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Monday Mini ~ The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

MondayMini3Getting back into the swing of things each week is hard. So is finding the quiet time to write a review over the weekend. In order to ease out of the weekend, I’ve decided to begin my blogging week with a mini review.

From the first time I’ve read Gone with the Wind, I’ve wanted to go to Atlanta. This past February I finally got the opportunity to do just that through my company. While I was there on business, I made the most of the trip and met my friend Jennifer Smeth the weekend before. As it so happened, Kristin Hannah was on tour for The Nightengale. I didn’t arrive early enough to attend her reading or to meet her in person, but I did get a copy of the book signed. Life being what it is, it wasn’t until this summer that I had the opportunity to read it – in audio.

Cover of The NightingaleThe Nightengale by Kristin Hannah
St. Martin’s Press ~ February 3, 2015 ~ 448 pages
Macmillan Audio ~ Polly Stone ~ 17 hours 26 minutes

When I purchased a signed print copy of The Nightengale while on vacation, I really didn’t know at the book was about. I’ve never read Hannah before, but her following is pretty huge and I wanted to take part. After taking my copy back to my hotel room following the signing, I realized it was about World War II. There have been some amazing novels written about World War II, but I have found myself growing weary of them. I’ve read so many that it kind of depresses me even to think about picking up another story about that terrible time. It is a beautiful book and decided at worst it would make a nice edition to my growing collection of signed books. That is, in fact, where that copy has remained. When I received a free copy of the audiobook through Ford’s Audiobook Club group on Goodreads, I found myself at a place to read it.

This was my first audiobook narrated by Polly Stone. I thought she did well with the mixture of accents and personalities. While the performance didn’t dazzle me, had I decided to read the print version of this book, I may not have finished it. I would pick up another one of her audiobooks down the road.

The Nightengale is an interesting look at French women and the way that they helped fight the Nazis. The beginning felt very much like other such novels and I almost DNFd it. However, once it dove into the French resistance fully, I couldn’t stop listening. That aspect, for me, was new and very interesting territory. I didn’t like the novel as much as some people did, but I would recommend it to others who are interested in French history and the role of women during war. As this was my first of her novels, I’m not sure if it is representative of her work. If you’re a Kristin Hannah fan, what are your thoughts. Which of her other novels should I give a try?

Special thanks to the Ford Audiobook Club for giving me the opportunity to listen to this audiobook.

5 Comments

  • At 2015.09.21 09:00, BermudaOnion(Kathy) said:

    I had no idea this is about the French Resistance. That makes it a must read for me.

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    • At 2015.09.21 09:08, Jennifer said:

      It takes a while to really get there, but it’s worth the read once you do. I’m surprised I’ve never read anything else about it.

    • At 2015.09.21 11:54, Anita said:

      I listened to this one too and I was in love. The book took on a life of it’s on in the telling. I was gripped by what was happening and the battle to free France. I think it was a stand out novel from Kristin Hannah!

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      • At 2015.09.21 19:45, Julie said:

        I read this one, and I agree with you – it took awhile to get into it, but picked up. I listened to the audio of another WW II themed book of Hannah’s, Winter Garden. The WW II part of this book is set in the siege of Leningrad. The narrator, Susan Ericksen, does an excellent job with the Russian accents. I think I preferred that book to this one.

        • At 2015.09.21 20:26, Michelle said:

          This remains my only Hannah novel that I have read, but I absolutely adored it. I am so glad I read it because there were so many excellent passages I could go back and read. I never get to do that with audiobooks.

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