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The Nightingale - first ten chapters

So, is anyone reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah with us? Mary Beth has zoomed ahead and is really loving it. Helen started it and decided to finish her other book (Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe) which she is enjoying tremendously. Once she finishes that, she will dive in to The Nightingale.

So, we are ten chapters in and I can’t help but see parallels to our present day circumstances. It is no where near as dire as Occupied France, but there are lines to get into stores and certain items are next to impossible to find.

Isabelle has just joined the Resistance and is distributing pamphlets. I’m not sure I would be brave enough to do that. I have 20/20 hindsight knowing how horrific the SS were but I’m pretty sure Isabelle has an idea of how bad it would be if she were caught. Also, this is her dream - to be a hero and fight the enemy.

I’m trying to figure out if the woman in the present is Vianne or Isabelle. I know she has Isabel’s fake passport but is that a memento?

I’d love to know what you guys think and if you have any conversations you want to start - please leave them in the comments.

Thanks,
Mary Beth

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3 comments

  • I am listening on Audible and am really enjoying the book. I really think Isabelle is reckless. I know she wants to be in the fight but she makes me nervous! Vianne is just trying to get through this. I love history and this book is really giving a flavor of a country taken over by the enemy. There was a show on one of the streaming services about a town on an island off of England taken over by Germans. I can’t remember the name of it. Anyway I keep remembering that while reading this. THanks for this recommendation! I am really enjoying the book!
    Mary

    • Mary
  • Ann – I agree with you about thinking Vianne is naive but keep telling myself I know all about the war from history. If I were going through it, would I think it was as bad as it was? I don’t know. Just weeks ago, I wondered if people were blowing things out of proportion with the Cornona Virus and look at where we are now. Here in NJ, the governor is so strict about guidelines and social distancing – and he has to be since we are one of the highest hit states. As of today (Friday), everyone out must wear a mask and the store aisles now have directionality (you go up one aisle and down the next). If anyone is in the aisle, you wait until they are finished and then go in to shop. Walmart is limiting the number of shoppers allowed inside to 20 at a time. It’s kind of crazy.

    • Mary Beth Graham
  • I am loving this, but finding myself thinking “Vianne, don’t be so naive!!” In reality, I am not sure that I would have acted much differently. And I agree, it does parallel with what is happening today to some extent.

    Yesterday, I went to the grocery store for the first time in 2 weeks…and was so shocked by the changes that I wanted to run back out to the car and zoom out of the twilight zone to the safety of my own home! (Here in SC, the governor has been slow to take action with social distancing, closings, curfews) Anyway – all that just to say that Vianne is probably behaving much more graciously than I would manage under the same circumstances.

    So – I just had to delete my next paragraph – was about to comment on a big thing that doesn’t happen until after chapter 10. Yikes!! I will have to be careful about reviewing the current reading before commenting!!

    Wow, I did not consider that the present day narrator could be Isabelle rather than Vianne. That sure gives me pause!!

    I do not have Isabelle’s constitution…no way I could think or act as quickly as she does. She seems a little reckless to me but no doubt she is aware of the danger. I think she is learning that she must control her tongue.

    So far, I’m having trouble putting this book down!! (Side note: I’m looking forward to reading Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe) :)

    • Ann R Foley