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Archive for April, 2015

Here’s some fun links and book news from around the world:

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I have a serious love for WWII novels especially those that involve women working for the French Resistance. Kristin Hannah’s newesnightingalet novel The Nightingale explores the lives of two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, who couldn’t be more different. The elder sister Vianne is married to a French soldier and lives in the small town of Carriveau with her young daughter Sophie. When her husband is called off to the front to fight, Vianne is left at home in a country soon to be invaded by Nazis. Unlike her younger sister Isabelle, Vianne is not politically minded and simply wants to stay out of the conflict. In contrast, Isabelle joins with the French Resistance at the first opportunity and risks her life by transporting downed Allied pilots to safety. Though the two sisters have very different reactions to the pressures of living under German occupation, they are both drawn into the conflict and resist the Germans in their own fashion.

Hannah has drawn a convincing portrait of life under the Germans in occupied France. I found myself much more sympathetic to Vianne’s story than to Isabelle’s larger than life work as a resistance fighter. Vianne’s struggle to keep her daughter safe and to simply survive the limited food rations likely reflects the experience of many women during the war. At pivotal moments she is forced to choose whether to stand up to the Nazis or to bury her head in the sand. Hannah does an admirable job of showing both her strengths and weaknesses in the midst of an impossible situation. A definite 9/10 rating.

Other WWII books I highly recommend:

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Lost Wife

All the Light we Cannot See

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