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In love we find out who we want to be.

In war we find out who we are.

What an appropriate time to review this war story!

I see so many, chanting war slogans on both sides of the border, some even excited about the idea, and all I can think about is how many of them have never read a war story and are oblivious to the horrors men, women and children have endured during WWI and WWII.

Book Review: The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah

This book pays tribute to women who are the unsung heroes of the time when Nazis invaded France.

Book Review: The Nightingale, by Kristin HannahMost of the historical fiction comprises everything about wars. Men are appreciated for leaving their homes and fight for their countries, and stories of their heroism are proudly narrated. However, no one talks about the sacrifices women make back home, not only waiting for their men to miraculously arrive someday, but also trying to save as many lives as they can, including their own. Some of them succeed; some don’t, and history reduces them to just a cold statistic.

The story begins introducing readers to two strikingly dissimilar sisters; Vianne and Isabelle, finding their own ways of surviving the war when their lives take an unanticipated turn for good. Vianne, the rule-follower, living in a small village in Carriveau, bids farewell to her much-loved husband, promising to keep their daughter unharmed while waiting for his return.

Book Review: The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah
Credits: Dream by Day

“I love you, too,” she said but the words that always seemed so big felt small now. What was love when put up against war.

She is forced to let an enemy, a German soldier, live in her house. As she strives for survival, her daughter’s life is at constant risk.

Isabelle, on the other hand, is the fierce and rebellious one.

Book Review: The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah
Credit: bookbub

She falls in love with a young man who betrays her. The fire-spirited Isabelle, instead of letting that slow her down, utilizes the fire of revenge to grow into this incredibly wise woman, as circumstances take an interesting turn. Convinced by the belief that Nazis can be defeated from within France, she joins an underground group, The Resistance, risking her life to make a difference in others’.

From now on, she was Juliette Gervaise, code name the Nightingale.

The growth we witness for this character is astounding. From an 18-year-old girl who falls in love with young men effortlessly, she matures into a spy, a fighter, a rebel; The Nightingale.

Does the story have a happy ending? I’d prefer not to give that away. However, I can assure that you will be left feeling gloomy as well as empowered, robust and absolutely inspired. You will also end up feeling grateful for the luxuries and freedom that you have to live in a free country and you take that for granted.

Book Review: The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah
Kristin Hannah, the author.

Author has been successful in apprehending and narrating exactly what happened in France in 1939 during WWII, right before the peaceful lives of many were changed forever. This is a story about friends betraying their beloved, children growing beyond their years, communities falling off, faith leaving hearts and the innocent turning into ruthless warriors. I recommend this read for those who are inspired by stories of hope, survival, resilience, and strength.