The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"She gave herself over to the sensations of the kiss, let it become the whole of her universe, and knew finally how it felt to be enough for someone."
I wish I had read this book sooner!
The Nightingale is one of the best books I've read set in the WWII time period. It follows the story of two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, during WWII in France.
Vianne and Isabelle are foils of each other. Isabelle is a rash, bold girl not afraid to stand up for what she believes in. During the war, she decides to resist the Nazis, wanting to do something brave. Vianne, on the other hand, is more reserved. Her wartime goal is to survive, so she is much more cautious. Through the story, both women face impossible choices and tragedy. Throughout the book, they come to realize that there is no correct answer to how to survive a war.
I love the many facets of this book. There is a love story interwoven in the tale. There is a focus on the sisterly bond and how that changes through life. There is also the focus on how war doesn't leave anyone unscathed. Finally, the book focuses on the concept of courage and how it takes so many forms.
The writing was gorgeous. Hannah weaves emotional imagery into her story, leaving every scene painted in the reader's mind. I also felt like the plot was expertly crafted. There was never a point where I lost interest. Every passage had a purpose in the story. The ending was satisfying and poignant.
This is a must read for really anyone. It reminds you that life is fragile and family is what matters most. It also reminds you that behind every person is a story.
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