The Nightingale The Nightingale discussion


559 views
As good as it is popular?

Comments Showing 1-41 of 41 (41 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Ron (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ron I haven't read The Nightingale, but I've been thinking about it. Customer reviews are outstanding. Is it a book that a guy would like, or is it better suited to women? Never read a Kristin Hannah novel either, but different genres are always interesting. No spoilers please.


message 2: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz Hi Ron, I'd say that women might identify more with the story and the characters but that certainly would not inhibit men from enjoying it as well.


Sage I think this book would appeal to women more then men and I also think the book is highly over-rated.

I recommend All the Light We Can Not See.


message 4: by Ron (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ron Thank you Liz and Sage. It does help to hear others thoughts. It's one of those books that I watch at my library, but it's always on hold. I also like your suggestion Sage - placed on my list.
Can't say I've read something that sounds like the Nightingale. I did read Sarah's Key, and a Jojo Moyes book.


message 5: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz I agree with Sage, I don't think it lived up to all those positive reviews (just wasn't sure whether you wanted to hear the opinion). I also have All the Light We Cannot See on my TBR.


message 6: by Ron (last edited Aug 12, 2015 06:48PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ron I'm definitely switching my order of to-reads now.


Shawneshoo Eshoo I think I liked this better than All the Light...

Different story lines about the war


message 8: by Ron (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ron Thank you Shawneshoo. I plan to read it at some point.


Kristi Casey This book was so much better than All The Light We Cannot See!


Sharon Sage wrote: "I think this book would appeal to women more then men and I also think the book is highly over-rated.

I recommend All the Light We Can Not See."


I must admit I only read around 60 pages and abandoned it. Loved All the Light We Cannot See, but we all have different tastes.


message 11: by Sage (last edited Aug 20, 2015 05:27PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sage Yes we do all have different tastes.

What I didn't care for in The Nightingale was the repetitiveness, the rehashing of Isabelle and Vianne's childhood, and Isabelle's overbearing attitude opposed to Vianne's naivety; neither of the sisters appealed to me.

I found Isabelle's total disregard for her sister and niece's safety, by taking an English pilot who she knew the German's were searching for to their home, self-serving.

It's not that I didn't like The Nightingale at all, it's just that I don't feel it deserves a 5 star rating. To often people that like a certain author rate all their books outstanding instead of looking at each book individually, which isn't fair to the author or other readers. When you pick a book because it's been rated awesome and it turns out to be mediocre, it's disappointing.


message 12: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Seligman Everyone is entitled to their opinion about books...that's what makes the world go round. I happen to love The Nightingale...gave it 5 stars and a glowing review, not just because it happened to be written by one of my favorite authors, but because, in my opinion, she captured the emotions and setting of this difficult time period in such a way that the readers feel as if they were actually there. The descriptions, the characters, the events...everything is spot on with realistic portrayals. I have read many historical fiction books dealing with the Holocaust, and my husband is the son of survivors, and as far as I am concerned this book captured events in history that were not widely known, and is just as good as Sarah's Key and The Storyteller..both of which I also loved. I tried reading All the Light I Cannot See, and I couldn't get into it, but I might try again since so many people are raving about it.


Sharon Maybe the Nazi Offers wife would be a something you might read, or the documentary
Nicki's Children, so many incredible stories.


message 14: by Sage (last edited Aug 25, 2015 07:20PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sage Also, The Book Thief and Lisette's List.


message 15: by Sage (last edited Aug 25, 2015 07:53PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sage Sue wrote: "Everyone is entitled to their opinion about books...that's what makes the world go round. I happen to love The Nightingale...gave it 5 stars and a glowing review, not just because it happened to be..."

It wasn't the history, events, or detail that I had an issue with, it was the characters, esp. Isabelle, who I found to be more self-centered and reckless then strong.


message 16: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Seligman The Book Thief was great also...there are so many wonderful books dealing with that period in history!


message 17: by Ron (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ron My sister gave me her old Kindle, so I finally have an e-reader. Big thank you to her! It should be easier to loan popular books from my library, and even buy a few from Amazon.

The adjustment of reading a book on one of these is another story, but I'm starting to get the feel for it. Hoping to make better headway on my to-read list.


message 18: by Sage (last edited Aug 26, 2015 03:08PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sage Ron wrote: "My sister gave me her old Kindle, so I finally have an e-reader. Big thank you to her! It should be easier to loan popular books from my library, and even buy a few from Amazon.

The adjustment of ..."


Good luck Ron. I don't mind reading novellas or short stories on my Kindle, but for larger books, novels, etc. I'll take the book over the Kindle everytime...there is simply no comparison.


message 19: by Ron (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ron Thanks Sage. I was wondering about that exact thing. Currently I'm reading a small book on the Kindle. Never realized I would miss page numbers!


message 20: by Josie (last edited Aug 28, 2015 12:07PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Josie Matalone I didn't know about the popularity of this book before I read it but I can tell you that it is one of the best books I've ever read. The plot and characters are developed nicely throughout and its ties to World War II are fascinating. I reccomend this to any reader.


Genevieve Montcombroux Although I joined GR quite a long time ago, I have not participated (too busy writing...non-fiction). I also have not yet figured out how to use GR :<
I have just finished reading the Nightingale for the second time, because after the first time I thought maybe I was not fair to Kristin Hannah, a favorite author of mine.
I posted a review here on GR but I cannot find it! I am wondering if anybody else can find it...
I granted the author good portrayal of her characters but the setting is wrong and not researched. That really turned me off because it does not capture the essence of life in occupied France and the Resistance mouvement.


Mindy Ron wrote: "I haven't read The Nightingale, but I've been thinking about it. Customer reviews are outstanding. Is it a book that a guy would like, or is it better suited to women? Never read a Kristin Hanna..."

Ron, don't think of it as "woman's book." It's really a book about World War II and how it affected the lives of its citizens. Yes, obviously, the main characters are two sisters, but so what?

A great book is a great book.


Mindy Sue wrote: "Everyone is entitled to their opinion about books...that's what makes the world go round. I happen to love The Nightingale...gave it 5 stars and a glowing review, not just because it happened to be..."

Amen, Sue!

Someone here posted that the book was not well-researched. Entirely untrue! In fact, Isabelle is based on a Belgian woman who created an escape route for escaped POW's and downed airmen that is very famous, called the Comet Express. Wish I could remember her name right now. But she did get arrested and sent to Ravensbruk and then Mauthausen,.


message 24: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Seligman Mindy wrote: "Sue wrote: "Everyone is entitled to their opinion about books...that's what makes the world go round. I happen to love The Nightingale...gave it 5 stars and a glowing review, not just because it ha..."

Mindy wrote: "Sue wrote: "Everyone is entitled to their opinion about books...that's what makes the world go round. I happen to love The Nightingale...gave it 5 stars and a glowing review, not just because it ha..."

I was fortunate enough to meet Kristin Hannah during her tour promoting The Nightingale, and I can assure you she definitely did her research prior to writing this novel. I believe she had even referenced the story you are citing during her presentation, and prior to the publication of the book she had provided a link to this amazing woman's story. So yes, it is based on fact, and embellished with some fiction which made it a very readable and wonderful work of "historical fiction". I read quite a bit of Holocaust literature, both fact and fiction, and this is one of the best novels I have ever read. Yes, we are all entitled to our opinion, of course, but don't accuse her of not doing her research unless you have asked her face to face. I know she did, she traveled to the places in the book, and she read and interviewed. She is a wonderful and thorough author, in my opinion!


Genevieve Montcombroux "In fact, Isabelle is based on a Belgian woman who created an escape route for escaped POW's and downed airmen that is very famous, called the Comet Express."
Countess Andrée deJongh is the woman who founded the Réseau d'évasion Comète - known in English as the Comet Line or Comet Network.


Genevieve Montcombroux "but don't accuse her of not doing her research"

If I remember correctly, KH has Isabelle and Gaët strolling by the waterfront in Saint-Jean de Luz. The whole coast of France was occupied by the Germans, and fortified with bunkers, canons, etc. No one was allowed near it. Another flagrant inaccuracy is KH's description of the Nazi flag. There are too many inaccuracies to list them all here. Yes, very superficial research.


Karen Ron wrote: "I haven't read The Nightingale, but I've been thinking about it. Customer reviews are outstanding. Is it a book that a guy would like, or is it better suited to women? Never read a Kristin Hanna..."

Try it! I passed a few times. Tried it again and love it.


message 28: by Ron (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ron Hoping to get it this month. I promise that I will try soon.


message 29: by Ron (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ron Finally read The Nightingale and really liked it. I can understand why it would appeal to women readers, but I thought it is good for men to read as well.
I may never have started if it wasn't for everyone's post, so I'm glad I asked the question. Hope to talk about more books again soon.


Robin I read both "The Nightingale" and "All he Light We Cannot See" and loved both books for different reasons. "The Nightingale was more compelling at first, and more "romantic". "All The Light We Cannot See" was exquisitely crafted. Each sentence conveyed a precise feeling in just the right number of words. Both stories were amazing in their descriptions of WWII and the horrors that this war caused.


message 31: by SS (new) - rated it 5 stars

SS This is a remarkable book. It's engaging, educational, and compelling. It's well written and well narrated. As much as I know about WWII, this filled in missing pieces of which I was unaware. I had problems turning it off in order to get work done.


Tamara I've just read The Nightingale.. And All The Lights We Cannot See is always be my favorite book... From what I read I think both of them have a very different genre while The Nightingale was more of a reality, All The Lights We Cannot See was more a fantasy eventhough both took place in WWII. I personally prefer All The Light We Cannot See because it was so beautifully written and the story just came together perfectly.. But I think The Nightingale is good too


Noelle The book itself shows the stories of the woman's side of the war. That they went through hell, too. So, I think it was more suited for women. My friend's husband read it though and enjoyed it.

This has been my favorite book, ever. I actually really didn't like 'All The Light We Cannot see'..... but, I guess that only shows that every person has their own taste. I think Kristen Hannah's writings are a gift. This and 'Winter Garden' were both beautiful books that will emotionally break you in a beautiful way.


message 34: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Seligman I agree with you, Noelle. I tried to read All the Light We Cannot See, and although it was good, I thought The Nightingale was better. I've been a fan of Kristin Hannah for years and she is just at capturing emotions and characterization in such a way that mesmerizes her readers. Every book requires boxes of tissues and long hours to spend until you finish it. The Nightingale was certainly my favorite followed closely by Firefly Lane and Winter Garden, but they are all fantastic. I read a lot of Holocaust literature and The Nightingale is one of my favorites, telling a story which is not usually depicted, and showing how World War II affected civilians of all faiths who lived in occupied countries under challenging conditions. This is a fantastic book!


Noelle Hi Sue!
I haven't read Firefly Lane yet, but, I will soon since you hold it high on your list! I'm glad you agree with loving her writing. The Nightingale made me ugly cry at home, The Winter Garden made me cry on public transport, .......... She's an amazing storyteller in the fictional realm, but, you also learn so much on the Historical side. I sent five people hardbook copies of The Nightingale after I read it. I was a pusher because I loved the story so much.


message 36: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Seligman Noelle I have had the privilege of seeing her on book tour twice...once for Home Front and once for The Nightingale. She is an amazing person and she puts a great deal of thought into her books, with an incredible amount of research. Her next book is due out in February and it's about Alaska...we just went there last summer so I'm excited to read it. However I honestly can't see how she will top The Nightingale! Like you I have recommended it to so many people and they have all loved it! I need a new Kristin Hannah book...lol!


William Jr. A friend's daughter had just finished reading this book (several months ago) and immediately announced that she wanted to join the French Resistance.
Hearing this... I had to read what all the fuss was about. I loved this book. The spirit of the heroine in this book was so moving because it would not be broken. They would break her body, but her spirit, that wild and passionate spirit was hers and she would not let the Nazi's have it.
I think that the author also did a remarkable job of showing that in Nazi occupied France the suffering did not just stop at the frontlines. The general population had struggles we can't even imagine.
So, I give this book 5 stars, 2 thumbs up and a strong recommendation. This book is going to haunt me for a long time.


Carlos Del Valle Ron wrote: "I haven't read The Nightingale, but I've been thinking about it. Customer reviews are outstanding. Is it a book that a guy would like, or is it better suited to women? Never read a Kristin Hannah n..."

Great book for any gender


message 39: by Judy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Judy Dippel My husband enjoyed this book, too, so for the men who are asking, I feel men will like it, too. As an author myself, I was pleasantly surprised with Kristin Hannah plunging into historical fiction in "The Nightingale." I have always enjoyed her style, but gained further respect for her with this work, since personal heroic stories from WW II can inspire us all! The Camino trail on the Pyranees mountains are on my "bucket list," and I want to walk from France to Spain, even more so after reading this book.


Carlos Del Valle You’re inspired. I like it


message 41: by Loriltx (last edited Jan 20, 2018 07:36AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Loriltx Sage wrote: "Yes we do all have different tastes.

What I didn't care for in The Nightingale was the repetitiveness, the rehashing of Isabelle and Vianne's childhood, and Isabelle's overbearing attitude opposed..."


What you didn’t like about both characters is what I did like about the characters They were human—both with strengths and weaknesses. Too often, the main characters in books are painted as all bad or all good, and that is just not what people are. Even our most heroic of heros had their weaknesses.


back to top