Book of the Month: The Nightingale

"In love we find out who we want to be. In war, we find out who we are."

I can't really say what drew me to this book, because I'm not a war-type-girl. I don't do chaos. Lol. This book tells the story of two sisters as they navigate war-torn, German invaded France. I know that we already know this, but war is a devastating, heartbreaking, and senseless phenomenon. While whenever I found my crying (while reading) I consoled myself by reminding myself that it was all fiction, the truth is there are millions of people whose lives in 2016 have been shaped by the dire consequences of war. There are people who have found themselves in wars they don't even understand. Wars that have been fought for so long that the causes are now long forgotten.

Without giving too much away, one sister had to part with her husband who headed to the front and would later become a prisoner of war. Another sister, impetuous, and somewhat naive was desperate to resist the Nazis. Although in different capacities, both of them displayed massive amount of bravery and courage.

The very unique aspect of this book was telling the story of a war from the perspective of women. The women's war. They had to survive, and provide for their children during the war. Both women went through unimaginable, despicable, and outrightly dangerous circumstances all through the war, and came out strong. Vianne, the older sister was married to  and had a young daughter with a man she had been in love with since she was a teenager. All was good and well till Antoine, her husband was mobilized for the war despite her optimism that there would be no war. As if that was not enough, faced with the despair of never seeing her husband again, months after the war began a German soldier was stationed in her home.

On the other hand was Isabelle, the younger sister. The rebel. After being expelled from school after school, Isabelle finds her way to Paris where she would in a bid to surmount her restlessness and helplessness lead hundreds of men to safety.  I found Isabelle annoying sometimes, but her courage obscured that eventually.

Kristin Hannah was a wizard with her stroytelling; you could literally picture every character and live that war through them. Despite the fact that the it was purely fictional, the emotions were raw, which made the book a pageturner.   I would never forget the scene in which Vianne was trying to help her friend Rachel escape the Germans. I would never forget the wave of sadness that overwhelmed me, just from reading what transpired in those pages.

This book will make to you think, it will make you empathize, and it will make you angry. During my book club discussions, there were arguments that it was a bit slow at the beginning. Although I agree at it being just a tad slow, coming from my last book of the month to this, this took off way faster than that.

This was a great book, I would recommend everyone reading it. If nothing, you would get a peek into history. You would further understand the place of war in our society and how women fit into into. You also would enjoy the love stories intertwined in it.

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