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Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Nightingale - Kristin Hannah

So I need to say a huge thank you to my dear friend, Hamidah, for telling me to read this book. She didn't just recommend it, she harassed me for a good 2 weeks. Each time I saw her, she'd ask if I'd gotten the book yet. Even though many people have recommended this book, as my other mate Louise said, "there aren't any vampires, are you sure you read it?", it's not one I would've read on my own. And to quote another friend, Juliet this time, "We are too far removed from war to really know the horrors it brings. It's so important that we read these books both as a remembrance and as a warning." So thank you dear friends. I loved this book. Despite it having broken my heart and had me in ugly sobs.

In The Nightingale, we meet sisters Vivianne and Isabelle. They are as different as sisters can be. Vivianne married her love and lives in the French countryside with her husband and daughter. Isabelle has been kicked out of, gosh I cannot recall how many, boarding schools. She's a true rebel.

During World War II, their father sends Isabelle off to live with her sister. Unlike Vivianne, Isabelle cannot sit quietly and watch her country being destroyed. She feels she must do something, and soon she becomes The Nightingale. She helps fallen soldiers make their way from France to Spain.

While Isabelle felt her sister "gave in" and accepted the war, women like Vivianne were left behind by their husbands, who went to fight. Vivianne, like many other women at this time, was forced to house two Nazi soldiers and was manipulated into betraying her friends. She then went on to save many children.

The Nightingale is a moving story of two completely different sisters who did what many women had to do. They survived and fought back in their own way.

"If I have learnt anything in this long life of mine, it is this: in love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are."

- Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale