Two sisters. One must be brave. One should be afraid. Bravery, courage, fear, and love in a time of war. Despite their differences sisters Viann and Isabelle have always been close.
Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann is content with life in the French countryside with her husband, Antoine, and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight, and Viann finds herself isolated, so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.
As the war progresses, the sisters' relationship and strength are tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Viann and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.
Vivid and exquisite in its illumination of a time and place that was filled with atrocities but also humanity and strength, Kristin Hannah's novel will provoke thought and discussion that will have readers talking long after they finish listening.
©2015 Kristin Hannah (P)2015 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
loved this book, what a great insight into the struggle and adversity that the French people suffer during ww2. and those that resisted the enemy. A must read.
It's difficult to say you 'enjoyed' a book like this, given the subject matter, but it certainly opens your eyes to the strength of the human spirit and the evil of which some are capable. One minor complaint is the constant repetition of things the author had already told us about the characters and the circumstances that formed their characters. Nevertheless a good read and audio book.
This was a book about a very dark time in our history. It is hard to believe that humans could inflict and endure such suffering. I was so engaged in the story I looked forward to and from my commute to work.
A little slow initially but truly worth hanging on. I couldn't wait to get back to listening to every morsel. I feel moved by this book. A definite favorite
"Ghastly sent it back.....don't want to give it ANY stars at all"
After the first two chapters my skin was crawling.....over embellished description of everything......historically inaccurate and questionable ....a schoolteacher and her postman husband drinking Bollinger champagne on a Sunday picnic ....in France in 1939 highly unlikely etc etc etc
This author is a New York Times bestseller !!!? Who reads this tedious unimaginative crap???
"A 'must read' book"
This beautifully told story was hard to put down and will stay with me for a very long time. It has left me in wonderment of the human spirit, especially that of a mother. I'm also left with a deeply sad reminder of the inhumanity and horror that exists in this world.
So long as I parked the odd continuity issues this was an enjoyable read - a good story from WWII. Showing the challenges for french women surviving, and holding true to their values
"So sad!!! But loved it."
This book was so interesting. I really learned a lot about WW2 in France, and how life must have been. I even went on line and looked at photos of the actual events (I don't want to give too much away!) which made it all the more real for me to see the photos and imagine the characters. The narrator was brilliant - she really seemed to care about the characters. My mother doesn't do Audible but I sent her the book and we have really enjoyed talking about it.
"Heartbreaking but enjoyable"
I enjoyed The Nightingale immensely. The narrator kept me wanting to hear more. The changes in her voice when she became another character was appealing to my ear.
Great story, which is many persons' story, told from a different angle.
Recommended to anyone who loves to read books with a historical perspective
"excellent story, frustrating narration problems"
bittersweet, intriguing, formidable.
Great story of two sisters in occupied France during WWII.
Audio review - Narrator had a great voice but didnt bother to learn french pronunciation of common french words / phrases which were scattered throughout the story. So she stuck with mispronouncing them the whole way through which was quite annoying.
Secondly it was obvious where she had re-recorded snippets, a sentence here and there where she didnt even bother to match her voice to her previous reading, sometimes when speaking as a character! This was really poor form. The volume levels when this happened were also out, indicating that nobody even bothered mixing the volume tracks to match where there had been breaks.
These audio issues really destroyed the storytelling. I would only recommend this book for reading, not listening.
An amazing and confronting account of love, resilience and the strength of the human spirit.
"Compelling, heart warming"
This was one of the best books I've had the pleasure to own.
Pollys performance was worthy of a standing ovation.
A must buy!
"Wonderful to listen to this story about the war"
Incredible story and so beautifully read. I don't usually read books about the war but this one was incredible. Reminds me that we must never allow the atrocities to happen again.
"Incredibly moving story"
Wow, this book was absolutely incredible. I am ashamed to say that there was so much history that I was ignorant of about WW2 until I read this book.
I am blown away by the strength of the French people and completely in awe of the women left behind and what they had to endure over the years that their men were gone.
The struggles and extreme conditions they lived through were absolutely harrowing. Losing their friends and family. The cruelty of the German soldiers was just awful.
All they had to cling on to was hope and an ending to the pain & suffering. A chance to be reunited with loved ones perhaps.
This was a story about two sisters during WW2. One is happily married and living a life filled with love. The other sister is one who has always questioned authority and pushed the boundaries. When the Germans come to town Vianne has to say goodbye to her husband as he is called up to join the fight. Her priority is to protect their daughter Sophie and she does that by keeping her head down ad following all orders made by the Nazis. Isabella, however, is determined to resist and fight for what she believes. She wants to make a difference for the people of France and sets out to do just that.
Two sisters who go on very different journey's of endurance during this horrific war.
This book was life changing, there were some lovely pockets of joy and happiness. There were many of great sorrow and tragedy. I've lost count of how many times I cried during this story. Yet this is also a story of sacrifice, love & family too.
This story will stay with me for a very long time and everyone needs to read this book, if just for a reality check on what our ancestors had to endure. Fabulous story buy an incredible author.
"Wounds heal, love lasts. We remain."
"Enthralling story of courage and survival"
It had me hooked from the first chapter. A story of survival in France during the German occupation World War II and what the French women had to do to survive, keep their children safe as well as many being active members of the French resistance. There is a strong story line running throughout and I was sorry when I reached the end!
No comparison immediately comes to mind
Enjoyed her style and the several accents she used to give the reader a sense of location and depth to the characters.
Relive the struggle of survival in occupied France through the lives of two courageous sisters
"Amazing story.but read a bit too slow."
It took a while for me to get into the story. In fact until I sped up the speed of the reading to 1.25. I just needed it to go a bit faster. However would highly highly recommended it. We too often forget what life was like for non-soldiers in World War II. Really really touching story.
"Fantastic fantastic fantastic"
An excellent account of the 2nd world war in France and what the women left behind endured to survive the war. The lengths they went too protect their friends, family and the airmen who would ultimately save them.
Beautifully read and I was drawn into the story straightaway. Tears at the end. A view of how it was in France during the war whether you were passive or wanted to fight back. My first Kristin Hannah book so I will look for others but read by Polly Stone and she had me hanging on her every word with her wonderfully soft French accent. Loved the way she said 'Isabel'.
"Then and now"
Tremendous read. Emotional, riveting, sad, realistic, horrifying, admirable. Story handled well - bringing the past into the now. The reader is there with the characters, with the story.
"Heartbreaking but addictive"
I just could not wait to hear more and more of this tale.
The writing led me into a deep understanding of the characters.
Honestly the perfect book for me.
Like all good books this was slow to start. I found myself struggling a little. Then the drama kicked in and I couldn't wait to find more jobs to do so I could listen to more!
I finished this book crying at the injustice of the war and what people went through in the holocaust. Brave strong people.
"An amazing story"
A thought provoking and heart wrenching story. The descriptive writing is inspiring and this helps creature an great depth of emotion.
family values, tear jerking, amazing!wonderful lessons easily forgotten today. love one another and turn every closed door into a gate. sums up life.
"Disappointing audio in parts"
The audio was terrible for all the male parts unfortunately and I also think it portrayed the female parts too meekly.
Riveting storyline though, heart rending.
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