Tuesday, 16 June 2020

The Nightingale. (Mindscape Reviews!)

Hi Readers! I have finally finished Kristin Hannah’s ‘The Nightingale’ & I loved it! In the beginning I had to strain my eyes because the font in the book was tiny. But, as soon as I got used to it, I finished it about 3 days or so. Everyone who told me that this was an amazing book, I need to say a BIG THANK YOU to them! It indeed was! Just like when I started ‘All the Light We Cannot See’, I knew I’d like it a few pages in, this was the same.


The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is a historical fiction novel set in the WWII telling us the story of two sisters – Vianne & Isabelle. There are two story lines. First one is during the war, which is 95 % of the book, set from 1939 to 1945. The other is in 1995, 50 years after the second world war, where we see an old woman who has survived the war. Is it Vianne? Is it Isabelle? You will only know at the end. Both the story lines are written so amazingly well. There are many people whose lives we see getting affected because of the war. We see how every person reacts in a different way; some to survive, some to fight back, some to right their wrongs, some following orders & some to just live another day. Every person in this novel, no matter what part they decided to play, have shown that bravery can be a hundred different things. There is not only one correct way, there are hundred correct ways.


Vianne Mauriac is a resident of Carriveau, France, who lives in a nice house with her husband Antoine & daughter Sophie. She teaches at a school along with her best friend of fifteen years, Rachel. Initially, Vianne is just another traditional woman who keeps to herself, her family & lives her life happily. She has never lived alone & so when Antoine gets called in to fight, she becomes another woman. She does what is necessary for her & her daughter’s survival. In her own way, she transforms into someone exceptional.

Isabelle Rossignol is Vianne’s younger sister. From her childhood, she has always been shunned by those close to her. First her mother dies, then her father leaves her & then her sister leaves her. She has never been loved by anyone. And maybe this is just one of the minor reasons she decides to join the Resistance & fight back against the Nazis. She is not afraid of anything & jumps head on in a situation without much thought. She is rebellious & impetuous at times too, but always so incredibly heroic. This amazing balance between the sisters is lovely to read.

Another character is Captain Beck. A German who stays at Vianne’s home during the war. I really liked this character’s portrayal. How human he was made to be. Even though he was in the enemy group, time & again, he saved Vianne’s life by giving her information that could have cost him gravely.

Rachel de Champlain lives next door to Vianne. She is married to Marc, has a daughter Sarah & a new-born son Ari. Rachel is another woman of incredible emotional strength. Just like Vianne’s husband, her husband also gets called in to fight. Not as wealthy as Vianne, she keeps going for her two children.


I have rated the Nightingale at 4/5 on Goodreads. I really loved Kristin Hannah’s writing in this novel. She has written such an incredible story with an amazing character arc for ALL THE CHARACTERS while stating how bravery is defined differently for every person & leaving no loose ends. When you get into such kind of novels, you expect death of main characters & yet the way she has beautifully drawn out everything toward the end is simply an artist’s perfection.

We can predict a few things to happen, but when we get to it, they hit differently. Some of the adventurous incidents are written with such detail & imagination that will have you hold your breath. Some are so miserable that you will cry. There is so much reality in this book which gives us such a clear idea of how the war was like. The book has so many things in it; purpose, hope, defeat, survival, love, courage & so much more.

There are a few parts which were not to my liking. But, if I mention them here, they will be spoilers, so just this once, I will keep the critics to myself. I will say this. If you like ‘All the Light We Cannot See’, you will like ‘The Nightingale’. They are nothing alike, but they are stories of purpose & hope & love. Reading each book was rewarding in its own way. And, if you love historical fiction, this will definitely take the win. If it helps, this novel has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Historical Fiction in 2015!

I hope you liked this review enough for you to take this book up for reading! Let me know your thoughts! Another review for Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead will be up soon!

Until next time,

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