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Publisher's Summary

Two sisters. One must be brave. One should be afraid. Bravery, courage, fear, and love in a time of war. Despite their differences sisters Viann and Isabelle have always been close.

Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann is content with life in the French countryside with her husband, Antoine, and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight, and Viann finds herself isolated, so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.

As the war progresses, the sisters' relationship and strength are tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Viann and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.

Vivid and exquisite in its illumination of a time and place that was filled with atrocities but also humanity and strength, Kristin Hannah's novel will provoke thought and discussion that will have readers talking long after they finish listening.

©2015 Kristin Hannah (P)2015 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

What listeners say about The Nightingale

Average Customer Ratings
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  • HJ
  • 03-04-20

A heart touching story beautifully narrated

This is the second of Kristin Hanna's books that I have listened to and I am fast becoming a fan of hers. Her stories go deep to touch your soul and there is nothing that is overdone. Every feeling, every emotion is just about right and there's nothing shallow about them. The transition of characters as you move through the story is so natural that one could relate and live every word of it. It makes you realize that there's often more to people than what seems at the outset and you are so engrossed in the way the story moves that your mind won't speed to think what the ending would be...This is a deeply touching tale, so beautifully narrated by Polly Stone that it makes the characters come out alive and the intensity grows on you. I could picture every scene as I listened and often I felt as if I was there, I was them. The only other book which made me have tears by the end was the Diary of Anne Frank. A read / listen worth its time. The characters would live with me for some time.

2 people found this helpful

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Heart retching story

story of unsung a war hero and and a survivor..
love and sisterlyho of that made my eyes moist..

1 person found this helpful

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A tale of women in the war

The narration was great. Enjoyed it very much. The story will remain with you forever.

1 person found this helpful

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Heartwarming

A simple tale of two French sisters during WW2, who despite everything they endure, remain sisters -- fighting, quarreling, constantly bickering, but also, protecting and loving each other with all their heart! The narration took the story to another level! Loved this audiobook experience!

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Heart touching portrayal of the WW2 era

Kristin Hannah has a way of bringing stories and geographies to life. Her 'Great Alone' transported me to the outskirts of Alaska. This one took me into the small town of France in the middle of WW2. What starts as a story of sisters with troubled childhood takes a dramatic turn with the start of World War 2. An absolute heart wrenching story of survival, heroism, family bond, human spirit, loss and resilience. Thid vivid account of Vian and Isabelle with strong set of characters in the story like Sophia, Julian, Gaetan, Beck, shows the culture and the life during that testing time.

I also loved the audible experience. Polly Stone has managed to elevate the story through her modulations and voice. I especially enjoyed listening to her narration of Captain Beck.

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Absolutely loved it !!

What a lovely book. Hats off to the writer for this beautiful piece of work. And Kudos to the narrator for the brilliant narration, completely keeping the spirit of the book alive. The story and narration made me cry my heart out and also made my eyes wet with tears of joy and happiness.
It was an absolute delight listening to this audiobook and it shall remain close to my heart for years to come!

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it's just so so good

I don't know what to write, I finished this book some hours back and still unable to come out of it. The story is so beautifully depicted and the person who reads it , hats off to her as well.

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Fantastic

I can feel so many emotions altogether. It's a masterpiece I would say. The life of two sisters, thier struggle during the world war 2 and how they endured everything to get through. A mind blowing story of bravery, love, sacrifice and loss that transports you to the war time. Such clear writing and impeccable performance by Polly stone. A perfect historical war fiction.

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Wound Heals Love lasts and We Remain

Loved it. Story of endurance of love between sisters, father and daughter, mother and daughter, mother and son, friends , lovers.and husband and wife amidst turbulence of second world war...

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Amazingly story of love and war..

Narrator has made it so much effort with voice variations I almost felt everything..the worst, the disgust, the sadness, the happiness and the losses all was felt..I have cried hysterically through this story..wars don't see genders or your young or old or your pregnant or you carry a new born..over millions of Jews dead...the story tells about how you heal through brokenness which is beyond repair..so something you have suffered need to be forgotten as if nothing happened yet at end all secrets all suffering (suffering is underrated word) reveal themselves and you see that love lasts..

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  • Sue @Crushingcinders
  • 24-06-17

Beautiful

What did you like best about this story?

The book ended with me in tears – as almost all great books do. My last notes are monosyllables: brilliant, sad, love, forgiveness, courage, courage, courage…

Any additional comments?

While the novel is written in the third person, the intermittent glimpse to the future (1995) is narrated by one of the sisters (it is not clear for the majority of the book which sister this is) in the first person. This glimpse forward with its unmistakable hindsight adds an element of mystery to the story which I loved

I am drawn to WWII books, in particular, those set in occupied France. I don’t know why – they are almost always sad and I tend to question what I would have done in the same situation… I know I courage would have failed me and that doesn’t lead to happy thoughts. But it is why I found myself drawn to Vianne whose courage didn’t come easy.@crushingcinders

3 people found this helpful

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  • Sasha Wickstrom
  • 16-02-20

Just the kind of world warII novel I enjoy

A beautifully written story that takes you through the experiences of people who lived through the war. Excellent narration by Polly Stone.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lynne Funnell
  • 22-07-19

Beautifully discriptive

This book had me from the beginning. So unpredictable and sadly real. Loved the descriptions of the towns and countryside.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lynette
  • 07-01-19

The best book I've ever listened to!

This book is truly a masterpiece! It is absolutely raw and real and heartbreakingly beautiful!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Victoria Roberts
  • 12-04-16

excellent story, frustrating narration problems

If you could sum up The Nightingale in three words, what would they be?

bittersweet, intriguing, formidable.

Any additional comments?

Great story of two sisters in occupied France during WWII.

Audio review - Narrator had a great voice but didnt bother to learn french pronunciation of common french words / phrases which were scattered throughout the story. So she stuck with mispronouncing them the whole way through which was quite annoying.

Secondly it was obvious where she had re-recorded snippets, a sentence here and there where she didnt even bother to match her voice to her previous reading, sometimes when speaking as a character! This was really poor form. The volume levels when this happened were also out, indicating that nobody even bothered mixing the volume tracks to match where there had been breaks.

These audio issues really destroyed the storytelling. I would only recommend this book for reading, not listening.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-06-21

What an incredible book!!!!!!

So beautifully read!! So beautifully written!!! So difficult to listen to in parts and yet unputdownable which isn’t a word but the best way to describe this book. Get ready for a touching, painful, inspiring and deeply touching story!!! Well done to the reader - what an incredible job you did. And kristan Hannah you are simply incredible!!!!

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  • Melissa
  • 14-02-21

A must read

Incredible story, so beautifully written, and Polly Stone’s narration was absolutely brilliant!
I was so sad when the book was finished!

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  • Kate
  • 20-11-20

Best read/listen in a long time! Highly recommend

Amazing story, amazing narration. Couldn’t put it down! One of the best audibles yet!
Looking forward to other books from this author and narrator now.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-09-20

Amazing narrator

Polly Stoney, the narrator is amazing! The story was thoughtful, but the characters were a bit like I've seen them before.

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  • Melody
  • 10-07-19

utterly moving and brilliantly written

We loved every minute. at times it is gut wrenching and moves you to tears but could not put it down!
a must listen

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  • Lynda
  • 17-10-17

hreatbreaking and horrifying story

Unputdownable account of living in occupied France. An American narrator just didn't sit right with me from the beginning but her French accents were ok and I got used to it. However her Irish sounding Welshman was hysterical and her Americanized pronunciation of the word nightingale was unforgivable. A little bit twee in places too but a recommended read if you can get past the narration.

26 people found this helpful

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  • gblfc
  • 31-12-17

My only criticism of the narration..

My only criticism of the narration was that she read the Welsh character with an Irish accent. As a British person it is instantly infuriating when narrators just presume that's the same thing. A simple bit of research would have been better so she could have got it right. Other than that she did a great job, I could always tell which character was speaking.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs S Dunbar
  • 20-06-16

Enthralling story of courage and survival

What did you like most about The Nightingale?

It had me hooked from the first chapter. A story of survival in France during the German occupation World War II and what the French women had to do to survive, keep their children safe as well as many being active members of the French resistance. There is a strong story line running throughout and I was sorry when I reached the end!

What other book might you compare The Nightingale to, and why?

No comparison immediately comes to mind

What about Polly Stone’s performance did you like?

Enjoyed her style and the several accents she used to give the reader a sense of location and depth to the characters.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Relive the struggle of survival in occupied France through the lives of two courageous sisters

17 people found this helpful

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  • Jo
  • 26-01-16

AMAZING

Like all good books this was slow to start. I found myself struggling a little. Then the drama kicked in and I couldn't wait to find more jobs to do so I could listen to more!

I finished this book crying at the injustice of the war and what people went through in the holocaust. Brave strong people.

Loved it

17 people found this helpful

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  • Sue
  • 03-04-16

Just Wonderful

Beautifully read and I was drawn into the story straightaway. Tears at the end. A view of how it was in France during the war whether you were passive or wanted to fight back. My first Kristin Hannah book so I will look for others but read by Polly Stone and she had me hanging on her every word with her wonderfully soft French accent. Loved the way she said 'Isabel'.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Lauren
  • 05-04-16

Fantastic fantastic fantastic

An excellent account of the 2nd world war in France and what the women left behind endured to survive the war. The lengths they went too protect their friends, family and the airmen who would ultimately save them.

Absolutely fantastic!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs
  • 08-01-16

An amazing story

A thought provoking and heart wrenching story. The descriptive writing is inspiring and this helps creature an great depth of emotion.

5 people found this helpful

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  • sue
  • 30-01-16

Heartbreaking but addictive

I just could not wait to hear more and more of this tale.
The writing led me into a deep understanding of the characters.
Honestly the perfect book for me.

4 people found this helpful

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  • habab Mohd Mustafa
  • 20-12-15

bittersweet!

family values, tear jerking, amazing!wonderful lessons easily forgotten today. love one another and turn every closed door into a gate. sums up life.

4 people found this helpful

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  • sunflower
  • 07-03-16

Then and now

Tremendous read. Emotional, riveting, sad, realistic, horrifying, admirable. Story handled well - bringing the past into the now. The reader is there with the characters, with the story.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ness
  • 10-09-15

Loved it

This book was not something I would usually read/listen to but I found it fantastic. I loved it and highly recommend

7 people found this helpful

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  • Amanda
  • 24-08-15

A softly emotional journey

This was a great story, beautifully narrated, and I found myself crying towards the conclusion. A wonderful listen.
Worthwhile read

3 people found this helpful

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  • Chantelle
  • 11-08-15

amazing

i absolutely loved it. I could listen over and over again. amazing is all i can say

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew Bull
  • 16-06-19

Emotional

My best audible book so far. The characters are built up over time and become ever more complex. My sympathy and understanding jumped from one character to another then back to the first. Although the story line is slightly predictable this in no way detracts from the enjoyment.
My ONLY negative was the reading and pronunciation of the text was very American... but this is a minor point.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-10-15

One of the best

loved this book, what a great insight into the struggle and adversity that the French people suffer during ww2. and those that resisted the enemy. A must read.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Carol Anne Harvey
  • 08-09-15

Triumph of the human spirit.

It's difficult to say you 'enjoyed' a book like this, given the subject matter, but it certainly opens your eyes to the strength of the human spirit and the evil of which some are capable. One minor complaint is the constant repetition of things the author had already told us about the characters and the circumstances that formed their characters. Nevertheless a good read and audio book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Denise
  • 14-07-15

Riveting

This was a book about a very dark time in our history. It is hard to believe that humans could inflict and endure such suffering. I was so engaged in the story I looked forward to and from my commute to work.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Melinda Hannett
  • 18-02-17

Absolutely brilliant, one of the my favourites

If you could sum up The Nightingale in three words, what would they be?

Brilliant, so sad

What other book might you compare The Nightingale to, and why?

I am really into the war stories, cannot compare as they have been all excellent but this has been my favorite.

Which character – as performed by Polly Stone – was your favourite?

Isabelle Rossignol.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes couldn't put it down

Any additional comments?

Would like some suggestions what other books I can listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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