What a masterpiece! What a masterpiece! What a masterpiece! What a masterpiece! What a masterpiece! What a masterpiece! What a masterpiece! What a masterpiece! What a masterpiece! What a masterpiece! What a masterpiece! What a masterpiece! What a masterpiece!
Historical Fiction/ Romance
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.
My rating: 5/5
Oh, The Nightingale, what have you done to me? Besides making me cry you a river or breaking my heart or messing up my mind?…
It’s been awhile since a book managed to move me so deeply. The Nightingale is such a powerful story and my love for it knows no limits. (Thinking about it hurts and I can already feel tears stinging my eyes.) I’m doing my best with this review, but no words will do justice to its beauty.
Let’s start with the writing, which gripped me from the first page. I was only starting this book and I was like ‘What? How? Already? What a great first page!’. The prose is poetic, elegant, but at the same time is feels honest and brutal. The descriptions are idyllic and detailed, but still fascinating and they were some of my favourite parts of this book! Also, the scenes seem so alive and colourful and you can’t do anything but live the story to the fullest! And man, how you live it… *insert sobs and tears and screams here*
There are also chapters alternating between past and present. The past is told in two perspectives, Vianne’s and Isabelle’s, and the present belongs to the older version of one of the sisters. The tension raises with every moment in which they intertwine and every bit of information that is revealed just leaves you awestruck and keeps you on the edge of your seat! You expect the worst, but still hope for the best, it’s a rollercoaster of emotions!
The characters are stunning and this is one book that is a tribute to girls power. The women are so brave and smart and motivational. Seeing them fight to survive and protect their loved ones without losing their humanity or gentleness or hope is agonizing and inspiring. Each of the sisters is heroic in her own way. They think they are nothing alike, but discovering how much they have in common is a ride filled with aching emotions and, if you ask me, with regret, considering they make one hell of a team.
The friendships and familial relationships are heart-warming. The love is strong and blind, revitalizing and heart-wrenching. The romantic elements are just the cherry on the cake! Warning: they’re savoury, but can lead to despair.
The war was well-represented and I loved how there was no sugar-coating. The parts about plans and schemes were also remarkable, intelligently thought. The actions were believable and yet surprising.
The only complaint I have is about the lack of French vocabulary. I expected more of it considering the action takes place in France and I felt like there was an abuse of ‘oui’. However, that won’t spoil the experience of reading the book and The Nightingale does make you fall in love with France.
Ugh, I could go on and on about how perfect this book is, but that would mean that I’d keep you from reading it and that’s the last thing I want, in case you couldn’t tell! So go read it. It’s worth a zillion stars and to be one of the most emotional and wonderful reads I’ve ever come across to!
Men tell stories. Women get on with it. For us it was a shadow war. There were no parades for us when it was over, no medals or mentions in history books. We did what we had to during the war, and when it was over, we picked up the pieces and started our lives over.