|the nightingale by kristin hannah|
November 9, 2020
i've lost count of this year's books. who cares, but this is another hannah book worth reading if you are looking for something worthwhile to read and escape into. there are overlaps of course, sadly, to these times, particularly the next 70 days when everything seems a little precarious still.
this is a novel based on a true story of a young ordinary belgian woman who created an escape line for downed brit and u.s. airmen. that woman became Isabelle in hannah's novel. the novel also recognizes the many other ordinary mothers and housewives who at risk of death contributed to the resistance by hiding scores of young jewish children in their homes during the war. those women become Isabelle's older sister, Vianne.
it's a war and coming of age and love story all rolled into one. a story of great suffering, fear, hardships all met by sacrifice, persistence, resistance and ultimately survival and overcoming. by the novel's end you will understand better than ever while all the church bells rang vigorously across europe at war's end. and you will be struck by the significance that on saturday, in real time, here in america we heard reports of those bells ringing once again celebrating with us our near brush but ultimate rebuttal of authoritarianism with the election of joe biden and kamala harris.
a fitting novel to read both for perspective on history, women's often neglected roles in it, and for insights into our own struggles and sometimes triumphs today.