Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Recommended Reading - The Nightingale

If you're looking for a good read, let me recommend Kristin Hannah's, The Nightingale. I picked it up at an English bookstore here in Paris and devoured it in just a few days. While I wont give too much away, I will say that it's set in Paris and the French countryside against the backdrop of WWII and focuses on the lives of a pair of sisters. Part of the novel is told in current day with the primary focus the 1940s.

I liked that it was partially set in Paris since I'm there now. I could picture some of the streets that the younger sister walked through on her way to work before and during the Nazi occupation. I liked that the picture of their lives before the war was presented as a foil to their lives during the war.   I liked that it kept me guessing. I liked that it made me feel something. I liked that I learned something about the suffering of average people during the war. I like how she presented the shift in Nazi policy towards Jews and the confusion/trauma it caused for the townspeople. I liked her ability to differentiate between Nazis who were cruel and maniacal versus those who were doing a job and trying to maintain a sense of honor. I liked that the characters were well-drawn, fully developed people with both flaws and virtues. I liked that the details of the story were well-chosen and that
some parts of the story were painted with a broader brush. I liked that, in the end, it was a story about the tenacity of the human spirit even in times of crisis.

Do you want to read it yet? I hope so. :)

1 comment:

  1. I definitely want to read this one eventually; I've put it on my "To Read" shelf in Goodreads. But I read All The Light We Cannot See recently, which is also set in Europe during WWII, and want to put some space between the two so I can appreciate them separately. I highly recommend Doerr's novel, if you haven't already read it.