As Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale begins, an elderly woman is packing to leave her home of fifty years to move to an assisted living facility. She opens her old trunk and retrieves an identification card - "Juliette Gervais". Insisting that her son permit her to take the old trunk with her, the woman allows herself to remember her past life during the years of the Nazi occupation of France. Most of the rest of the story is a flashback as the Nazi's take first Paris and then the French countryside.
As young women, the two Rosingal sisters are very different from each other: "...Viann the rule follower and Isabelle the rebel ...". Eventually though, reality shatters Viann's complacency as she and her children face starvation and her best friend Rachel, a Jew, is captured by the Nazis. Impetuous Isabelle is deeply involved with the underground and aids downed Allied fliers as they evade the Nazis by leading them over the Alps to Spain on foot, a harrowing hike that she makes over 26 times during the course of the war. Known as "The Nightingale", she is wanted by the Nazis and faces death should she be captured.
|Photo courtesy of livingunabridged.com; Quote from The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah|