Book review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The NightingaleThe Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this book as a digital ARC from the publisher through Net Galley in return for an honest review.

This is the story of two sisters – Isabelle and Viann Rossingol – and how they survived during the Nazi occupation of France.

The story begins in 1995 in United States when an elderly woman is preparing her trip to France, together with her son, in order to attend an invitation of some kind of homage from World War II.

The widowed father of the two sisters is still coping with the consequences of the Great War and by the loss of his wife. He fells unable to raise his daughters which makes Isabelle and Viann take their destiny in their own hands.

Isabelle is sent to private schools from where she as always spelled due to her excess of sincerity. Her sister Viann moves to a small town in France get married but her husband is soon sent to the Front, leaving her alone at home with her daughter Sophie.

Due to her rebellious behavior she then starts her involvement with the French Resistance by helping the Allied fliers to cross the Spanish border through the Pyrenees mountains, the so-called the Nightingale escape route. By this time, she becomes closer to her father without knowing at a first moment that he was also behind the Resistance movement.

In the meantime time, Viann is obliged to receive in her house a Nazi officer which was common during World War II.

In order to avoid spoilers I’ll stop my review here.

This my first book written by Kristin Hannah I’ve ever read.

The author described quite well how the French population faced the lack of fuel and food, specially during the hard winters. The Jewish segregation is also described, starting by sending first only the Jews which were not born in France and later on it became a general rule adopted by the Vichy government.

The story is fast-paced, the author made a lot of research work since these routes through the Pyrenees were the only route of escape for the French and Allied rebels.

A great book not only about the World War II in France but also by the description of how the French Resistance attended to the calls from General De Gaulle in order to save France from the Nazis.


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