The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is a poignant, beautifully written book that takes us back in history to France during World War II.
The book starts off in present day and the story is told by an elderly woman facing a move into a nursing home to face her last battle, cancer. But first, she has something she must do.
The story follows two sisters, Viann and Isabelle Rossignol, who 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.
Ms. Hannah writes heartfelt, vivid descriptions taking great care with every detail. You will be transported to wartime France. You will feel all the pain, joy, love, and hardships of the Rossignol family and those who interact with them. I read the book in one sitting, unable to put it down and the story still lingers with me a month later. It earned a spot on my top ten favorite books list.