The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah A Book Review by Richard McGee
Novels and stories about war are usually told from the perspective of men fighting on the battleground or from the commanders forming strategy and tactics. The Nightingale gives us insight into World War II from the perspective of the women left behind. Two sisters, estranged from each other and from their father, struggle to survive in Nazi-occupied France. Each follows a different path to negotiate through the dangers and hardships they face.
The sister that had always depended on her husband had to learn to cope after he left to fight. The sister that had al- ways rebelled against authority had to find a way to channel her energies. The father that was devastated by his experiences in the previous war and had spurned his daughters, had to find his way back to them.
The tension begins in chapter one and escalates in each succeeding chapter. I occasionally find a book that I can’t put down until I finish it. This book was different as I found I sometimes had to set it aside for a few minutes, because the emotions became so intense I had to take a break. There were several “oh wow” moments.
The Nightingale won the People’s Choice Awards for best novel in 2015 and Goodreads Best Historical Fiction Novel for that year. Production as a movie is currently underway and will be released in 2019. Hurry and read the book before then as a two-hour movie cannot capture the depth of this book.