The Nightingale: 4.5/5 (Goodreads synopsis link in bio2/16/2021, 5:11:47 PM
The Nightingale: 4.5/5 (Goodreads synopsis link in bio, longer review going on the blog) I have heard a lot of comments about how if you’re looking for a “real” or “good” WWII novel, you should look elsewhere. As someone who has not read almost any WWII novels, I do not know exactly what that means. Since there seems to be some sort of standard among WWII novel enthusiasts (enthusiasts?) I figured I out to throw out my disclaimer first. The first 200 pages of this novel were somewhat long for me. There were a lot of descriptions that I thought distracted from the storyline. It was later that I realized that those descriptions helped me see the change in the before and after lives of those experiencing the war. So while the reading was long and slow because of it, I ended up not minding. The following and final 200 pages became something entirely different for me. There came a point where I almost couldn’t separate my own life and feelings from those of Vianne and Isabelle. We bring so many different life experiences into our reading, and for the final 200 pages I was 100% a mother. Every mother separated from her child, every child who cried after their parents, every family destroyed… I could only see myself being taken from my daughter. I could only imagine my absolute panic to leave my child or watch her die. Between the story and my own emotional imaginings, I wept for almost the entire second half of the book. This was different from the infamous “ugly cry". I’m saying I wept and wept and wept. I liked the character arcs these women followed. I thought the tiny romance could have been taken out entirely, but it still grew on me slightly. I thought the story flowed well between the two sisters and the past and “present day” chapters. This story didn’t feel like an easy read for me. Not only because of the emotional nature, but the way it was written. Even still, it’s going to stay with me forever. Love, Friendship, Forgiveness, Bravery, Selflessness, Hope, Fear, Courage, Heartbreak… I don’t care if this is a “real" WWII novel or not. I thought it was moving and made me want to pay tribute and remember those who lived and died in the war.