The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah Review

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah review
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, ISBN 9781250072252, 440pp

Why did I wait so long to read this wonderful book? I had seen The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah being raved about for years and for some reason I never read it. It was only when I visited my parents’ place and saw this book on their shelf that I finally decided to give it a go. Even then it sat in my to be read pile for ages, alone and unloved, until I picked it up recently and started reading. And then I couldn’t stop until I had read it all.

Set in France during World War II, The Nightingale tells the story of the horror of war through the viewpoints of two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle. Vianne lives in a small rural village with her daughter, waiting for her husband to come home from war. When the German army occupies France, Vianne is forced to share her home with the enemy. With food and other supplies scarce, Vianne must make impossible choices to keep her daughter alive.

Isabelle is the younger and rebellious sister who can’t sit by and watch the German army occupy her country. She meets a man, Gaetan, who inspires her to join the Resistance. Isabelle travels to Paris where she will play a dangerous game of cat and mouse with the enemy.

The Nightingale is such a powerful, haunting, brilliant novel of courage, resilience and determination. It shows how war affected women and children as much as it did the men who were away fighting on the front. It made me weep buckets in places–something that Kristin Hannah also did when I read The Great Alone recently. It was richly detailed and full of unforgettable characters. It 100% lived up to all the hype.

I could go on and on about how amazing this book is but it’s probably best if you just read it for yourself.

Verdict: A stunning, unforgettable book about war, love and resilience.

What’s a book set in WWI or WWII that you would recommend? Let me know in the comments.

30 thoughts on “The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah Review

    • Janereads June 12, 2018 / 11:44 am

      It’s just fantastic isn’t it? I ‘m so glad I finally read it.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Suziey Bravo June 12, 2018 / 11:09 am

    Definitely one of my favorites! Have you read Birdsong? That one is pretty good too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads June 12, 2018 / 11:43 am

      Yes I did but it was a very long time ago so I can’t remember much.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. cricketmuse June 12, 2018 / 11:29 pm

    A student chose this for your literary merit report. I had never heard of it, so now I will add it to my TBR list. I recommend Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, which is inspired by a tragedy bigger in lives lost at sea than the Titanic, yet hidden until recently.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads June 13, 2018 / 2:38 am

      Your recommendation sounds very intriguing. I will look it up. Thanks for sharing it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. redsblendedbookviews June 12, 2018 / 11:38 pm

    This is one I’ve procrastinated on reading, too—it’s the subject matter. For the same reason, I waited to read Mudbound, which is set right after WW2 in Mississippi, but it was also very good. Tough, but good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads June 13, 2018 / 2:34 am

      When you know a book has a difficult subject matter I can see why you would procrastinate!


  4. Book Admirer June 13, 2018 / 12:18 am

    Each year in Amsterdam NY they do an Amsterdam Reads event where the community votes on the book to read for the year and they do a series of activities around that particular book. The Nightingale was this year’s pick. Since I work in Amsterdam, I have been hearing so much about this book. Your review just solidified my reason to read it. Officially on my TBR. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads June 13, 2018 / 2:37 am

      Wow that sounds like such an amazing community event. I really hope you like it when you read it. It’s amazing. 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Erin @ Feel Learn Wonder June 13, 2018 / 2:25 pm

    Yess! I really want to read this one! Probably a fall read for me. I loved The Great Alone and you summed up its strengths perfectly here too – glad to hear this was another hit from Kristin Hannah.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads June 13, 2018 / 3:08 pm

      Thank you! I loved this even more than The Great Alone. I hope you enjoy it too.


  6. 5171 Miles Book Blog June 15, 2018 / 9:07 am

    I loved this book and I’m so thankful it introduced me to Kristen Hannah. She’s a wonderful author! -Ashley

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads June 15, 2018 / 9:27 am

      I’m glad you loved it. Kristin Hannah has been a good discovery for both of us. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      • 5171 Miles Book Blog June 15, 2018 / 11:06 am


        Liked by 1 person

  7. Sheree Strange June 22, 2018 / 1:35 pm

    Gosh, this is such a rave review and your recommendations are always spot on… but I think I’ve just about had my fill of fictionalised WWII stories lately. I don’t know how or why, but I seem to have found myself reading a bunch of them super-close together, and I just feel a bit exhausted with the concept. So, to do Hannah justice, I’ll give my brain a bit of breathing space before I look at it 😉

    The White Mouse has to be my WWII book recommendation of the moment – it’s perhaps not as masterfully written, but the real-life story is *so* compelling and intriguing, I can’t imagine that there are many fictional accounts that could possibly hold up! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. deborahkehoe July 23, 2018 / 10:09 pm

    I have this one on my kindle and still need to read it. (Sigh)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads July 24, 2018 / 7:23 am

      I highly recommend it. It’s a wonderful book.

      Liked by 1 person

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