This post contains affiliate linksThe Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is a sweeping World War II book that is 564 pages long.  I was a bit intimidated by the size of the book, but luckily, this book was amazing and one I couldn’t put down.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

About The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale is set in France during World War II and tells the story of two sisters, Vianne and her younger sister, Isabelle.

Vianne’s Story

Vianne is married and has one daughter, Sophie.  She’s horrified when her husband is called up for World War II because she remembers how her father went to World War I and came back home a distant, alcoholic man.  When he returned from the war and Vianne’s mother died, her father dropped her and Isabelle off with a woman and had very little to do with them afterward.

Vianne’s horror for this war intensifies when the Germans invade and occupy her area of France.  She’s forced to billet a Nazi soldier.  Little does she know that the hardship she experiences then is only the beginning of the hardship she’ll experience throughout the war.

Isabelle’s Story

Meanwhile, Isabelle is kicked out of her most recent boarding school (the 4th one she’s been kicked out of).  She goes to Paris to her father’s home, but he swiftly sends her to Vianne’s house because Paris is under attack from the Germans.  Isabelle ends up walking to her sister’s home, but she’s unhappy there.  She hates the way her sister quietly goes along with what the billeted Nazi soldier demands.  Isabelle wants to fight the war in her own way.

In the end, she defiantly leaves Vianne’s home and finds herself swept up in a branch of the Resistance.  But little does she know that as the war goes on, Vianne creates her own Resistance, too.

My Thoughts on The Nightingale

Simply put, I loved this story.  I was drawn into both Vianne and Isabelle’s stories, though more so to Vianne’s story.  I can’t imagine the depth of sacrifice required of whole countries during World War II, not just of the soldiers but of the civilians who remained and tried to carry on with their lives, even while their country was occupied and they sheltered enemy soldiers and the Allies bombed their cities while trying to free them.

This book is supposed to be made into a movie, tentatively with a release date of December 25, 2020, and I can’t wait to watch it.  I also can’t wait to read more books by Kristin Hannah.

I give The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah 5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.

More Reading Suggestions

Love World War II books?  Some of my other favorites in this genre including:

The Daughter’s Tale


Resistance Women


The Missing Matisse

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