The Nightingale

The Nightingale

Downloadable Audiobook - 2015
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In love we find out who we want to be.In war we find out who we are. FRANCE, 1939 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.
Publisher: New York : Macmillan Audio, 2015
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9781427263278
Characteristics: 1 online resource (17 audio files) : digital
Additional Contributors: Stone, Polly (Narrator)
OverDrive, Inc

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From Library Staff

Join the discussion with Afternoon Book Club at Bess Johnson Elkhorn Branch on Thursday, August 1 at 1:30PM.

Hannah (Fly Away, 2013) departs from the contemporary novels she's known for with this engrossing tale of two sisters' bravery in occupied France during WWII. Viann and Isabelle Rossignol took very different paths after their mother's death devastated their family and war turned their father into... Read More »

Join the discussion with 4th Thursday Evening Book Club at Milton R. Abrahams Branch on Thursday, December 6 at 6:00PM.

Join the discussion with the 4th Wednesday Afternoon Book Club at Milton R. Abrahams Branch on Wednesday, July 25 at 1:00PM.

From the critics

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Nov 08, 2019


Oct 18, 2019

This novel tests a French family during the German occupation. Family members’ love for each other underlies everything, but is seldom displayed. Most of the story depends on amor patriae; there is little time or energy for romance in this story. The Germans are portrayed as cruel and dismissive of the conditions imposed on the French. Even those who are not actively abusive hardly fit Arendt’s “banality of evil” description. The Nightingale includes the Velodrome roundup central to “Sarah’s Key” and other such events. It also discusses the forced labor camps of “Schindler’s List,” delving a bit more deeply into who was sent to such camps. But the most difficult part for me was to see the oppressive effects on everyday life. Cooking becomes a challenge, because everything is in short supply or non-existent. Vianne typically mentions having to use a few precious drops of oil. Furniture not “requisitioned” by the Germans is frequently used as fuel. When we think about the assault on non-German cultures, their looting of national treasures, and vicious retributions such as Lidice, the effect of the occupation on the most quotidian details can be overlooked.
This is another book in a relatively new program of reading to my wife. We enjoyed the author’s connecting her fictional characters to actual events.

Oct 09, 2019

No wonder the wait for this novel was so long. It is an awesome story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Oct 05, 2019

Wow, this was an incredible story! I could hardly put it down. It was difficult to read at times with all that the two sisters had to endure because of the war, but I would highly recommend it.

Sep 28, 2019

This book was inspiring. The strong female characters who stood up for what is right while facing extreme adversity. The realistic picture that the author painted if life in German occupied France. The complicated sister relationship....true heroism... I loved it! Adventure, heartbreak, love, forgiveness, character growth and development...maybe my favorite read from the last several years.

Sep 19, 2019

Excellent! One of my all time favorite books

Sep 16, 2019

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was truly an eye opener as to what life was like in German occupied France during the end world war and the great part women contributed to help the allies. Highly recommend this book.

Aug 27, 2019

Amazing. German occupation of France
Nightingale character helped get Americans pilots who were shot down to safety
Sisters story

Aug 24, 2019

Beautiful written. One of the best books (novel) I've read in a long time about the Second World War.

Aug 22, 2019

This book did such an amazing job at making me feel like it was living the life of Isabelle and Vianna. I was so fantastic that I couldn’t put it down. It was a truly brilliant novel and the writing was just so breathtaking.

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Add a Quote
May 23, 2019

“Ask for help when you need it, and give help when you can.”
― Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale

May 23, 2019

“I had forgotten how gently time passes in Paris. As lively as the city is, there’s a stillness to it, a peace that lures you in. In Paris, with a glass of wine in your hand, you can just be.”
― Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale

May 23, 2019

“But love has to be stronger than hate, or there is no future for us.”
― Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale

Aug 07, 2018

“It’s better to be bold than meek...If you jump off a cliff at least you’ll fly before you fall.” - Isabelle to Sophie

Jun 25, 2018

"They couldn't touch my heart. They couldn't change who i was inside. My body... they broke that in the first days, but not my heart, V. Whatever he did it, it was to your body, and your body will heal." - Isabelle

ArapahoeChristine Apr 24, 2017

Wounds heal. Love lasts. We remain.

ArapahoeChristine Apr 22, 2017

She wouldn't have understood how dark a side of love could have, how hiding it was the kindest thing you could do sometimes.

M_ALCOTT Feb 20, 2015

"If you're going through hell, keep going."-Winston Churchill

M_ALCOTT Feb 20, 2015

"If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are."-Vianne

M_ALCOTT Feb 20, 2015

"Some stories don't have happy endings. Even love stories. Maybe especially love stories."-Micheline


Add Age Suitability
Aug 07, 2018

BudgiesNbooks thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jul 13, 2018

latwell1 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Jun 24, 2018

gac thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Mar 24, 2018

julsolmo thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

ArapahoeChristine Apr 24, 2017

ArapahoeChristine thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Aug 31, 2015

Nvfera thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


Add a Summary
SPL_Brittany Dec 12, 2016

“In love we find out who we want to be… in war we find out who we are”.

France 1939, Vianne Mauriac lives in the French countryside village of Carriveau with her husband Antoine and their young daughter Sophie. When war breaks out, Antoine is called away to the front leaving Vianne and Sophie alone and vulnerable. When a German Nazi captain billets at their house, Vianne and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money, danger escalates all around them, and she is forced to make one impossible decision after another.

Passionate, impulsive and rash, Isabelle is kicked out of yet another boarding school and flees to Paris to live with her father only to be told that she is to help Vianne in Carriveau. While Isabelle and Vianne struggle to mend their relationship, Isabelle struggles with desperately wanting to play a role in the French resistance yet knowing that in doing so puts Vianne and Sophie at risk. Throughout the war Vianne and Isabelle find their bond as well as their respective beliefs tested by a war that changes their world in horrific ways, each embarking on their own dangerous path toward survival, love and freedom in Nazi occupied war-torn France.

Kristin Hannah writes a sweeping and captivating tale of France during the Second World War shifting between the perspectives of Vianne and Isabelle. It is a novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit, and focuses on the role women played during the war. It is a novel that tests the bonds of love, family and friendship. Hannah slowly weaves her magic and by the end of the novel your emotions will be engaged and you will be captivated by her storytelling. This is a novel that will stay with you for a long after you have read it.

Jul 11, 2016

The Nightingale portrays a realistic look at German occupied France during WWII. The novel focuses on two sisters who face enormous obstacles as they live their lives as French women. One must think first of her family, provide food and shelter for them, and attempt to protect them from the savage effects of war. The other thinks first of her country, seeks to fight in any way possible, including helping downed airmen to flee France to safety. Through it all, both women become stronger through their actions and in-actions and find an appreciation/love for one another that has been missing since their youth.


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ArapahoeChristine Apr 24, 2017

Sexual Content: Rape scene

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