The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah Book Summary



A #1 New York Times bestseller, Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year, and soon to be a major motion picture, this unforgettable novel of love and strength in the face of war has enthralled a generation.

With courage, grace, and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of World War II 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.

Goodreads Best Historical Novel of the Year • People's Choice Favorite Fiction Winner • #1 Indie Next Selection • A Buzzfeed and The Week Best Book of the Year

Praise for The Nightingale:

"Haunting, action-packed, and compelling." —Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Absolutely riveting!...Read this book." —Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff, Director of the University of Miami Holocaust Teacher Institute

"Beautifully written and richly evocative." —Sara Gruen, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“A hauntingly rich WWII novel about courage, brutality, love, survival—and the essence of what makes us human.” —Family Circle

“A heart-pounding story.” —USA Today

"An enormous story. Richly satisfying. I loved it." —Anne Rice

"A respectful and absorbing page-turner." —Kirkus Reviews

"Tender, compelling...a satisfying slice of life in Nazi-occupied France." —Jewish Book Council

“Expect to devour The Nightingale in as few sittings as possible; the high-stakes plot and lovable characters won’t allow any rest until all of their fates are known.” —Shelf Awareness

"I loved The Nightingale." —Lisa See, #1 New York Times bestselling author

" unforgettable portrait of love and war." —People

The Nightingale Book Details

Book Name The Nightingale
Genre Fiction & Literature
Author Kristin Hannah
Published 03 February 2015, Tuesday
Price $11.99
E-Book Size 7.52 MB

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah Book Reviews

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Waterworks. This book was hard to read because of how invested I became in the characters. It’s one thing to know about history. It’s another thing the be implanted in a story. This was beautiful


Loved!. This was the most heart-wrenching and wonderful book. I am an avid reader and just got around to reading this book, despite hearing tons of wonderful reviews about it, beforehand. I would absolutely recommend for others to read it.


Simply amazing. What a wonderfully and heartbreaking book. I felt like I was there in the resistance with these women. Loved the twist at the end!


The Nightingale. This remains one of the best books I have ever read. The characters remain in my mind long after reading. It is truly remarkable how we can survive war and still be kind, compassionate people.


Absolutely Beautiful. I never write book reviews, I should, but this book has inspired me. This completely beautiful, devastating tale was both heartbreaking and inspiring. I’m not typically a fan of war novels or time pieces but I read other reviews and off handedly chose it. What a gift! This will be marked in my top 5. If you’re questioning a new read, just download it. You won’t regret a single moment in reading this.


Eye opening read about the strength of women during war. I will say, this is the best book I have ever read. It was beautifully written and a must read.


Amazing. Beautifully written. So heartfelt. I cried a few times. I enjoyed reading this.


Amazing!. Had me turned pages through the whole book! I laughed I cried I was in awe it was the best book I’ve read it a while!! 10/10 definitely recommend!!


A favorite!. Highly recommend. Great from start to finish.


So good!. This book was so good and I’m so glad I decided to read it. It definitely made an impact on me!


One of her Best!. May be one of her best. I have to admit I was ready for it to end. To say the characters had a tough life is putting it mildly. I do miss them though. Love Kristin Hannah’s complicated female hero’s. This book is a gem.

Paleo Schnauzer

I wasn’t going to cry…. Actually I had some weird dreams with characters appearing in them. This book was one that I thought about as I moved through my day, something that rarely happens. I did cry at the end. Readers who loved this book should read The Paris Apartment. A lot of common things but I can’t say without giving away too much.


Amazing. Ugly cried on a plane


Gripping. I resisted reading this book because it was about WWII and I didn’t want to read anything so serious. But my sister highly recommended it and so I dived in. Once I did, I could not let it go. It is really a story about the strength and courage of ordinary women. Breathtaking courage.

Dolfun girl

Amazing!. An emotionally engaging story of endurance and survival.


🩵🩵🩵. Such a great book! Can’t wait for the movie!!!


Best Book I Have Ever Read. This book.. is breathtaking. A must read.

Skyler Dae

The Nightingale. I am so happy to have read this story. I will remember.

Baking is better

Friend. I loved all the characters in this book, they were all believable. Books are like friends to me, this one is a best friend

Beavs Rule

Thank you. A view of WWII through the eyes of women. So much of it brought back memories of the stories my father told my siblings and me. He hated trudging through his time in the war, but was determined that the atrocities were never forgot. Thank you, Kristin, for making sure that, between the lines of a wonderful, touching story, the ugliness of war will not be forgotten.


Riveting. The setting of World War II is a pensive, anxiety-ridden time that impacted innumerable lives, families. It can be a tough topic to read, to be immersed in such a brutal time. This author has the ability to draw in the reader quickly and keeps us on the knife’s edge between agony, fear, terror, and resplendent joy, especially for the victories, the heros who put their lives a great risk, including self-sacrifice, to save family, friends and those whose lives were in peril. A beautifully written and riveting book.


Phenomenal. This is the best book I have ever read. Period. I’ll start off by saying I read a lot of thrillers. A lot. So this isn’t something I would have probably picked out on my own but thank you to my book club girls for choosing this one. And let’s just say I am now the proud owner of every novel by Kristin Hannah. And on another side note — Mind you I am not a cryer, I didn’t even cry at my own wedding—- which I am still madly in love with my darling husband —I digress. This book had me WAILING. I mean ugly sobbing making the saddest noises in bed -trying to catch my breath crying. Thank god I was home alone bc I was a spectacle. I never knew a novel could make me feel on this level. I was captured. By everything. By the writing style itself. By the characters. By the ups and downs and the tenacity shown through everyone trying to make a difference in such different ways. I love this book. Everything about it. Thank you Kristin.


Beautiful. Fantastic. Moving. A perspective of the war untold & full of emotion. I could start again and still not want to put it down.


The best book i have read in years. A must read. But be prepared to stay up way too late and cry way too much. Thank you to the author.


Book review. A beautiful sweeping novel of love and loss. France is seen through my eyes anew. Family is what you make it. Make each day count!


Inspiring. "The Nightingale" by Kristin Hannah is a fantastic novel in France during World War II. The story is about two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, who have to go through a lot of difficult times during the war. The author writes in a way that makes you feel like you're right there with the characters, and you get to know them well. The book is full of love, sacrifice, and bravery, and it's a great example of how people can overcome challenging situations. If you like stories about history and how people can be strong, read "The Nightingale"!


My favorite book so far. Loved this book from the beginning to the end. I couldn’t stop reading. A heartbreaking story.


i have no words. this book has a broken heartbeat… shows the resilience women can have. human life is fragile. love is the most beautiful and precious thing we can have and give. appreciate the ordinary. sisters were so different at the beginning, but the war showed that they weren’t a different at all by the end of the novel they seem to switch a bit in the personalities and characteristics at the beginning of the novel didn’t look like Vivian would survive, due to her, lack of mobility and confidence, but she surpassed that. The dynamic of her sisters, and how they each suffer through the war was beautiful put an emphasis on familial relationships.


Great book. Very inspiring


My favorite book ever. Amazing, what a tale. This is setting the bar high for all books to come.


The Nightingale. Wonderfully written! This is the third book by Mrs. Hannah that I have read and just ordered 2 more. I feel like I am in the book when reading her stories!!


Can’t Stop Thinking About It. I finished this book in March ‘22. It’s January ‘23 and this book still pops in my head weekly. This is one of those books everyone should read.


Review. Great book


A must read!. My favorite book. Captivating.

Taylor Muzio

Loved!!. Beautifully written! One of my all time favorites!


Not to be missed. Great read! Really digs into the lives of women in WW2 and their own war. Recommend highly.


Transports you to WWII for women. The struggles that women faced and decisions that many women had to face, heartbreaking as they were.


Great until the end. The ending fell so flat; it felt rushed and contrived. It was a great book up until those last few pages when it seemed I was no longer reading the same novel. Super disappointed.


The Nightingale. I couldn’t put it down. Great book!


Great Read. I couldn’t put this book down!


Page Turner. Couldn’t put this book down and cried like a baby at the end


Amazing!!!!. This book is one of the best I’ve ever read. Her descriptions were articulate, and they took you into the picture she was creating as if you were there. Its sad but poignant tale is one I will love forever, tears and all.


A must read captivating story. This book and author will quickly become your favorite! There are many books that take place during this time period but none that I feel capture it as accurately as Hannah has done! This is one of those can’t put down books that you beg to have a movie made from it. The way the characters are brought to life is truly beautiful.


Perfectly written!. This book is captivating! Kept me on the edge of my seat and hoping for resolution! I grew to love the characters and could not believe the struggles and history this book takes you through! Well done! My new favorite book!!


JimGloTom. Wow, I don’t know this kind of suffering. Amazing book! Captured me from beginning to end!


Excellent book. The first book I read by her. Such a good read of her explains about Russian history in such a way very hard to put the novel done. Highly recommend this novel


Good book. READ IT!. I found this book just scrolling through the best sellers list and picked it without knowing anything about it. Felt a bit intimidated by the length but I finished this book within one week. I even read while it was slow at work. 🤫 Don’t tell my boss! This book is historical fiction. But it was truly an inspiring, heartbreaking, jaw dropping good read.


Captivating storytelling. Historical fiction isn’t normally something I teach for, but Hannah writes it so well. Great character development and storyline. This WWII novel follows two sisters in France when Germany invaded.


Brilliant. So heartbreakingingly good!


Great book!!. Writing this with wet year stained cheeks. This book was so good I couldn’t stop reading it. The details and emotional attachment to characters truly draws you into the horrors of war and the power of love.

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The Nightingale. A real page turner. Although historically accurate, it is a very emotional and heart wrenching read. It makes you think of what is important in life; not material things, but love in its many forms and how valuable it is to tell those you cherish just how much you do love them. It's a story of survival and how the human psyche can keep us going despite unbearable cruelty and immense tragedy. Well written and certainly worth the read.


Excellent book. I love this book so much!! One of the best I've read. I loved 'Sarah's Key' & this was better!! I highly recommend this book.


The Nightengale. A question. Isabel was selfish and defiant as are many teenagers, but what was so powerful a catalyst that she would become involved in the dangerous underground? To impress a lover does not seem enough.


Amazing story. The story kept me at the edge of my seat. The characters came to life and you can feel their emotions as you read. Very well written.


Astounding. Absolutely one of the best books I have read in years.

Susa Marie

The best book I've read in years. I keep looking for another book as good as this one. An exciting, amazing story. I think it changed me. I am a very critical reader too. I love books that bring significant historical periods to life with depth to their characters and respect for the time and culture in which the stories unfold. I doubt the author will ever be able to top this one. I have bought this book for others too who have told me they loved it.


Nightingale. This book was amazing, heart wrenching story, words won't do it justice, a must read!


Loved it. Beautiful written, I could not put it down


The Nightinggale. Great read! The kind of story that has you dreaming about it and wraps you up in the lives of it's characters. The tears flowed as I came to the end of a heart wrenchingly beautiful tale of courage, and love.


Marvelous. I have cried only a few tears from a novel, and only a handful of times. The Nightingale made me cry many times and by the end start bawling. I felt in some way through story what it would have been like for people during that time.

Reader for Life 61

Riveting!. I’ve never embraced history, but reading this has given me a first hand look at the persecution of Jews and other minorities during WWII. The infusion of facts among the personal stories of the characters makes for an interesting and informative read. A great combination!


The Nightingale. LOVED this book....


Nightingale. An addictive read


4.4. Long but good


The Nightingale. I lay here having finished the book and I am in tears. I have always read these kinds of books but this book has opened my eyes so much more to what all the people of the war suffered. Those who left to fight, those left behind to raise families alone and lives lost at the camps. This story made it feel so real. Their pain, their love, their need to fight for survival at all costs. What a beautiful story.


Incredible. Best book I have read for as long as I can recall. Touched me on so many levels. Page turner. Love. Suspense. It’s got it all.


Powerful and unrelenting story of war, love, loss. War is ugly. It breaks people. It destroys. This is a story of two sisters who survive, save lives, and finally, find their way back to each other.


Great story. I must say this book is excellent the story is thrilling and full Of feelings. The writer does an awesome job, i could not put it down. It brought tears to my eyes. AMAZING


Wicked book!!. Couldn't put this book down. The details are so vivid it's like you're there.


The Nightingale. One of the most graphic and emotional stories of life during the Nazi occupation I have read. The description of the atrocities and hardships faced by the French as represented by sisters Vianne and Isabelle often brought tears to my eyes. A magnificent example of writing.


The tears! The TEARS!. I quickly became spellbound by this book, and when my husband walked in on me with an ocean gushing from my eyes, I told him it was the best book I had ever read. And I stand by it.


Not worth it. A potentially good story ruined by soap-opera-style writing, bad editing and poor research. Do not recommend.


The Nightingale. Fabulous read! I couldn't put it down :-)


A must read!. I could not put this book down!


The Nightingale. One of the best books I have read! Felt like I was watching a movie as I was reading as it was very well written. Absolutely loved it!


The Nightingale. One of the best books I have ever read!

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10/10. Such a great book. Both informative & soul touching. It’s a long one but so worth it!


Painfully overrated. I know this book is beloved, but I found it unreadable. Lines like “With all the risks they were taking, love was probably the most dangerous choice of all” are a feature, not a bug. I just really don’t get it.


Still crying. This book moved me in ways only a uniquely beautiful story can. I’m so thankful for this novel.


Everyone should read this. Great read. It should be on everyone’s reading list


Lovely. A beautiful tale of love and loss.


Brilliantly written. I never knew how deeply the nazis impacted non-Jews in France. I learned something new about history through this book. The strong female characters were quite inspiring. It was also a great reminder of how hard life really could be. We think 2020 and 2021 were hard, but it pales in comparison of what others have suffered through. Highly recommend.

Crazy is what crazy does

Wow. Beautifully written. I just finished and cannot put into words how much I loved this book.


Glad I read it. The more I read, the less I wanted to put it down. Very satisfied with this read.


A definite read. This book is so good. It is filled with love, tragedy, family and what you would do for the ones you love. Be ready for it to draw you in and you will not want to put it down.


Heartbreaking story everyone should read.. Beautifully written and a wonderful story.

S. Quillen

If you have a sister, must read. Overall, I loved this book. I pictured my and my sister’s relationship throughout the whole thing and it left me in tears at the end; streaming down the face tears. Like some mentioned, the characters did get annoying and you wanted them to grow up no have necessary conversations earlier, but it only added to the emphatic ended.


Best Kristin Hannah book yet. Slow start for me. But worth it.


Couldn’t put it down. I read this in 2 days-I couldn’t stop! So good.


Incredible. I wish I could describe the deep sorrow I could feel with every turned page. I could see myself there with the people in this story thanks to the incredible amount of detail, right down to the scent of the air. Such a wonderful book. But have your tissues ready.


A Beautiful Book of History. This book changed and saddened me. It was so beautifully written I almost felt like I was there. It’s a must read!


Must read. Wonderful

Lauren C$

Wow. Phenomenal in every way


A - F Scale: A. Easy Read. Thrilling. Intense. Captivating. Historical.


Amazing. One of the most beautifully written books I have ever read.


The Nightingale. I am speechless. Simply the best book I have ever read, next to The Goldfinch.


The Nightingale-Heroism. Loved it! One of the greatest books! Although fiction, I know so close to truth of real life during this time. We honestly have no idea what their struggles were like, living in one of the worst wars! Heartbreaking, but such an honor to read the stories of heroism.


Must read. Epic tale of family in WWII. Enduring love after unbearable heartbreak. It’s a must. Kristen Hannah’s best.

Best friend of chuch

Truly Moving. At the start it is slightly confusing, but you catch on very quickly to the characters and the plot. You will want to finish this. I read the last half over a school day and almost cried in class. Feeling nothing but gratitude.


Beautifully written. One of my favorite books I’ve picked up this year. Truly well researched and beautifully crafted. I will definitely read more from this author. Raw and captivating - definitely needed a few tissues.


My grandma went through this. I was raised by my grandparents. My grandma lived this life. She lived in France during WWII and had 2 of her brothers sent to camps, only one came home after the war ended. She was 9 when the war started and 15 when it ended. 3 of her schoolmates died from stepping on mines when the Germans retreated. The stories she told me just didn’t make me realize what it was really like for her until I listened to this book. This booked really helped me see what she went through. She often used words in this book, but I did not fully understand the weight of those words, or the weight of what she went through, until we listened to this book together. She is 91 and blind now, and so she can only listen to audio books , so we listened to it at the same time. It changed my whole perspective on who she is and what she went through before coming to the U.S. with my mom when my mom was 5 years old and after the war ended. Thank you Kristin Hannah for the greatest gift I have ever even given - the gift of time with my grandma and bonding with her on a deeper level I never realized even possible


Takes a bit to get into it. But well rounded, to what this horror filled time must have been like. I’m glad I read it. It’s definitely heartbreaking, but it would be fairly odd to read a book during WWII and it not be. Glimpsing into the sights, sounds, smells, pain, horror and so long that the mass of humans had to endure is astounding. The author did a great job, helping you get a picture of what it would have been like to fight for what’s right, behind the scenes and the risk that took. The characters were relatable and still so beyond what any of us could only pray we, each, had the courage to be. It’s odd that something so devastating can simultaneously been endearing and moving.


Excellent read. Excellent read!


One of her Best!. May be one of her best. I have to admit I was ready for it to end. To say the characters had a tough life is putting it mildly. I do miss them though. Love Kristin Hannah’s complicated female hero’s. This book is a gem.


Excellent. A riveting read from start to finish.The terror of Living under the Third Reich in France,and the two brave women who gave unceasingly to those who so desperately needed it,facing death,torture degradation,yet never giving up

Margie j.

A Masterpiece. As an avid reader, I can honestly say that is one of the best books I’ve read. A poignant story, so beautifully told. Put it at the top of your want-to-read list.


The Nightingale. An amazing read!! I cried five times throughout this book and it took me a month to get over it

1966 hNS

Incredible. The weaving together of characters with history creats a spellbinding story. Almost too real.

Phyllis Gaspar

Loved this book. Couldn’t put this book down, and admit I shed a few tears at the end. So many true facts I was not aware of. I definitely recommend this read!!!


This book had a chokehold grip on my life. Could not put this book down. Kristin Hannah has easily become one of my top 3 authors.


Riveting. I was captured from the beginning of this book. Very very interesting. I’m for sure going to be reading another book by the author. If you like Historical fiction- or reading about the world wars, Read this!


Incredible. Nuff said.


Test. ijiwnw;


Thought evoking. This book was difficult to read at times. It is tragic to hear stories of what people endured during these times and to think about how cruel it all was, what people are capable of. The love and hope and strength of the characters through it all is inspiring. I am holding my boys extra tight and appreciating life more since reading this


Beauty in a time of nightmares. This book brought to life a war that I’d read about in history books. Neighbors and friends ripped from their homes and individuals dangerously risking their lives to save the ones they could save. I cried multiple times at the unfair toil of war and the unbreakable bond of sisters and friends and lovers.


Amazing. Such a beautiful and sad story!


Outstanding!. What an emotional roller coaster of a book. Beautifully written.


The Nightingale. This was a very moving and engaging book. I had a hard time putting it down.


The Nightingale. This is only a sample???


A must read. This book was so beautifully written. I cannot wait to read more books by this author.


Second Read of this beautiful book. It’s even better the second time around. Tears of joy and sadness.


Loved it. Could not put this one down.. Beautiful description of life during the war.


Beautiful. This book will stay with me for a while. It showed the strength of a people during a horrible time. It showed the strength of women. It showed the strength of family. It showed the strength of love.


The Nightingale. This book! This book. It consumed me. It moved me. It taught me. It changed me. I grew. I learned. My God. All must read, then read it again.


Couldn’t put it down. Read it in two days. Laughed & cried. Fell in love with the characters.

Tami Nantz

Incredible story!. I love history, and I love great writing…this book included both. Incredible story that makes me want to go research the forgotten heroes — loved every character in this book. Well done!

Kristin Hannah - The Nightingale Comments

5 Books like The Nightingale (Kristin Hannah)

About Author "Kristin Hannah"

Kristin Hannah (born September 25, 1960) is an American writer. Her most notable works include Winter Garden, The Nightingale, Firefly Lane, The Great Alone, and The Four Winds. Biography Kristin Hannah was born in California. After graduating with a degree in communication from the University of Washington, Hannah worked at an advertising agency in Seattle. She graduated from the University of Puget Sound law school and practiced law in Seattle before becoming a full-time writer. Hannah wrote her first novel with her mother, who was dying of cancer at the time; the book was never published.Hannah's best-selling work, The Nightingale, has sold over 4.5 million copies worldwide and has been published in 45 languages.Hannah lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington, with her husband and their son. Bibliography Standalone novels A Handful of Heaven (July 1991) The Enchantment (June 1992) Once in Every Life (December 1992) If You Believe (December 1993) When Lightning Strikes (October 199....

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