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Publisher's Summary

Two sisters. One must be brave. One should be afraid. 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 are 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.

Vivid and exquisite in its illumination of a time and place that was filled with atrocities but also humanity and strength, Kristin Hannah's novel will provoke thought and discussion that will have readers talking long after they finish listening.

©2015 Kristin Hannah (P)2015 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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  • Story

Beautiful

What did you like best about this story?

The book ended with me in tears – as almost all great books do. My last notes are monosyllables: brilliant, sad, love, forgiveness, courage, courage, courage…

Any additional comments?

While the novel is written in the third person, the intermittent glimpse to the future (1995) is narrated by one of the sisters (it is not clear for the majority of the book which sister this is) in the first person. This glimpse forward with its unmistakable hindsight adds an element of mystery to the story which I loved<br/><br/>I am drawn to WWII books, in particular, those set in occupied France. I don’t know why – they are almost always sad and I tend to question what I would have done in the same situation… I know I courage would have failed me and that doesn’t lead to happy thoughts. But it is why I found myself drawn to Vianne whose courage didn’t come easy.@crushingcinders

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Loved it!

What a fantastic story, engaging characters beautiful performance and an enlightening read.

If you enjoy historical fiction told with compassion balanced with raw truth then this is for you.

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A story and performance that will stay with you!

I've recently read/listened to a lot of historical fiction set around WWII. The Nightingale stands out for me not only for the way the author is effortlessly able to transport you back to that time in a heartbeat, but she encapsulates the nuances of relationships, hardships, horrors, beauty and strength of the time. The storyline, characters and performance will stay with me for a lifetime. Thank you Kristin Hannah and Polly Stone for your gifts.

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A 'must read' book

This beautifully told story was hard to put down and will stay with me for a very long time. It has left me in wonderment of the human spirit, especially that of a mother. I'm also left with a deeply sad reminder of the inhumanity and horror that exists in this world.

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Ghastly sent it back.....don't want to give it ANY stars at all

After the first two chapters my skin was crawling.....over embellished description of everything......historically inaccurate and questionable ....a schoolteacher and her postman husband drinking Bollinger champagne on a Sunday picnic ....in France in 1939 highly unlikely etc etc etc
This author is a New York Times bestseller !!!? Who reads this tedious unimaginative crap???

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Good story

So long as I parked the odd continuity issues this was an enjoyable read - a good story from WWII. Showing the challenges for french women surviving, and holding true to their values

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So sad!!! But loved it.

Any additional comments?

This book was so interesting. I really learned a lot about WW2 in France, and how life must have been. I even went on line and looked at photos of the actual events (I don't want to give too much away!) which made it all the more real for me to see the photos and imagine the characters. The narrator was brilliant - she really seemed to care about the characters. My mother doesn't do Audible but I sent her the book and we have really enjoyed talking about it.

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Heartbreaking but enjoyable

I enjoyed The Nightingale immensely. The narrator kept me wanting to hear more. The changes in her voice when she became another character was appealing to my ear.
Great story, which is many persons' story, told from a different angle.
Recommended to anyone who loves to read books with a historical perspective

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excellent story, frustrating narration problems

If you could sum up The Nightingale in three words, what would they be?

bittersweet, intriguing, formidable.

Any additional comments?

Great story of two sisters in occupied France during WWII. <br/><br/>Audio review - Narrator had a great voice but didnt bother to learn french pronunciation of common french words / phrases which were scattered throughout the story. So she stuck with mispronouncing them the whole way through which was quite annoying. <br/><br/>Secondly it was obvious where she had re-recorded snippets, a sentence here and there where she didnt even bother to match her voice to her previous reading, sometimes when speaking as a character! This was really poor form. The volume levels when this happened were also out, indicating that nobody even bothered mixing the volume tracks to match where there had been breaks. <br/><br/>These audio issues really destroyed the storytelling. I would only recommend this book for reading, not listening.

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Enthralled

An amazing and confronting account of love, resilience and the strength of the human spirit.

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  • Mrs S Dunbar
  • 06-20-16

Enthralling story of courage and survival

What did you like most about The Nightingale?

It had me hooked from the first chapter. A story of survival in France during the German occupation World War II and what the French women had to do to survive, keep their children safe as well as many being active members of the French resistance. There is a strong story line running throughout and I was sorry when I reached the end!

What other book might you compare The Nightingale to, and why?

No comparison immediately comes to mind

What about Polly Stone’s performance did you like?

Enjoyed her style and the several accents she used to give the reader a sense of location and depth to the characters.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Relive the struggle of survival in occupied France through the lives of two courageous sisters

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Miss P.
  • 06-24-16

Amazing story.but read a bit too slow.

It took a while for me to get into the story. In fact until I sped up the speed of the reading to 1.25. I just needed it to go a bit faster. However would highly highly recommended it. We too often forget what life was like for non-soldiers in World War II. Really really touching story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lauren
  • 04-05-16

Fantastic fantastic fantastic

An excellent account of the 2nd world war in France and what the women left behind endured to survive the war. The lengths they went too protect their friends, family and the airmen who would ultimately save them.

Absolutely fantastic!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sue
  • 04-03-16

Just Wonderful

Beautifully read and I was drawn into the story straightaway. Tears at the end. A view of how it was in France during the war whether you were passive or wanted to fight back. My first Kristin Hannah book so I will look for others but read by Polly Stone and she had me hanging on her every word with her wonderfully soft French accent. Loved the way she said 'Isabel'.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • sunflower
  • 03-07-16

Then and now

Tremendous read. Emotional, riveting, sad, realistic, horrifying, admirable. Story handled well - bringing the past into the now. The reader is there with the characters, with the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • sue
  • 01-30-16

Heartbreaking but addictive

I just could not wait to hear more and more of this tale.
The writing led me into a deep understanding of the characters.
Honestly the perfect book for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jodie
  • 01-26-16

AMAZING

Like all good books this was slow to start. I found myself struggling a little. Then the drama kicked in and I couldn't wait to find more jobs to do so I could listen to more!

I finished this book crying at the injustice of the war and what people went through in the holocaust. Brave strong people.

Loved it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs
  • 01-08-16

An amazing story

A thought provoking and heart wrenching story. The descriptive writing is inspiring and this helps creature an great depth of emotion.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • habab Mohd Mustafa
  • 12-20-15

bittersweet!

family values, tear jerking, amazing!wonderful lessons easily forgotten today. love one another and turn every closed door into a gate. sums up life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mind Wise
  • 11-08-17

Stunning

A story I will never forget. It was almost more than I could bear and had me in tears. If it had not been so well written, I would not have finished it. I tear up just writing this review.
I had vowed never to read another book about Nazis, but this had me gripped.

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  • Ness
  • 09-10-15

Loved it

This book was not something I would usually read/listen to but I found it fantastic. I loved it and highly recommend

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Karen
  • 04-22-16

Good story ...narration distracting at times

A well written story and I adored Isabelle as a character . The ending was perhaps a little predictable but was thoroughly enjoyable despite this.
I did find the narrator's accent distracting at times , particularly when she was trying to use a French accent on top of her American one . I think her portrayal of a Germain accent was better.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-12-15

One of the best

loved this book, what a great insight into the struggle and adversity that the French people suffer during ww2. and those that resisted the enemy. A must read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Carol Anne Harvey
  • 09-08-15

Triumph of the human spirit.

It's difficult to say you 'enjoyed' a book like this, given the subject matter, but it certainly opens your eyes to the strength of the human spirit and the evil of which some are capable. One minor complaint is the constant repetition of things the author had already told us about the characters and the circumstances that formed their characters. Nevertheless a good read and audio book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amanda
  • 08-24-15

A softly emotional journey

This was a great story, beautifully narrated, and I found myself crying towards the conclusion. A wonderful listen.
Worthwhile read

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Chantelle
  • 08-11-15

amazing

i absolutely loved it. I could listen over and over again. amazing is all i can say

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Denise
  • 07-14-15

Riveting

This was a book about a very dark time in our history. It is hard to believe that humans could inflict and endure such suffering. I was so engaged in the story I looked forward to and from my commute to work.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Melinda Hannett
  • 02-18-17

Absolutely brilliant, one of the my favourites

If you could sum up The Nightingale in three words, what would they be?

Brilliant, so sad

What other book might you compare The Nightingale to, and why?

I am really into the war stories, cannot compare as they have been all excellent but this has been my favorite.

Which character – as performed by Polly Stone – was your favourite?

Isabelle Rossignol.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes couldn't put it down

Any additional comments?

Would like some suggestions what other books I can listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Carla
  • 10-04-16

Total tear jerker!!

Narrated beautifully ! Has become probably the best book I have ever heard! So sad, so interesting, so moving! A MUST read!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dorothy Jones
  • 07-08-16

A fascinating insight to WWII through the eyes of 2 inspiring French women

A little slow initially but truly worth hanging on. I couldn't wait to get back to listening to every morsel. I feel moved by this book. A definite favorite

1 of 1 people found this review helpful