For those of us that have a soft spot for WWII stories, this is our book. Paris. 1939. A civilized country overtaken by the Nazis in one night. Two sisters separated by a long, strained relationship thrown together. One conservative and subdued, the other rebellious.
Read the Nightingale
I’d be lying if I said I loved this book at the beginning. It’s not my typical style and I found myself annoyed with the use of three adjectives for every sentence. I urge you to stick through the first third of the book! The author’s language and tone develops over the course of the story and eventually pulls you right into small-town France in the middle of war.
The story starts in Paris where one sister is kicked out of yet another boarding school. She must move in with her estranged father who sent her off years ago. Once Paris becomes occupied, her father forces her to go to her sister’s in a small town of Carriveau.
Carriveau is near an airfield and it is not long before a German soldier is billeted at the house of the sisters. The story unfolds with secret rebellion groups, an increasing Nazi eye, and eventually a final fight.
I finished reading this book on a train from Avignon to Paris and discovered that Carriveau is not a real town in France – although it certainly sounds like one. The author drew inspiration for her book after studying stories about the women who led a quiet revolution in France during WW2. History books are silent on these women and she hoped to give them a voice, which she certainly did.