Review: The Nightingale of Kristin Hannah

I wanted to read this book for a long time, but somehow other books were prioritized first. The book was gifted to me quite awhile ago, so I figured it was time to read it now. Find out below what I thought of the book!

Book Cover

“With courage, grace, and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of World War II 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.”

The Story

The book begins in the year of 1995, despite of it being a historical fiction book (although, when you think about it, 1995 is quite historical already ;). A French American woman looks back on her life and the secret she kept from her son. We do not know who the woman is, when the story jumps back to wartime.

The story focuses on two sisters: Vianne and Isabelle. Vianne lives with her husband and daughter (Sophie). Isabelle is the rebel of the two, she has the habit of running away (a lot). They are not close and their different personalities lead to two different paths during the war. However, they both face tragedy and adversity and on the other hand, they experience heroism, love and compassion. The story develops slowly in my opinion, but when you get to the end, you will not be able to stop reading and you feel so much empathy towards these two sisters.

My opinion

This book was one tough pill to get through. I honestly almost stopped reading, but I gave it a chance by speedreading the first 250 pages or so and then all of a sudden everything changed. The characters got real interesting and “real” while they lived through tragedies and downright heroism.

I think the book is too descriptive, which leads away from the story. I really started liking the book when the focus turned to the events and character development instead of the “meadow with pink, red, blue, purple, yellow, purple-yellowish, red-blueish, white and green flowers on which the sun shone and the wind blew and people walked with foot size X and and” (obviously not an actual quote). Despite this, the book really got a hold of me, and you really feel for the characters as they face life with the dangers of war.

I had rather seen that the character at the end of the book was someone else than it turned out to be, but I will not go to deep into that because I don’t want to give away spoilers. If you’d like to share your opinion on this matter, feel free to e-mail us.


The book gets interesting slowly, but when it is interesting it is really interesting. I could not put the book away after 250 pages. It is not the best fiction book I read about the Second World War, however I do recommend it!


Written by Roos Bergers