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The Nightingale: Bravery, Courage, Fear and Love in a Time of War Kindle Edition
From the Inside Flap
- ASIN : B00NLFVVOU
- Publisher : Pan; Main Market Ed. edition (29 January 2015)
- Language : English
- File size : 1136 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 465 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #7,432 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from India
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It’s not that the plot is weak or the writing bad or even the characters convincing, it’s more that I couldn’t quite feel invested enough in them for the longest time. I had to reach, I think, till page 160 or something to finally start feeling like ‘yes, I wanna know how this goes.’ I don’t think one should have to read that much to want to know more about the book and its plot or characters. I do admit that after that 160 something mark, things did pick up pace and the characters did feel interesting and I was invested because I read the rest of the book that day. There were certain things, many pages that could have been edited out, made it into a tighter and considerably more enjoyable read for me. I should also mention that there’s a triggery scene and it isn’t in detail but there’s nothing left for imagination, everything else is there.
A story of two drastically different women who are also sisters during the World War II. The concept of the book was interesting and there was an attempt to execute it too but it fell short for me. While trying to show how women were facing problems in life, and how some women aren’t quite the rebels that Isabelle was, the author painted a really odd picture of Vianne. I so wanted to be on Vianne side during the whole book and at times, I was. I could understand her motives and I could maybe forgive her naiveté initially but when it happened far too many times for my comfort, I lost faith in that character’s ability to develop. I am not sure if that happened to others who read the book but it certainly happened to me.
Isabelle wasn’t without her own set of problems but while I was reading the book, they were muted. However as I started to review the book and read the notes I had made, I realised that Isabelle is also shown in rather stark colours. She is either too rebellious and quite childish (just as Vianne thinks she is) or she is noble and self-sacrificing. I couldn’t see the full picture, I couldn’t decide if she was some of those things for some time or all of them all the time or all of them some of the times.
You might start thinking if there is only going to be negativity in this review. No, I am about to talk about some really good points of the book. There were few of them scattered throughout the book and I loved them and they are one of the reasons this book got a 3.5 (or 4) on GoodReads.
I loved the way the author showed us the slow at times but also rather too fast occupation of German forces, the way the author showed that while some might have joined the German forces out of genuine honor but over the period had realised the reality of things. How they had their own lives and they had moments of doubts and warring emotions. I admit that I cried during a certain scene when a little girl is killed and Vianne had to explain it to her daughter. It was hard and it was handled fairly well.
I also really liked the way Vianne and Rachel’s friendship was shown and how it went through so many things before the end of that arc in the book. I specifically found it important that the author showed us Beck before she showed us the other German officer who billeted at Vianne’s house. It made the transition of Vianne from a timid, helpless woman into a slightly braver and truly remarkable woman easier.
There were many things that I found problems with in the book however few scenes and some chapters saved it from being a 2 star book for me. I would recommend it for those few things that I loved, overall, it’s not a terrible book and it’s not a brilliant book. It’s just…a slightly problematic one. At least for me. I am aware that I might in the minority regarding the rating of the book in the bookish community but I simply couldn’t go beyond what I rated it. Trust me, I am disappointed too. So, any fans of historical fiction, specifically World War II fiction could enjoy it hopefully.
By KRISHNAVENI SUBBIAH on 7 December 2019
By Jane on 12 November 2017
The author is good story teller. Once you start reading the book it is very difficult to put it down. It grips you by your neck and does not live you even after you finish it. The characters, the story, events and the message in this book stays with you for long. In this era of Trump and ISIS this book should be required reading for young people every where. So they understand what the human values are and how fragile the peace, harmony and prosperity, that we take for granted, really are.
I hope one day some great Hollywood director turns this story into a good move because it has all the hallmark of great thriller and adventure movie.
Top reviews from other countries
The research for the book is lamentable. There are glaring historical, cultural and geographical inaccuracies that detract from the story. There are also plot errors and straightforward mistakes littering the text. It would be unfair to expose the main errors as it will spoil the plot for anyone wishing to read the book, but for example, the main town in which the story is set, the fictional Carriveau, starts in German occupied France not far from Orleans or Tours. Toward the end of the story it has moved a few hundred miles south to be near Oradour sur Glane, not far from Limoges. Members of the French resistance forget which are pseudonyms and which are real names. Laurence Olivier is considered an appropriate name to avoid attention. A giant steel wheel becomes a stone wheel in the course of just one paragraph.
The author appears to have cobbled together scenes from most of the famous second world war novels: Schindlers List, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The Book Thief. At one point it appeared as if a Tale of Two Cities was going to make an appearance. The effect is of a massive cliché and a desperate lack of originality.
There is an obsession in making the two heroines stronger than the men. For example, a starved, weakened nineteen year old woman is made out to be stronger than young, fit, well trained airmen.
The writing itself varies in quality. At times, especially at the beginning, it isn’t bad, but it does become repetitive and sentimental. There are times it descends from an historical novel to become something of a farce like the TV series Allo Allo, and becomes something of an insult to the brave women in particular who fought with the resistance in the second world war.
However, what the book does have is an engaging story line, hook and pace. Although risible and sentimental in places, it is never boring and I read it to the end. The shame is that with a few more edits and better research, it could have been something special.
There were references to the smell of hay in April in France (wrong season!), hummingbirds on roses in a French garden (hummingbirds don’t live in France and don’t feed on roses!), misspelt German words, plenty of typos in English.
It just didn’t at all evoke France/continental Europe (I’m Swiss).
The success of this book flies in the face of the authors of historical novels who meticulously research their field.
First of all, Isabelle's code name, Anyone who has read even a single book about undercover work during the wars would know that the first rule in giving an agent a code name is that it does not even hint at the agent's real identity. Now Isabelle's surname is Rosignol. Her code name is The Nightingale. Rosignol means nightingale in French. I rest my case.
My second criticism has to do with Isabelle's character. We first get to know her as a wild, rebellious, hard-headed teenager who always gets her own way. We are supposed to believe that overnight, without any gradual coming-of-age moments, she turns into a mature and selfless heroine capable of leading grown men over mountains she has only navigated once in her life, risking life and limb to do so, obeying orders like a docile little lamb. Sorry, no!