The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah spent 20 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, 45 weeks on the NPR Hardcover Fiction Bestseller List, has sold over 4.5 million copies, and was the Goodreads choice winner of 2018. This historical novel swept up the charts and won over the hearts of almost anyone who read it (including us!). The book is inspired by the story of a Belgian woman, Andrée de Jongh, who helped downed Allied pilots to escape occupied France territory.
A film based on the book will be released in 2022, starring Dakota and Elle Fanning. This marks the first time that the sisters will have shared scenes in a film, since they tend to play the same character at different ages in separate scenes.
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
The Nightingale By Kristin Hannah
“If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: in love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.”
This story is about what it was like to be a woman during World War II when women’s stories were all too often forgotten or overlooked. Vianne and Isabelle Mauriac are two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals and passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path towards survival, love and freedom in war-torn France.
In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the German Army will invade France. But invade they do. In droves of marching soldiers. In caravans of trucks and tanks. And in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.
Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the German Army from within France. And she falls in love as only the young can…completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.
With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance. Each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France. A heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.
“Haunting, action-packed, and compelling.” ―Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Absolutely riveting!…Read this book.” ―Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff, Director of the University of Miami Holocaust Teacher Institute
“Beautifully written and richly evocative.” ―Sara Gruen, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“A hauntingly rich WWII novel about courage, brutality, love, survival―and the essence of what makes us human.” ―Family Circle
“A heart-pounding story.” ―USA Today
“An enormous story. Richly satisfying. I loved it.” ―Anne Rice
“A respectful and absorbing page-turner.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Tender, compelling…a satisfying slice of life in occupied France.” ―Jewish Book Council
“Expect to devour The Nightingale in as few sittings as possible; the high-stakes plot and lovable characters won’t allow any rest until all of their fates are known.” ―Shelf Awareness
“I loved The Nightingale.” ―Lisa See, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Powerful…an unforgettable portrait of love and war.” ―People
“A rich, compelling novel of love, sacrifice and survival.” – Kate Morton
“Movingly written and plotted with the heartless skill of a Greek tragedy, you’ll keep turning the pages until the last racking sob.” – Daily Mail
“I loved The Nightingale . . . great characters, great plots, great emotions, who could ask for more in a novel?” – Isabel Allende, bestselling author of The House of the Spirits
“A gripping tale of family, love, grief and forgiveness.” – Sunday Express