Tuesday, June 30, 2015

#27: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

During World War II, two French sisters take different paths during the Nazi occupation of France; one becomes a freedom fighter, and the other finds herself  gradually becoming a collaborator, in Kristin Hannah's epic historical novel The Nightingale.

One sister, more freewheeling and adventurous, becomes the Nightingale of the title, a partisan agent who joins the resistance as a messenger but eventually helps fallen Allied airmen escape occupied France.  The other sister, who has a more mild personality (that caused childhood conflicts between the siblings), tries to protect her shattered family by making one painful choice after the next.

Hannah's novel is a "homefront" style war novel, but standard elements of melodrama and action slowly give way to some pretty dramatic, disturbing scenes as the vestiges of humanity--personified in the Nazi Final Solution--are stripped away in the waning days of the war.

A solid read for those interested in a different take on a standard war story.  I checked this out on audiobook from the Morrisson-Reeves Public Library in Richmond, Indiana.

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