The Nightingale

The Nightingale

Book - 2015
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"Viann and Isabelle have always been close despite their differences. Younger, bolder sister Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann lives a quiet and content life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. When World War II strikes and Antoine is sent off to fight, Viann and Isabelle's father sends Isabelle to help her older sister cope. As the war progresses, it's not only the sisters' relationship that is tested, but also their strength and their individual senses of right and wrong. With life as they know it changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Viann and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions. Vivid and exquiste in its illumination of a time and place that was filled with great monstrosities, but also great humanity and strength, Kristin Hannah's novel will provoke thought and discussion that will have readers talking long after they turn the last page"--
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, ©2015.
ISBN: 9781250080400
Characteristics: 440 pages :,map ;,25 cm.


From Library Staff

HonorBound Oct 23, 2015

Every once in a while you read a book that leaves you emotionally exhausted having lived the lives of the characters in the book. This is that type of book. It grabs you, holds on to you, and you're the one who doesn't let go.

From the critics

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Jan 26, 2020

Wonderful book. Really enjoyed it. When I read books on this general topic---for example, the people of the Civil War's underground railroad or the French resistance during WWII---I ask myself where do people find the bravery to do what they did, and would I be as brave. Look forward to reading more by this author.

Jan 22, 2020

WWII, 1939, Nazi invasion of France. Didn't like the writing, story was good, but juvenile, repetitive.

Jan 20, 2020

For four years I have been re-reading this novel. Gut and heart wrenching it reminds us to be thankful for the years of hard work those who went before us endured. I love this book so extremely much.

Jan 07, 2020

Probably one of the most powerful books I've ever read. The writer keeps you in suspense, wondering what is going to happen with each character., and aptly portrays the horrific times that took place during the war.
The twist at the end was a surprise., and a little sad and disappointing, but makes the whole thing come together nicely.
Looking forward to more like this from KH

TashD Jan 02, 2020

One of my favourite books of the year. I couldn't stop reading it and when I did, I couldn't stop thinking about it. It is exciting to hear that is becoming a movie now!

FPL_LaurenG Dec 30, 2019

The switches between characters, locations, and time periods will keep you enthralled in this adventurous story.

Nov 08, 2019


Oct 18, 2019

This novel tests a French family during the German occupation. Family members’ love for each other underlies everything, but is seldom displayed. Most of the story depends on amor patriae; there is little time or energy for romance in this story. The Germans are portrayed as cruel and dismissive of the conditions imposed on the French. Even those who are not actively abusive hardly fit Arendt’s “banality of evil” description. The Nightingale includes the Velodrome roundup central to “Sarah’s Key” and other such events. It also discusses the forced labor camps of “Schindler’s List,” delving a bit more deeply into who was sent to such camps. But the most difficult part for me was to see the oppressive effects on everyday life. Cooking becomes a challenge, because everything is in short supply or non-existent. Vianne typically mentions having to use a few precious drops of oil. Furniture not “requisitioned” by the Germans is frequently used as fuel. When we think about the assault on non-German cultures, their looting of national treasures, and vicious retributions such as Lidice, the effect of the occupation on the most quotidian details can be overlooked.
This is another book in a relatively new program of reading to my wife. We enjoyed the author’s connecting her fictional characters to actual events.

Oct 09, 2019

No wonder the wait for this novel was so long. It is an awesome story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Oct 05, 2019

Wow, this was an incredible story! I could hardly put it down. It was difficult to read at times with all that the two sisters had to endure because of the war, but I would highly recommend it.

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Add a Quote
May 23, 2019

“Ask for help when you need it, and give help when you can.”
― Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale

May 23, 2019

“I had forgotten how gently time passes in Paris. As lively as the city is, there’s a stillness to it, a peace that lures you in. In Paris, with a glass of wine in your hand, you can just be.”
― Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale

May 23, 2019

“But love has to be stronger than hate, or there is no future for us.”
― Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale

Aug 07, 2018

“It’s better to be bold than meek...If you jump off a cliff at least you’ll fly before you fall.” - Isabelle to Sophie

Jun 25, 2018

"They couldn't touch my heart. They couldn't change who i was inside. My body... they broke that in the first days, but not my heart, V. Whatever he did it, it was to your body, and your body will heal." - Isabelle

ArapahoeChristine Apr 24, 2017

Wounds heal. Love lasts. We remain.

ArapahoeChristine Apr 22, 2017

She wouldn't have understood how dark a side of love could have, how hiding it was the kindest thing you could do sometimes.

M_ALCOTT Feb 20, 2015

"If you're going through hell, keep going."-Winston Churchill

M_ALCOTT Feb 20, 2015

"If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are."-Vianne

M_ALCOTT Feb 20, 2015

"Some stories don't have happy endings. Even love stories. Maybe especially love stories."-Micheline

Age Suitability

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Aug 07, 2018

BudgiesNbooks thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jul 13, 2018

latwell1 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Jun 24, 2018

gac thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Mar 24, 2018

julsolmo thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

ArapahoeChristine Apr 24, 2017

ArapahoeChristine thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Aug 31, 2015

Nvfera thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


Add a Summary
SPL_Brittany Dec 12, 2016

“In love we find out who we want to be… in war we find out who we are”.

France 1939, Vianne Mauriac lives in the French countryside village of Carriveau with her husband Antoine and their young daughter Sophie. When war breaks out, Antoine is called away to the front leaving Vianne and Sophie alone and vulnerable. When a German Nazi captain billets at their house, Vianne and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money, danger escalates all around them, and she is forced to make one impossible decision after another.

Passionate, impulsive and rash, Isabelle is kicked out of yet another boarding school and flees to Paris to live with her father only to be told that she is to help Vianne in Carriveau. While Isabelle and Vianne struggle to mend their relationship, Isabelle struggles with desperately wanting to play a role in the French resistance yet knowing that in doing so puts Vianne and Sophie at risk. Throughout the war Vianne and Isabelle find their bond as well as their respective beliefs tested by a war that changes their world in horrific ways, each embarking on their own dangerous path toward survival, love and freedom in Nazi occupied war-torn France.

Kristin Hannah writes a sweeping and captivating tale of France during the Second World War shifting between the perspectives of Vianne and Isabelle. It is a novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit, and focuses on the role women played during the war. It is a novel that tests the bonds of love, family and friendship. Hannah slowly weaves her magic and by the end of the novel your emotions will be engaged and you will be captivated by her storytelling. This is a novel that will stay with you for a long after you have read it.

Jul 11, 2016

The Nightingale portrays a realistic look at German occupied France during WWII. The novel focuses on two sisters who face enormous obstacles as they live their lives as French women. One must think first of her family, provide food and shelter for them, and attempt to protect them from the savage effects of war. The other thinks first of her country, seeks to fight in any way possible, including helping downed airmen to flee France to safety. Through it all, both women become stronger through their actions and in-actions and find an appreciation/love for one another that has been missing since their youth.


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ArapahoeChristine Apr 24, 2017

Sexual Content: Rape scene

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