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  • The Nightingale

  • Written by: Kristin Hannah
  • Narrated by: Polly Stone
  • Length: 17 hrs and 19 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (156 ratings)

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The Nightingale cover art

The Nightingale

Written by: Kristin Hannah
Narrated by: Polly Stone
Free with 30-day trial

₹199 per month after 30-day trial. Cancel anytime.

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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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How war change everything and people are helples.

The story is amazing and narrated well enough with every character having its own originality.

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  • NP
  • 25-09-22

Very authentic and beautifully performed

A very compelling book tracing the Holocaust’s impact on France and the bravery of the women who gave up everything to save hundreds of innocent lives. A must listen.

Kristen is a genius writer and Polly is a phenomenal performer. :)

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heart breaking beautiful

felt the pain written in mere words, how can humans be so inhuman in wartime. the story felt so real,surely many endured the war and its vagaries..it's a great memoir of the ww2

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An engrossing, emotional, beautifully written story.

A story that holds one spellbound, throughout.

The narrator has done a good job, a little more variety in the voices would have elevated experience. Having said that, the narrator is successful in bringing out the emotions of each character very well.

I could not keep away from my phone and earphones from start to finish.

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Magnificent story - utterly moving.

Whoa. This book is absolutely riveting, with excellent writing and simply phenomenal characters. The story alone is a must-read for its poignant, powerful WW2 narrative of the shadow war. The narration could have been better because the narrator can’t embody many voices, But it’s doable. Overall, simply excellent.

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Amazing in every aspect

I loved the story and the narration. It unfolds the bitter truth of the war in which a timid woman turns into a courageous one to survive and to save her children. I felt her pain with each chapter. This is the best book I read till this date.

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Great inspiring story

A man tells stories, women pick up the threads and carry on with their lives!!! -to me , this sums up the challenges and hence credits ( or not thereof ) given to women who survived World war II.

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  • Sue Holmes
  • 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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    4 out of 5 stars
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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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  • Alyson F
  • 18-08-16

Ghastly sent it back.....don't want to give it ANY stars at all

After the first two chapters my skin was crawling.....over embellished description of everything......historically inaccurate and questionable ....a schoolteacher and her postman husband drinking Bollinger champagne on a Sunday picnic ....in France in 1939 highly unlikely etc etc etc
This author is a New York Times bestseller !!!? Who reads this tedious unimaginative crap???

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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  • Sherrin Sutcliffe
  • 30-06-22

Heartbreaking

I rarely write reviews, on this occasion I shall endeavour to put my thoughts into print. This is not just another book about the holocaust. It’s about the French and how deeply they suffered under the German occupation. So often I was so deeply moved by the suffering endured I had to stop listening as I was so angered by the dictatorship of Hitler and others who have followed since. Truly one of the best books ever read/listened to.

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  • carolyn bleach
  • 27-01-22

Outstanding! A must read 🥲

I loved this story of strength, love, loss heroism, pain, relief and hope. Read it

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-12-21

Wow wow wow

I loved everything about this. I am beyond thrilled that I stumbled across this book. It is a must read. Wow.

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  • hester degenaar
  • 29-11-21

Captivating!

The most beautiful story that keeps you engaged from start to end. the narrator is extremely good!

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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.

32 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.

29 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

20 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

18 people found this helpful

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  • Ms. S. K. Baker
  • 28-06-20

Narrator so bad it sounds like 'Allo 'Allo

I am really fed up with these audio books where the narrator is completely inappropriate for the book.

Her French accent was so bad it sounds like an unfunny episode of 'Allo 'Allo. Particularly when the British airmen are voiced in the same fake French accent.

Why oh why does Audible and the Authors keep spoiling books with these dreadful narrators. IF you writing a book with mostly French characters surely the reader should speak French?

IF it's an audiobook with different nationalities surely the narrator should be able to speak in the correct accent.

Ruined a mediocre book.

11 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!

7 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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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-01-19

The choice of the narrator is a baffling decision

I had to stop, an American voice which I think is trying to intone French characters is just awful. Combine that with americanisms while the story is set in France is so jarring it totally detracts from the book and story.
Really un fathomable decision.

5 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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  • 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

10 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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Karen
  • 22-04-16

Good story ...narration distracting at times

A well written story and I adored Isabelle as a character . The ending was perhaps a little predictable but was thoroughly enjoyable despite this.
I did find the narrator's accent distracting at times , particularly when she was trying to use a French accent on top of her American one . I think her portrayal of a Germain accent was better.

3 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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  • carol Vona
  • 07-07-21

Wonderful story!!!

The story, narrator and characters was absolutely perfect. I could not stop listening. Educational history sorrow love hardship and shear devotion in this book is amazing. This book is a must listen.

2 people found this helpful

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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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  • 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