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The nightingale
2015
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Vianne Mauriac (Female), Married, Mother, French, Her husband is fighting on the front; forced to live with the enemy when a German captain takes over her home
Isabelle (Female), French, Fell in love with a partisan who believed the French could fight the Nazis from within; when he betrayed her she joined the Resistance
Genre
Fiction
Historical
Domestic
War
Topics
World War II
German occupation of France
Sisters
Falling in love
French Resistance
Betrayal
Women in war
Military spouses
Family relationships
Setting
France - Europe
Time Period
--
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Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

Hannah's (Fly Away) latest begins with an old woman recalling her past. This unnamed woman intrudes occasionally throughout the book, disrupting the horrific tale of two sisters in World War II France. Thus, listeners learn that one sister survives the war-but which one? In 1939, Vianne, the older sibling, wants to believe that everything is for the best and refuses to see reality. Isabelle sees the situation more clearly, but she alienates Vianne (and many others) by saying exactly what she thinks and acting without considering the consequences. The sisters make very different and difficult choices as they deal with the German occupation. The final scene at a Paris reunion of war survivors shows how their choices influenced history and makes for a most satisfying conclusion. Polly Stone employs German, French, American, and British accents and perfect pacing to bring the listener fully into the period and action. Timid Vianne's slower pacing and higher pitch contrast with the forcefulness that characterizes Isabelle. Stone's dramatic choices heighten the danger, suspense, and tragedy. VERDICT Highly recommended. ["Readers who enjoy stories with ethical dilemmas and character-driven fiction will enjoy this story full of emotion and heart": LJ 1/15 review of the St. Martin's hc.]-Juleigh Muirhead Clark, Colonial -Williamsburg Fdn. Lib., VA © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Two very different sisters navigate life in WWII France in this sweeping story: Isabelle, an impetuous 18-year-old who is eager to defy the Nazis, and her much older and more traditional sister Vianne, who tries valiantly to keep home and hearth together. Reader Stone's strength lies in the emotional range she brings to her characters-not just the two sisters, but also their jaded, detached father, and even Vianne's small daughter, who grows up markedly during the war. Stone approaches the performance with an intuitive understanding of the characters' private fears, knowing that their inner lives are often quite different than their public faces, and that a good deal goes unsaid between them. She also performs an excellent French accent. But rather than trying to carry it through all of the conversations between the French characters, which would be tedious over the course of the novel, she wisely reserves it for names and places. However, the voice she employs for Captain Beck, a German officer billeted at Vianne's house, is stereotyped, and other international inflections-British, Eastern European-fall flat. A St. Martin's hardcover. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
In love we find out who we want to be.<br> In war we find out who we are.<br><br> FRANCE, 1939<br> <br> In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front.  She doesn't believe that the Nazis will invade France...but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne's home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.<br> ;<br> Vianne's sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth; While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can...completely; But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.<br><br> With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women's war.; The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France--a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women.; It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.
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