The Nightingale Book Review

The Nightingale: book review by Arlene.

5 stars

The Nightingale Book


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The Nightingale Review:

This is an immediately absorbing story set in France during the German Occupation during World War II. The people of France are living a peaceful life as word begins to spread of the German advancement nearing their borders. At first, the Parisians have no concern of Occupation but their fears begin to loom large as the German Army begins to close in.

The main characters in the book are 2 sisters, different in nature, living very different lives before the Occupation. They are brought together, forced to make riveting choices neither sister would have imagined they would have chosen to make in their lifetime.

Vianne, the older sister, is married with a young daughter and devoted husband, living in a quiet village outside of Paris.

Isabelle, the younger sister, is 18, adventurous, passionate with reason and desire. She meets a Partisan who wants to fight the Germans in France. Together they forge ahead into the unknown.

Isabelle struggles to find herself, taking chances beyond her wildest dreams of making a difference, meeting a variety of characters through her association with Gaetan, the Partisan she falls in love with to become “The Nightingale.”

The sisters faith and fate eventually becomes an integral part of their story and plays a dramatic role in their lives as they are brought together time after time during the war as their story unfolds.


The Nightingale Recommendation:

My first recommendation is Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale.

Kristin Hannah is also the author of the New York Times Bestseller “Firefly Lane.” I immediately picked up “Firefly Lane” after finishing the “The Nightingale” and it sits in my desk’s “soon to read” pile.

If you have read and loved “Sarah’s Key” by Tatiana DeRosnay you will surely love “The Nightingale.” Both of these wonderful books take place during the same time in history during the occupation of France by the German Army during World War II.

I actually read both books at the same time. For me it was like reading one book with two dimensions. I found the writing of both authors to be similar in style so it almost became one book for me with additional characters coming to life in the same historical time frame.

You become captivated and absorbed in the lives of these two brave women. Their remarkable love for one another, their devotion to each other and their country and their strength and bravery beyond measure will grip you to the last page. You will remember this story for a long time to come after closing the book for the last time.

Lyrical fiction in every way. I hope you enjoyed The Nightingale book review!

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12 thoughts on “The Nightingale Book Review

  1. Thanks for the review, Arlene. Historical novels are one of my favourite books to read. I love the historical setting and brave characters in the story. Have you read Ken Follett’s Jackdaws? It’s also a great novel set during the Second World War.

    1. Hi Yvonne
      Thank you for your comments on my review of The Nightingale.
      Like you, historical novels are my favorite also. I have not read Ken Follet’s Jackdaws but I have read his Night Over Water. If you have not read that one I highly recommend it. It is a real page turner.
      Thank you for your recommendation of Jackdaws. I will pick it up and add it to my to read list.

  2. I am really big on reading. I love reading the reviews on your site . I will definitely have to check this book out it sounds like it’s right up my alley .

    1. Hello Tara,
      Thanks for your positive feedback. The Nightingale is a wonderful book and well worth reading. If you do decide to read it I would love to hear your thoughts.
      Thanks again.

  3. Hi Arlene,
    I used to read avidly. Your review is making me want to get back to reading real books again. I would get completely absorbed in books.

    Really good authors can make you feel the wind, taste the food, and understand things you didn’t know existed.
    Thanks for writing such an excellent review!

    1. Hello Daisy,
      I am glad The Nightingale book review intrigued you enough to get you back to reading. I totally agree with your thoughts on how a good author can make you actually feel everything on the page. You put it very well and I appreciate your positive comments. I look forward to hearing from you again. Thanks.

  4. One thing I really learned from reading prewar/war setting novels, is the empowerment and the conviction of women back then. Yes, we do have a lot of admirable female leaders these days, but back then when information is scarce, they were very brave (I think) to come out of their comfort zone to protect what matters most to them.

    There were many heroines of these kinds in different continents, spanning from Japanese to European. Very inspiring indeed.

    1. Thank you Cathy.
      Welcome to the book club!

      The Nightingale book is remarkable in demonstrating how love can provide strength in those difficult times, specifically the love between the two sisters. In war time, conviction and beliefs are tested and the decision one makes shapes one’s future. Isabelle’s struggle to find herself attest to this.

      Thank you for your comments and we look forward to hearing from you again.

  5. I had no idea you could read two books at the same time and find yourself in a better view of the story, as you described.

    Instead, I always get frustrated when I’m reading a great book, and there’s another compelling book lying on my To-Read-Pile.. I will try and throw myself into reading 2 books together, next time I find some in the same topic.

    1. Thank you Jonas.
      Welcome to the book club!
      Reading “The Nightingale” and “Sarah’s Key” at the same time really gave me an in depth perspective of how ALL LIVES were affected during that time in history.
      Your comments were interesting and very much appreciated.
      We look forward to hearing your views.

    1. Thanks Alex!
      Welcome to the Book Club!
      “The Nightingale” is a truly great book. We are so glad you enjoyed the review.
      Our review of “The Martian” will post soon.
      We would love to hear from you on all of our future recommendations and reviews!

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