“What we all demand of each other – or, hope for, at any rate – is two days. Two Days? If you are captured and…questioned. Try to say nothing for two days. That gives us time to disappear. Two days…that’s not so long. You are so young.”
In The Nightingale is set in France during the Nazi occupation in World War II where a dysfunctional family is torn apart not just from the effects of this war, but from the survivors of World War I. Both Vianne and Isabelle have had to survive a father who wouldn’t be their father after their mother died. The sisters dealt with this abandonment in different ways, but their paths kept crossing and not always in good ways. The dangers of the Nazi occupation are compounded as they are pulled into a desire to not only survive, but save others.
At first I thought this novel by Kristin Hannah was a bit predictable and in many ways it was. A family in a war-torn country. Death. The tension and emotion builds as the novel progresses with a very touching ending. The author provided an interesting perspective as the focus was on a woman’s role in the fight/survival.
“Men tell stories…Women get on with it. For us it was a shadow war. There were no parades for us when it was over, no medals or mentions in history books. We did what we had to during the war, and when it was over, we picked up the pieces and started our lives over.”