The Nightingale Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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Audie Award, Fiction, 2016
In love we find out who we want to be. In war we find out who we are.
In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France...but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.
Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can...completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.
With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France--a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.
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|Listening Length||17 hours and 19 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||February 03, 2015|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #134 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#7 in Historical Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#14 in Women's Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#44 in Historical Fiction (Books)
Reviewed in the United States on July 6, 2018
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Top reviews from the United States
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So I add my five-star review to the others. Read this book. It will take you away from whatever you're doing. This was my first book from Kristin Hannah. It won't be my last
This novel is set in France during WWII. The plot centers around the French Resistance and the persecution of the Jews in France.
The author doesn't seem to know much of the history of the French Resistance. For example, they completely missed the French movie The Sorrow and the Pity (the title in English). This movie presents a stark picture of the French during the war and after the war. Although the resistance was mythologized after the war, during the war there was very little resistance to the Nazis. Also, the French have a long history of antisemitism, which continues to this day.
In this novel there is an active French resistance, with French people outraged at any hint of collaboration with the Nazis. In fact, many French people collaborated and the others just kept their heads down. The French resistance was far less active than the resistance in Czechoslovakia, Denmark or many other countries.
The writing is not bad, but the complete butchering of history in a historical novel got to me. I'm sorry that I spent $2.99 on this book. I should have read the preview first. But I mistakenly trusted the vast number of positive reviews.
I expected so much more. The premise for the story was promising: the role of women during WWII France. But the author quickly fell into clichés. The characters have no depth whatsoever.
The sub-themes have been so overused that it clearly shows a lack of imagination: the idealist young girl who longs for love and approval from her father, PTSD from WWI, first love, sibling rivalry. Mix it all in, give it a good shake and voilà: best seller!
The plot is O.K., but the writing is unbearable. I felt like watching an episode of The Bold and the Beautiful.
One last thing: I am French and I have to say that the author’s description of everyday life during WWII felt terribly inaccurate.
There are so many good books out there. You can do better.
Top reviews from other countries
The research for the book is lamentable. There are glaring historical, cultural and geographical inaccuracies that detract from the story. There are also plot errors and straightforward mistakes littering the text. It would be unfair to expose the main errors as it will spoil the plot for anyone wishing to read the book, but for example, the main town in which the story is set, the fictional Carriveau, starts in German occupied France not far from Orleans or Tours. Toward the end of the story it has moved a few hundred miles south to be near Oradour sur Glane, not far from Limoges. Members of the French resistance forget which are pseudonyms and which are real names. Laurence Olivier is considered an appropriate name to avoid attention. A giant steel wheel becomes a stone wheel in the course of just one paragraph.
The author appears to have cobbled together scenes from most of the famous second world war novels: Schindlers List, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The Book Thief. At one point it appeared as if a Tale of Two Cities was going to make an appearance. The effect is of a massive cliché and a desperate lack of originality.
There is an obsession in making the two heroines stronger than the men. For example, a starved, weakened nineteen year old woman is made out to be stronger than young, fit, well trained airmen.
The writing itself varies in quality. At times, especially at the beginning, it isn’t bad, but it does become repetitive and sentimental. There are times it descends from an historical novel to become something of a farce like the TV series Allo Allo, and becomes something of an insult to the brave women in particular who fought with the resistance in the second world war.
However, what the book does have is an engaging story line, hook and pace. Although risible and sentimental in places, it is never boring and I read it to the end. The shame is that with a few more edits and better research, it could have been something special.
There were references to the smell of hay in April in France (wrong season!), hummingbirds on roses in a French garden (hummingbirds don’t live in France and don’t feed on roses!), misspelt German words, plenty of typos in English.
It just didn’t at all evoke France/continental Europe (I’m Swiss).
The success of this book flies in the face of the authors of historical novels who meticulously research their field.
First of all, Isabelle's code name, Anyone who has read even a single book about undercover work during the wars would know that the first rule in giving an agent a code name is that it does not even hint at the agent's real identity. Now Isabelle's surname is Rosignol. Her code name is The Nightingale. Rosignol means nightingale in French. I rest my case.
My second criticism has to do with Isabelle's character. We first get to know her as a wild, rebellious, hard-headed teenager who always gets her own way. We are supposed to believe that overnight, without any gradual coming-of-age moments, she turns into a mature and selfless heroine capable of leading grown men over mountains she has only navigated once in her life, risking life and limb to do so, obeying orders like a docile little lamb. Sorry, no!