What Sisters and Oblates Are Reading

The Nightengale


by Kristin Hannah
St. Martin's Press

Sister Valerie Luckey

When we witness injustice, what is our response? This is my lingering question, among a few others, after reading Kristin Hannah’s novel, The Nightengale: a novel. Set in France during World War II, the book tells the story of two sisters, Isabelle and Vianne, as they deal with the ramifications of the Nazi occupation in their country.

As we learn about each sister’s past, we begin to understand why Isabelle and Vianne react in such different ways. Isabelle, the younger of the two, has always had a penchant for adventure and risk-taking, while Vianne lives her life with much more hesitation. In the end, both end up making contributions completely in character with the women we know them to be.

I have to admit that I seldom read fiction, but this book kept me enthralled throughout the entire story. Besides the sisters, the other characters are complex and add depth to the narrative. As I read, I thought more than once about how well the story would lend to a movie. After I finished the book, I read that The Nightingale has been optioned for a screen adaptation. I look forward to seeing the characters come to life again!

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