I finished this audiobook in tears. Matter of fact, there were quite a few tears as I listened to the heartbreaking story of two sisters, each doing what she believes best, one for family, the other for the country she loves. The quiet village of Carriveau will never be the same for either sister. Forced to make choices that a sister, mother, friend, daughter, lover, wife, should never have to make. The German flag flies from the Eiffel Tower. German troops now occupy all of France. The evils of WWII have only just begun. Kristin Hannah has created a powerful story and sheds light on the role women played during the war. Look again. A french housewife isn't always a housewife.
The Nightingale is an emotionally charged tale that hits you in the gut with brute force. I dare you not to cry. I'm not a crier. Books/audiobooks rarely have that effect on me. But, Oh! I had a few sobbing spells as the narrator, Polly Stone, described scenes that are too horrifying to imagine. But imagine them I did. I'm not an audiobook expert so I don't have many narrators to compare Stone to. I've read a few scathing reviews about Stone's lack of emotion or her inability to do a French accent. Someone even compared her voice to "nails on a chalkboard". Nonsense. I put my earbuds in each night and climbed in bed, excited for each new chapter. Polly's voice was soothing and I found that she transformed easily into the characters portrayed. She did an excellent job with one particular German officer. Stone's voice really convinced me of his evil intentions. He was downright hateful. Another character and scene was conveyed so well that I cried until I was unable to breathe. A bit of snubbing afterwards. I'm actually happy that I chose the audiobook version of this book. I don't know if I would've been able to really feel the story had I just read through it. Also, I enjoyed hearing the proper pronunciation of French words I'd have otherwise goofed up. Overall, Polly Stone did a wonderful job telling a difficult story of survival. I loved the audiobook so much that I will be buying the hardcover. I want to share this book with friends and family. This isn't a fluffy, sappy story with a happy, skipping-through-the-tulips feel, but I managed to fall in love with it anyway. It's just beautiful and the two women that the story revolves around are women that any reader could be proud of.
The Nightingale is one of my favorite books of 2015. Magnifique.