By: Anna Shapiro ~Staff Writer~
“The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah has graced the New York Time’s best seller’s list for quite a while now. A tale both beautifully written and enticing in plot, it follows a family torn apart by its past and brought together again by its involvement in the French resistance during World War II.
It explores the story of two sisters, Isabelle, the rebel, and Vianne, her rule-following older sister, as they navigate their way and try to make a difference in the war.
The two had a rocky relationship ever since their mother died and their father sent them away as children, and their resentment toward one another has only worsened in adulthood.
Isabelle immediately wants to help fight and becomes an important member of the resistance movement, while Vianne, upon her husband’s departure for the war, takes a more subtle approach and is slowly sucked into the battle. Both women do magnificent things to stand up against the Nazis. Even their estranged father joins in to help in the struggle.
This is both a story of war and a story of family dynamics. On the war side, this is very much a story of a “woman’s war,” women who don’t just get by waiting patiently for their husbands to return home, but decide to take things into their own hands and do a little fighting for themselves.
“The Nightingale” is a beautiful book in every way. The way that the story is told and written, jumping between narrators and back and forth in time, is masterful.
The author has a fascinating ability to make you love and then, with the turn of a page, hate characters that practically feel alive.
Furthermore, the mysterious ending leaves readers hanging until far in the future. I cried when I read the bittersweet ending. The book was beautiful in every way, and deserved every over emotional tear that I shed.