Vianne and Isabelle have always been close despite their differences. Younger, bolder sister Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne 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, Vianne 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, Vianne 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.
I'm not sure what I was expecting but those expectations were far exceeded by the read. Ms. Hannah has given us a well researched book with vivid characters, a page-turning plot, and a lasting impression of the existence of the essential good in human beings. While there is evil a plenty, there is also love, hope, and forgiveness to salve the wounds of betrayal, despair, neglect and all the hardships of war. This one is definitely going to be on my Top Ten list for 2015.
If you enjoyed All the Light We Cannot See you will definitely want to read this one. This is certainly Kristin Hannah's best in a long line of good novels
Title: The Nightingale
Author: Kristin Hannah
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (2015), Edition: First Edition, 448 pages
Genre: Historical fiction
Subject: The French Resistance during World War II
Setting: Countryside of France
Source: Public Library
Why did I read this book now? It is being considered for the Maine Readers' Choice Award and I'm on the selection committee.