Book Review · Uncategorized

The Nightingale – Kristen Hannah

Book Review spoiler free

9th October to 20th November ~ Audio-Book ~ Link to Goodreads



Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Vianne finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.

As the war progresses, the sisters’ relationship and strength are tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.

Pre-Read thoughts: 

I downloaded the audio-book for this one after giving the physical copy a chance earlier this year. WW2 is a big buzzword for me so I have been wanting to give this one a second chance for a while because I know that it is very well loved.

The Good:

This book is a bitter-sweet heart warming and heart breaking novel about love, family, friendship and the strength of women in times of war. I loved the development of all the characters throughout but the main protagonist Vianne probably goes through the biggest changes. She starts out as quite a timid reserved woman who seemed more like a young girl. I got the sense that this was a person that would need constant looking after and needed someone there to prop her up and help her through any and every little thing. As the book progressed she really started to come into her own and I think it was a really raw and probably very realistic look at how war can change a person drastically. I think that Vianne was a great person to read about because for me everyone already seemed so sure about themselves and everything else so even though they all developed the change wasn’t as drastic.

The Bad:

I really struggled to read the physical edition of this book and even though I really enjoyed listening to the book I found I wasn’t quite connecting to the story and the plot or even the cast of characters like I normally would with WW2 fiction. I think that perhaps the middle dragged on a little longer than it needed to also.


I really enjoyed the characters developments throughout the book, the plot was interesting and engaging and overall it really get hit me in the heart. However something just didn’t click with me that would make me want to give it higher in stars.

Have you read The Nightingale?

What are your thoughts?

Have you got any other WW2 fiction to recommend?

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9 thoughts on “The Nightingale – Kristen Hannah

  1. I have read The Nightingale and I really enjoyed it. Krostin Hannah is one of my go to authors. I’ll read anything that she writes. Have you read Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Septys? It’s a great WW2 book with a story that isn’t widely known. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein is also another great one. Although it took me until the second half of the book to really appreciate it. There’s also The Book Thief if you haven’t already read it. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly also sounds really good. I own it, but I haven’t read it yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read Between Shades of Grey about a month ago and really loved it. Have you read Salt to the Sea by Ruta Septys, that was a sensational book! I’ve attempted Code Name Verity a couple of times but I haven’t been able to get into it. I’ll have to keep an eye out for Lilac Girls because I haven’t heard of it thanks for bringing it to my attention.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahhhh I’m sorry you had issues connecting to this one. This is one of my favorite reads of 2016. I really enjoyed how the two sisters both took drastically different approaches to the war. As a mother, I connected mostly with Vianne and the fact that she would do anything to protect her children, but I also admired Isabelle’s courage and strength.

    Liked by 1 person

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