Seamlessly, the story sweeps between the past and the future, beginning in 1939, in France, with a war on the horizon, into moments in the mid-nineties, and finally, we realize just who that unnamed old lady is and what she has done to sacrifice for the cause. Halfway through the story, I thought I knew who the narrator was, so imagine my surprise at the end to discover I was wrong.
When Viann and her daughter Sophie are left behind after her husband Antoine goes off to war, and Isabelle leaves the village to return to Paris, wanting to do something to make a difference, none of them could even begin to imagine what lies ahead.
The Nightingale is the riveting story of the acts of courage that each of them will take and the unexpected events that will change them forever.
What does Isabelle do to make a difference? How will she move beyond the early activities as a courier for the Resistance to something so dramatic that nobody who knows her could imagine it? And in the face of the unspeakable acts she witnesses, what sacrifices will Viann make that she could not have imagined taking on?
Through the author’s talented prose, the reader is drawn into the emotional and physical lives of the characters, experiencing what they experience: feeling their pain, their loss, and their fear. The complexity of the sibling rivalries between the two sisters, whose mother had died early in their lives and whose father emotionally abandoned them, was vividly drawn. The feelings were evocative, leaving this reader fully engaged and eager to find out what would happen next. Definitely a five star read for me.