In previous Book Discussion Series posts, I talk about the relationship between the book and the reader. Sometimes the book must come to the reader at just the right time in order for the two to click. The timing was perfect for me to pick up The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.
I read the entire book in a single 24 hour period. The characters were wonderful, the plot engaging, the imagery superb. I got lost in time as I read. The story so completely engulfed me that it was hard to remember I was not part of war-time France.
In short, I love this book.
I often discuss books here that we discuss in my book club, and this one is not an exception. Sometimes, after discussing a book with my fellow book lovers, the rose colored glasses I read a story through darken. This time, my glasses only grew rosier. Everyone loved this story. It gives us so much to think about and discuss.
Here are a few thoughts I still have rolling around in my brain since reading this novel:
- How do we determine our enemies?
- If my life suddenly drastically changed, how would I handle it?
- How do actions become socially acceptable or not?
The story of The Nightingale is so well written that you don’t realize you are pondering these very important societal questions. You think about them through the lens of the characters of the time and also against the fabric of current society.
Here are few more questions to think about while reading:
- Could this story be told from a different point of view or character and still have the same impact? Why or why not?
- How are gender roles important in this story and in the historical context of WWII?
- What drives each character to do what he or she does?
It has been several days since I read the final words of the novel and I still cannot get it off my mind. I tell everyone to read it.
Now, I’m telling you.