The Nightingale Readers Group discussion

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The Nightingale > a few continuity questions

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message 1: by Mary (new)

Mary (marykb910) | 3 comments Hello! I don't want to start my first comment by picking at details, because I loved the book. But once I get those few pesky questions off my mind, then I can proceed with some other discussions.

1. First question that comes to mind is: What happened to the Friedmans? The scene where Isabelle grabs her neighbors (Ruth Friedman and her daughters) and hides them in the secret alcove in her room is followed in Chapter 22 with Isabelle returning to the apartment and having a cup of "coffee" with her father. Then she lies in her bed for hours and finally leaves the apartment. There is no more mention of the three people hiding there in her room! Maybe it is supposed to be understood that they were brought out of hiding and went home, but it seems like something is missing in the continuity when Isabelle returns to the apartment and has a cup of coffee without ever going up to check on the people hidden there and giving them an "all clear".

2. On page 326, there is a story about how six women founded the convent in 1650, but then when religious orders were banned during the French Revolution, some of the ORIGINAL six sisters were guillotined.

HOW CAN THIS BE? The French Revolution was nearly 140 years after those original sisters had founded the convent and the guillotine wasn't even invented until that time.

3. A smaller discontinuity, but one that caught my eye at the beginning, was where Vianne had gotten pregnant at 16 and lost her baby at 17 at which point she was "unable to care about anyone or anything - certainly not a needy, wailing, four-year-old sister". But Isabelle would have been 7 years old by then. A few paragraphs earlier it says that Vianne was 14 and Isabelle 4 when their mother died.

Okay, well those were a few things that jumped out at me, and kind of jarred me out of the story a little bit. I'll make another post about what a good story it was - because it really was! :)


thewanderingjew | 4 comments I thought that the father was involved in helping people escape, maybe I simply made that assumption. I thought he inspired Isabelle.
I was also confused about the age of Isabelle, so I am glad you asked that question.


message 3: by ☕Katie (new)

☕Katie (katiekitkat1983) | 5 comments I am not good with math, but her sister still being the same age when she was pregnant puzzled me as well!


message 4: by Mary (new)

Mary (marykb910) | 3 comments thewanderingjew wrote: "I thought that the father was involved in helping people escape, maybe I simply made that assumption. I thought he inspired Isabelle.
I was also confused about the age of Isabelle, so I am glad yo..."


Yes, he was helping, but it still left something hanging when Isabelle returns to the apartment, has a cup of coffee with her father, and never even mentions the people they just hid in her room.


message 5: by Colleen (new)

Colleen #3 was odd. I went back and tried to do the math on the age but it just didn't seem to make sense.

Also, when her father stepped in as the nightingale it seems the nazis would have tried to make the connection between the two and figured out their familial relationship.


message 6: by Mary (new)

Mary (marykb910) | 3 comments Actually, I was thinking all along that the code name "Nightingale" was too obvious for the very fact that it was their family name, Rossignol. Even the Nazis could have made that connection. And unless I missed something, it wasn't made clear in the story whether the code name was in English (i.e. The Nightingale) or in French (i.e. Le Rossignol).


message 7: by Marilyn (new)

Marilyn I thought the same thing about the name! Why would your code name be your actual last name?!


message 8: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie Ma | 8 comments weird stories are everywhere


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