Even though this book kept popping up on Amazon recommendations and other lists, for some reason every time I read the description I put off reading it. However, now that I have finished The Nightingale I am sorry that I delayed picking it up for as long as I did. This was really a moving piece of historic fiction.
Although the themes of the book were very much centered around the relationship between sisters and a girl and her father, I still felt like I understood the emotion that was going on between them unlike in some other books with similar themes that I have read lately. The overall writing style was easy to read, perhaps too simplistic if you want to be an ass and comlain about something. Nonetheless, the writing did not feel juvenile nor forcibly convoluted, it just seemed correct for this story.
There was a little bit of mystery in who was still alive in the future, and who was going to do what when, that made me want to keep going just to find out those answers. At the same time, the story was enthralling enough to make me drop other activities to find out what was going to happen next.
The last twenty to thirty pages are a real tear jerker. There are moments throughout the book that tug on the heart strings, but the ending is sentimental and moving in a powerful and yet did not come across as sappy. That being said, the ending felt a bit rushed, which I felt was a literary device to avoid fully explaining some details of how the character's future was really going to play out.
I highly recommend this book. This is not what I would strictly call literary fiction as none of the characters are strictly real, but the general themes of what was going on during World War II seem to be roughly historicaly accurate. If you are a huge WWII buff, I can't promise this will live up to your standards. But, for everyone else, this is a quality story set during a tumultous time in the history of France. There is quite a bit of romance novel here as well if that is your thing, although I would not really put this into that genre as I think it is a bit limiting in terms of the real breadth of the story. Nonetheless, I would not be surprised if a movie adaptation of this book cuts out a fair amount of the other parts of the story and makes this into a more pure love story.