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Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

This is a book about occupied France during World War II.  It covers the water front of the difficulties associated with war, and the reality of giving up rather than fighting.  Occupation is not at all pretty, and this book brings out all the gritty details of the lives of those who are civilians.  There is no war, no battlegrounds, nothing at all associated with the acts of war other than an occasional execution by soldiers of village people and bombs falling on towns.  The book is largely about how war affects women, and that is told in the story of two sisters.  One, The Nightingale, is a brash and brave woman who throws herself into the resistance movement and lives and acts very much like a man.  She moves more freely because she is a woman, but that is where it ends.  Her sister, Vianne, is much more easily identified with.  She is not brave.  She wants to keep her children safe.  She does not start out being a troublemaker, but as the realities of was unfold, she sees that she doesn't have a morally acceptable choice not to help.  It dawns on her and she is her own kind of heroine.  Very thought provoking book.

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