used to make fun of my mom for crying in movies. But now I’m just as bad. Once I start crying during commercials there will be no turning back.
On another note, I’m excited about the plot of this book. it’s a bit like a Kate Morton novel, where one of the characters has a mysterious past. In this case, it’s the mother who I think is going to be from Leningrad. The novel, according to the back, will intertwine fairy tales and real history to create a spellbinding story. I honestly can’t wait to delve in.
Are you an easy cryer? What books have made you cry?
Stay tuned for the verdict and happy reading!