I Just Finished The Nightingale and I Need to Talk About It

Who's read it? Tell me your thoughts. Pass the tissues. Commiserate with me.
  1. I read this book in about three days and cried through most of the second half.
    I'm not talking about misty eyes, not gentle falling drops. No, I was full on ugly weeping, snot and sobs and all.
  2. This story of two sisters living in occupied France during WWII absolutely wrecked me.
  3. I don't think I've ever grasped the full weight of suffering women endured during the war.
    I still can't. My brain simply can't contain that amount of heartbreak.
  4. It was blow upon blow. Husbands sent away. The enemy stripping your house of all valuables, maybe even living in your spare room. Demanding you cook for them. Demanding your compliance. Maybe even demanding your body. Ration lines. Hunger. Cold that settles into your bones. Friends taken away. Constant fear. Impossible choices.
    And this was if you were lucky enough to not be a Jew, not be sent away to a concentration camp.
  5. The strength these women showed—to undermine the enemy, to aid their Jewish friends, to harbor Jewish children, to distribute anti-German papers, just to freaking survive against all odds—it still astounds me.
  6. Books like this always make me wonder...could I do it? Could I keep on going day after day, keep fighting, keep surviving? Would I be brave? What would I sacrifice? How would I choose between keeping my children safe and resisting evil?
    I complain when I get less than 7 hours of sleep at night. My faith, my will, my courage has never been tested like these women were tested.
  7. Books like this also make me wonder...how the hell did this happen? The evil is unfathomable, born out in a million big and small ways. How did we do this to each other? How did we let this happen? And could it happen again?
    The thought makes me shiver.
  8. My heart hurts.
  9. But it's also full. Full of hope in ordinary people doing extraordinary things in the direst of circumstances.
  10. And Andree de Jongh...the real life woman who the main character in the book is based on...is my new hero.
    Seriously read about her. http://mobile.nytimes.com/2007/12/30/magazine/30dejongh-t.html. That is some serious girl power. 💪
  11. Ok, who's read the book? Who else can't stop crying thinking about it? I need fellow readers to ache with me.