I've been hearing buzz about Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale, even though it is yet to be published. Every bit of publicity is well worth it.
The novel begins in 1995, but quickly moves to 1939 and Paris during World War II.
Sister Viann and Isabelle have had a hard childhood, especially since the death of their mother, which causes their father to turn to alcohol and send his daughters to live away from home.
The sisters are far enough apart in age that they are not close, yet as the novel unfolds, we see their lives continue to come together repeatedly.
Viann lives on a farm with her daughter as her husband has been sent to fight. She is a "good girl," a rule follower and tries her best to carry on without the help of her spouse.
Isabelle is the wild child, having been kicked out of a variety of schools. When her father sends her to live with her sister in the country, she is not happy about these developments.
And yet, both women find a way to help France resist the Nazis.
There were many reasons I loved this book even though it was a sad story, a hard subject to read about.
I enjoyed that Hannah set her novel in France. Sarah's Key was the first novel that shed light (for me at least) on France's less than stellar role in World War II. The Nightingale also provides that same background and history for readers.
Hannah manages to create a little suspense in The Nightingale in various different places that kept me reading until the very last page was turned. Her characters were well developed and Viann and Isabelle never stopped surprising me.
I have read everything written by Hannah, enjoying some more than others. No matter how much I have thought about this book after I finished reading, I have known that there is no way that any review could do it justice.
This is a must read, a novel that will stay with you. I am expecting to hear a lot about this novel for some time to come.