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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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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

28 people found this helpful

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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.

25 people found this helpful

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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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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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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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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.

5 people found this helpful

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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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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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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-08-21

Beautifully written

I loved this story and the detail was immaculate. Such a beautiful novel about such a dreadful time....

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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.