My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Nightingale…..I wasn’t expecting this…this turmoil of soil, cloudy skies, mystery, darkness, bombs and loyalty and mistrust. This book had so much more than I gave it credit. Two sisters. Two paths – one goal. Survival. When I first read the blurb I thought this would be a World War I romance… I really couldn’t have been more wrong.
Vianne- the older sister with a daughter and a husband living in the country.
Isabelle – the younger sister, 19, jobless and without any form of tutoring from Paris
They seem to not get on well until war drives them together and then apart for their own causes. I preferred Vianne’s journey more than Isabelle’s – I just preferred her voice. With her petulance Isabelle did annoy me at times, though with credit this was meant to be part of her character profile. I loved the food/domestic chore description with Vianne – I write like that myself and to read the description was enjoyable and helped me paint the picture easily.
The tragic dust of war echoed through this book, and it built up beautifully. The tension was kept and I was a bag of nerves through the last third – I really couldn’t put it down. To be honest as soon as I picked it up in the early afternoon I knew it wouldn’t be put down – and sure enough a few hours later, I had finished, tear stricken, empty and full and full of revelations on how in perspective my life isn’t hard at all. The ending was bitter sweet, it was tragic and it was touching – I cried so much that I woke up my partner and dog (oops)
For a historical fiction, this is one of the best I have read (Anne Frank being my all time favourite) – please for a tragic experience that will leave you with nothing and give everything – give this one a go.