Happy Thanksgiving week! Can you believe that the holidays are around the corner? Ten minutes ago it was the summer and now I’m seeing reports of snow on the nightly news. (It’s raining in Seattle, of course, but that’s hardly news).
What have I gotten done? Hmmm…let’s see. Almost nothing. No gifts purchased, no turkey ordered, no wrapping paper stored in my laundry room, no boxes of decorations dragged down from the attic. Why?
To be honest, I’ve been consumed with my latest book. After more than two years of hard work and research, I can finally tell you about it! You all have been so supportive of my books and I want you to know how much I appreciate it. I hope you all love The Nightingale as much as I do. It is my twenty-second book, and my hands-down favorite so far.
Sometimes a story sneaks up on you, hits you hard and dares you to look away. That was the case with The Nightingale. In truth, I did everything I could not to write this novel. But when research on World War II led me to the story of a young Belgian woman who had created an escape route out of Nazi-Occupied France, I was hooked. Her story — one of heroism and danger and unbridled courage — became the starting point. I simply couldn’t turn away. I had to keep digging, discovering, reading, and that story led me to others that were equally fascinating. Stories about women who had saved Jewish children and rescued downed airmen and put themselves in harm’s way to save others. Women who had paid terrible, unimaginable prices for their heroism.
Their stories were impossible to ignore. I found myself consumed with a single, haunting question, as relevant today as it was seventy years ago: When would I, as a wife and mother, risk my life — and more importantly, my child’s life — to save a stranger?
In war, women’s stories are all too often forgotten or overlooked. Women tend to come home from the battlefield and say nothing and go on with their lives. The Nightingale is a novel about those women and the daring, dangerous choices they made to save their children and their way of life.
One other new thing to share —-my website, which has be redesigned to celebrate The Nightingale. There’s lots to explore. Click here to see a video of me talking about my inspiration for The Nightingale. Click here to see some photos from my research in France. My book tour dates are still coming together. Keep an eye on the tour page of my website to see where I’ll be headed!
Things are going to get crazier and busier for us all in the next few weeks, so I am sending you good thoughts at this very special time of year. And if you have a really awesome Thanksgiving recipe — I’m looking for one.
In love we find out who we want to be. In war we find out who we are.
In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.
Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gaetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can…completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.
With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.
“I loved Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale. She has captured a particular slice of French life during World War II with wonderful details and drama. But what I loved most was the relationship between two sisters and Hannah’s exploration of what we do in moments of great challenge.”
– Lisa See, author of New York Times bestseller Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
“In this epic novel, set in France in World War II, two sisters who live in a small village find themselves estranged when they disagree about the imminent threat of occupation. Separated by principles and temperament, each must find her own way forward as she faces moral questions and life-or-death choices. Haunting, action-packed, and compelling.” – Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train
“The Nightingale is a beautifully written and richly evocative examination of life, love, and the ravages of war, and the different ways people react to unthinkable situations–not to mention the terrible and mounting toll of keeping secrets. This powerhouse of a story is equally packed with action and emotion, and is sure to be another major hit. I loved it!” – Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants