The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah: Book Review | Author Jan Moran
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Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah: Book Review

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I’ve been a fan of Kristin Hannah’s contemporary work for a long time, so when the buzz began that her latest book, The Nightingaleir?t=fabulofragra 20&l=as2&o=1&a=0312577222, would be a historical novel set in World War II, I waited with great anticipation. Books set in Paris? World War II fiction?  Books by Kristin Hannah? That's a recipe for a triple delight for me. I'd just released my WWII historical novel, The Perfumer: Scent of Triumph, from the same publisher, so I was very interested.  And I'm happy to report that in The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah proves she is at the top of her professional game. 

The Nightingale is a story of two sisters who, on the surface, could not be more different. In the beginning, Viann is a doting, conservative young mother, while Isabelle is a rambunctious, spirited young girl several years her junior. They’ve both suffered from the loss of their mother and the abandonment of their father. But when the Nazis invade France, their lives, and their values, are never the same.

Hannah expertly maintains taut tension throughout the story, depicting changes – those minuscule and momentous – in the two sisters as the political noose of war is tightened beyond belief. The evolving war is observed through the eyes of the everyday – the rations, the billeting, the children, the women.

kristin-hannah4Indeed, World War II France became a nation of women, children, and old men. Hannah weaves a heartbreaking story of those left behind to fight the war on the home front. The novel delves into the machinations that manifested in unfathomable choices that had to be made, and their often disastrous repercussions. The choices one had to make were often distinguishable only by the slimmest degree of heartbreak.

In The Nightingale, Hannah paints a portrait of sisters who, though their paths might differ, share an ultimately unbreakable bond. Her character development, intricate (and surprising) plotting, and descriptions quickly draw the reader into the story and never let go. The Nightingale is an expert tapestry of war and the resilience of the human spirit.

For books set in Paris, France, and World War II sagas, The Nightingale is indeed among the most psychologically riveting.  Moreover, having done extensive research while penning my own historical WWII-era novel, I can certainly attest to the depth and veracity of Hannah's research.

 More from Kristin Hannah

winter_gardenIf The Nightingaleir?t=fabulofragra 20&l=as2&o=1&a=0312577222 is your first Kristin Hannah book, I wholeheartedly recommend Winter Gardenir?t=fabulofragra 20&l=as2&o=1&a=0312663153 as well, among other book on her backlist.

Five stars for an excellent historical novel!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this from St. Martin’s Press for review.

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Jan’s books are also available to purchase in Deutsch, Dutch, Italiano, Lithuanian, Polish, and Russian. More languages coming soon!

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