Cover image for The nightingale
Title:
The nightingale
Author:
Hannah, Kristin, author.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
[New York] : Macmillan Audio 2015.
Physical Description:
14 audio discs (17.5 hr.) : digital, CD audio ; 4 3/4 in.
Summary:
"Viann and Isabelle have always been close despite their differences. Younger, bolder sister Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann lives a quiet and content life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. When World War II strikes and Antoine is sent off to fight, Viann and Isabelle's father sends Isabelle to help her older sister cope. As the war progresses, it's not only the sisters' relationship that is tested, but also their strength and their individual senses of right and wrong. With life as they know it changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Viann and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions. Vivid and exquiste in its illumination of a time and place that was filled with great monstrosities, but also great humanity and strength, Kristin Hannah's novel will provoke thought and discussion that will have readers talking long after they turn the last page"--
General Note:
Unabridged.

Compact discs.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781427212672
Format :
Audiobook on CD

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Summary

Summary

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 G etan, 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.


Author Notes

Kristin Hannah was born in Southern California in September 1960. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked in an advertising agency and practiced law in Seattle.

Hannah and her mom began writing a novel together when her mother was suffering from cancer. When her mother died, she put the draft away and continued to practice law. While pregnant with her son, and on bed rest, she took out the draft that she and her mother had written and began to write in earnest. Her draft was done by the time she gave birth. In 1990, she became a published writer and has been writing ever since.

She has won numerous awards including the Golden Heart, the Maggie and 1996 National Reader's Choice award. In 2004, she won the Rita Award for Best Novel: Between Sisters. Her title Winter Garden made the New York Times Bestseller List for 2011. Many of Hannah's other titles have made the New York Times Bestsellers List since then including: Night Road, Home Again, Home Front, Fly Away, The Nightingale, Comfort and Joy, True Colours, and The Great Alone. She has written a series entitled Girls of Firefly Lane which includes the books, Firefly Lane, and Fly Away.

Two of her books are being made into feature films, The Nightingale, and Home Front.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* 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 a distant and withdrawn parent. Older sister Viann sought comfort in the arms of a schoolmate, getting pregnant and marrying at just 16. Rebellious Isabelle gets herself kicked out of multiple boarding schools. Then the Germans conquer France, and the sisters' lives change drastically. When her husband is captured and detained as a prisoner of war in Germany, Viann is forced to take in a German captain. Soon she finds herself relying on him to ensure there is food on the table for her daughter. Isabelle joins the Resistance, boldly leading fallen airmen fighting for the liberation of France over the mountains to Spain to safety. Hannah's latest is a page-turner that will no doubt have readers reaching for tissues. This moving, emotional tribute to the brave women who fought behind enemy lines during the war is bound to gain the already immensely popular Hannah an even wider audience. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: With a 350,000 initial print run and a multiplatform promotional campaign, best-selling Hannah's new novel is positioned to take the book world by storm.--Huntley, Kristine Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Two very different sisters navigate life in WWII France in this sweeping story: Isabelle, an impetuous 18-year-old who is eager to defy the Nazis, and her much older and more traditional sister Vianne, who tries valiantly to keep home and hearth together. Reader Stone's strength lies in the emotional range she brings to her characters-not just the two sisters, but also their jaded, detached father, and even Vianne's small daughter, who grows up markedly during the war. Stone approaches the performance with an intuitive understanding of the characters' private fears, knowing that their inner lives are often quite different than their public faces, and that a good deal goes unsaid between them. She also performs an excellent French accent. But rather than trying to carry it through all of the conversations between the French characters, which would be tedious over the course of the novel, she wisely reserves it for names and places. However, the voice she employs for Captain Beck, a German officer billeted at Vianne's house, is stereotyped, and other international inflections-British, Eastern European-fall flat. A St. Martin's hardcover. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Hannah's (Fly Away) latest begins with an old woman recalling her past. This unnamed woman intrudes occasionally throughout the book, disrupting the horrific tale of two sisters in World War II France. Thus, listeners learn that one sister survives the war-but which one? In 1939, Vianne, the older sibling, wants to believe that everything is for the best and refuses to see reality. Isabelle sees the situation more clearly, but she alienates Vianne (and many others) by saying exactly what she thinks and acting without considering the consequences. The sisters make very different and difficult choices as they deal with the German occupation. The final scene at a Paris reunion of war survivors shows how their choices influenced history and makes for a most satisfying conclusion. Polly Stone employs German, French, American, and British accents and perfect pacing to bring the listener fully into the period and action. Timid Vianne's slower pacing and higher pitch contrast with the forcefulness that characterizes Isabelle. Stone's dramatic choices heighten the danger, suspense, and tragedy. VERDICT Highly recommended. ["Readers who enjoy stories with ethical dilemmas and character-driven fiction will enjoy this story full of emotion and heart": LJ 1/15 review of the St. Martin's hc.]-Juleigh Muirhead Clark, Colonial -Williamsburg Fdn. Lib., VA © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

ONE April 9, 1995 The Oregon Coast 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. Today's young people want to know everything about everyone. They think talking about a problem will solve it. I come from a quieter generation. We understand the value of forgetting, the lure of reinvention. Lately, though, I find myself thinking about the war and my past, about the people I lost. Lost. It makes it sound as if I misplaced my loved ones; perhaps I left them where they don't belong and then turned away, too confused to retrace my steps. They are not lost. Nor are they in a better place. They are gone. As I approach the end of my years, I know that grief, like regret, settles into our DNA and remains forever a part of us. I have aged in the months since my husband's death and my diagnosis. My skin has the crinkled appearance of wax paper that someone has tried to flatten and reuse. My eyes fail me often-- in the darkness, when headlights flash, when rain falls. It is unnerving, this new unreliability in my vision. Perhaps that's why I find myself looking backward. The past has a clarity I can no longer see in the present. I want to imagine there will be peace when I am gone, that I will see all of the people I have loved and lost. At least that I will be forgiven. I know better, though, don't I? My house, named The Peaks by the lumber baron who built it over a hundred years ago, is for sale, and I am preparing to move because my son thinks I should. He is trying to take care of me, to show how much he loves me in this most difficult of times, and so I put up with his controlling ways. What do I care where I die? That is the point, really. It no longer matters where I live. I am boxing up the Oregon beachside life I settled into nearly fifty years ago. There is not much I want to take with me. But there is one thing. I reach for the hanging handle that controls the attic steps. The stairs unfold from the ceiling like a gentleman extending his hand. The flimsy stairs wobble beneath my feet as I climb into the attic, which smells of must and mold. A single, hanging lightbulb swings overhead. I pull the cord. It is like being in the hold of an old steamship. Wide wooden planks panel the walls; cobwebs turn the creases silver and hang in skeins from the indentation between the planks. The ceiling is so steeply pitched that I can stand upright only in the center of the room. I see the rocking chair I used when my grandchildren were young, then an old crib and a ratty- looking rocking horse set on rusty springs, and the chair my daughter was refinishing when she got sick. Boxes are tucked along the wall, marked "Xmas," "Thanksgiving," "Easter," "Halloween," "Serveware," "Sports." In those boxes are the things I don't use much anymore but can't bear to part with. For me, admitting that I won't decorate a tree for Christmas is giving up, and I've never been good at letting go. Tucked in the corner is what I am looking for: an ancient steamer trunk covered in travel stickers. With effort, I drag the heavy trunk to the center of the attic, directly beneath the hanging light. I kneel beside it, but the pain in my knees is piercing, so I slide onto my backside. For the first time in thirty years, I lift the trunk's lid. The top tray is full of baby memorabilia. Tiny shoes, ceramic hand molds, crayon drawings populated by stick figures and smiling suns, report cards, dance recital pictures. I lift the tray from the trunk and set it aside. The mementos in the bottom of the trunk are in a messy pile: several faded leather- bound journals; a packet of aged postcards, tied together with a blue satin ribbon; a cardboard box, bent in one corner; a set of slim books of poetry by Julien Rossignol; and a shoebox that holds hundreds of black- and- white photographs. On top is a yellowed, faded piece of paper. My hands are shaking as I pick it up. It is a carte d'identité, an identity card, from the war. I see the small, passport- sized photo of a young woman. Juliette Gervaise. "Mom?" I hear my son on the creaking wooden steps, footsteps that match my heartbeats. Has he called out to me before? "Mom? You shouldn't be up here. Shit. The steps are unsteady." He comes to stand beside me. "One fall and--" I touch his pant leg, shake my head softly. I can't look up. "Don't" is all I can say. He kneels, then sits. I can smell his aftershave, something subtle and spicy, and also a hint of smoke. He has sneaked a cigarette outside, a habit he gave up de cades ago and took up again at my recent diagnosis. There is no reason to voice my disapproval: He is a doctor. He knows better. My instinct is to toss the card into the trunk and slam the lid down, hiding it again. It's what I have done all my life. Now I am dying. Not quickly, perhaps, but not slowly, either, and I feel compelled to look back on my life. "Mom, you're crying." "Am I?" I want to tell him the truth, but I can't. It embarrasses and shames me, this failure. At my age, I should not be afraid of anything-- certainly not my own past. I say only, "I want to take this trunk." "It's too big. I'll repack the things you want into a smaller box." I smile at his attempt to control me. "I love you and I am sick again. For these reasons, I have let you push me around, but I am not dead yet. I want this trunk with me." "What can you possibly need in it? It's just our artwork and other junk." If I had told him the truth long ago, or had danced and drunk and sung more, maybe he would have seen me instead of a dependable, ordinary mother. He loves a version of me that is incomplete. I always thought it was what I wanted: to be loved and admired. Now I think perhaps I'd like to be known. "Think of this as my last request." I can see that he wants to tell me not to talk that way, but he's afraid his voice will catch. He clears his throat. "You've beaten it twice before. You'll beat it again." We both know this isn't true. I am unsteady and weak. I can neither sleep nor eat without the help of medical science. "Of course I will." "I just want to keep you safe." I smile. Americans can be so naïve. Once I shared his optimism. I thought the world was safe. But that was a long time ago. "Who is Juliette Gervaise?" Julien says and it shocks me a little to hear that name from him. I close my eyes and in the darkness that smells of mildew and bygone lives, my mind casts back, a line thrown across years and continents. Against my will-- or maybe in tandem with it, who knows anymore?-- I remember. Excerpted from The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.