The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (read May 14, 2016)
This book was recommended to me by one of my very good friends here at school who had the book, and she had given it to a mutual friend of ours. They both finished it so quickly and couldn’t stop talking about how they couldn’t put it down and how I would read it so very quickly. With such great words from some of my best friends (and little resistance from me, because hello, good book), I decided to read it. When I went to go put it on my Goodreads account, I found that this book was also chosen as one of the best books of 2015—that just made me more excited!
Having started the book, I quickly realized that The Nightingale is one of those books that kind of flips between times; it’s not in complete chronological order. The two plot lines are very obviously connected, although I didn’t really know how until the end (which was one of my favorite parts of the book). The way Hannah switches between time periods is graceful, and the information is doled out very well, deliberately keeping the reader guessing.
Another thing that I like in particular about the book was the setting. The vast majority of the time is spent in the late 30’s and 40’s— World War II. This period of time has always fascinated me; I’ve always enjoyed reading books, essays, and stories related to World War II and Holocaust. Although I really enjoyed the time period, it was the location that made it extraordinary to me. Most things people read from this time take place in Germany, Poland, Japan, to name a few, especially when considering camps and fighting. Unlike those, this one was set in France and I really hadn’t thought about WW2-France that much. I hadn’t imagined how much the lifestyles there changed, for everyone, not just people in cities like Paris.
This book made me appreciate what it’s like for us in wartime, because we are so far from the fighting, especially the more recent wars. I won’t say much more, because you should read the book and not just take it from me.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5