The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – Book Review

Title: The Nightingale

Author: Kristin Hannah

Genre/Themes: Historical Fiction, World War II, Occupied France, Sisters, Family

Blurb from Goodreads

Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne 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 Vianne 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, Vianne 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.

My Review

The Nightingale is certainly an engrossing story. It captures the reader from the start so desperate are they to know who the old lady is? Which of the Rossignol sisters she is… Btw. I called it early on….

And following the story of the Rossignol sisters in France during WWII was certainly intriguing… But it never felt truly real to me. There was something in the writing and the story that felt overdone.

Too dramatised.

A little too non-French.

Emotionally manipulative even…

I keep comparing this to ‘Suite Française‘ in my mind and for me that is a much better book about occupied France.

While I did enjoy this book… It somehow feels a little too disposable to me and historical WWII set fiction shouldn’t feel like that I don’t think….

An entertaining read but sadly not quite the experience I had built this up to be in my mind. I much preferred Kristin Hannah’s ‘The Great Alone‘ and feel that is much better written book

But at least it was a well crafted story that at times tugged on the heartstrings.

Other Works by Kristin Hannah I’ve Reviewed

My Socials

9 thoughts on “The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – Book Review

  1. Hi there thanks for this really honest and sincere review! I would say I agree with you with the characters being slightly cliche too. But I still enjoyed it nonetheless. Thank you for your thoughts 🙂


    1. I just found it too perfect Kitty. Too perfectly sad… It’s well written, I can’t deny that but every plot development felt so orchestrated to elicit the saddest emotion and it grated on me because I felt it was too manipulative. And it just lost the grittiness of war.
      But everyone else loves this… So I’m very much a lone dissenting voice. I mean that’s to be expected with me, always gotta be awkward don’t I 🙈😂

      Suite Francaise is an unfinished book written by a woman who was living through the war… Sadly died in the war before the book was completed. And it just has that little more authenticity I was looking for while still pulling those heart strings. I wish I had written a review of it but it’s a number of years since I read it, pre 2015 as I wasn’t writing book reviews back then.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have wanted to read this book. It has a wonderful cover and a good premise but if it feels a little too overdone/perfect I don’t know, lol. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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