The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is by far the best historical fiction I have read in a long time. Its the Feb read of our National Museum of Singapore (NMS) book club which we have just formed in Dec 2019. I'm part of another book club consisting of friends and book lovers in the east of Singapore. But who says you can't be part of more than 1 book club?
Anyways, The Nightingale is a story of 2 sisters Viann and Isabelle who each strive through their journey of self discovery in German occupied war torn France during WW2 between 1942-1945. While one is a passive follow the rules kind of sibling, the other is a rebel who abores authority and joins the resistance, ignoring all the risks and dangers involved, to fight for France.
The entire novel is very well written and every page is a page turner. Historical fictions aren't always a crowd favourite and I assumed that this novel won't be much of a black sheep.But alas, I was so wrong! Instead of a dry boring dreading to read kind of a novel, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. As I always say, fiction though being fictatious must be believable.
Its the New York Times number one bestselling title. Vivid and exquisite in its illumination of a time and place that was filled with atrocities, but also humanity and strength, The Nightingale will provoke thought and discussion that will have you talking long after you finish reading.
Bravery, courage, fear and love in a time of war.
Despite their differences, sisters Viann and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann 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 Viann finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.
As the war progresses, the sisters' relationship and strength is tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Viann 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.
The novel is a small paperback, easy to carry around. Consists of 531 pages spread over 39 chapters. Told from a perspective of one of the sisters as a flashback to the terrifying times. I was a little surprised when I found out which of the sister was telling the story at the end of the novel. Lets see if you are too!
Overall rating : A+