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The Nightingale: A Novel Audiobook, by Kristin Hannah Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Kristin Hannah Narrator: Polly Stone Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2015 ISBN: 9781427252388
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In love we find out who we want to be.

In war we find out who we are.

FRANCE, 1939

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 Gäetan, 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • I found The Nightingale absolutely riveting! I started reading it one night after supper with every intention of reading just a few chapters for that evening and could not put it down. Not only is it an emotionally inspiring story with well-drawn characters whom you grow to care about deeply, but it is also historically informative....Read this book. It will keep you guessing throughout about the two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, both brave young women who did what they thought was the right thing to do in the most of difficult circumstances. They had--in the words of Lawrence Langer the WW2 historian scholar too often to make 'choiceless choices.' Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff, Director of the University of Miami Holocaust Teacher Institute
  • “Narrator Polly Stone gives voice to this incredible story of women’s lives in France during WWII…Stone’s even delivery gives an eerie feel to a story that has a lot of action and activity as it alternates between the point of view of Vianne and that of Isabelle…A strength of the narration is that Stone’s French accents add authenticity and a sense of place to her reading.”


  • "Polly Stone delivers an impeccable narration that brings the sisters and wartime France to life with a distinctive and memorable set of voices that will keep listeners coming back for more. Library Journal (Starred Review)

  • 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, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train
  • I read The Nightingale in one sitting, completely transported to wartime France, completely forgetting where I was. A historical novel-built on Kristin Hannah's proven skill with story, complex and enduring family ties, and passion-one that will captivate readers. Marilyn Dahl, Shelf Awareness
  • The audio version is outstandingly read by Polly Stone, whose versatility -- between men and women, Germans and French, adults and children -- leaves no doubt who is speaking throughout the book. Fran Wood,
  • 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 about the novel was the relationship between the two sisters and Hannah's exploration of what we do in moments of great challenge. Do we rise to the occasion or fail? Are we heroes or cowards? Are we loyal to the people we love most or do we betray them? Hannah explores these questions with probing finesse and great heart. Lisa See, #1 New York Times bestseller author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
  • 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. Sara Gruen, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants

  • “A heart-pounding story.”

    USA Today

  • “Hannah’s new novel is an homage to the extraordinary courage and endurance of Frenchwomen during World War II… Hannah’s proven storytelling skills are ideally suited to depicting such cataclysmic events…A respectful and absorbing page-turner.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “A melodrama that combines historical accuracy and social-political activism is a hard one to resist…Fast paced, detailed, and full of romance.”

  • “[A] powerhouse of a story.”

    Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A penetrating historical novel.”


  • “IA historical novel—built on Kristin Hannah’s proven skill with story, complex and enduring family ties, and passion—one that will captivate readers.”

    Shelf Awareness

  • “Character growth and development is a strength of this World War II-set novel…As Hitler’s forces invade, both sisters face challenging choices that will show where their loyalties lie…Readers who enjoy stories with ethical dilemmas and character-driven narratives will enjoy this novel full of emotion and heart.”

    Library Journal

  • “A hauntingly rich WWII novel about courage, brutality, love, survival―and the essence of what makes us human.”

    Family Circle

  • An Amazon Editor’s Top Pick for February 2015
  • A New York Times bestseller
  • One of Audible’s Best Audiobooks of 2015
  • Winner of the 2016 Audie Award for Best Fiction Narration
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • Among longlisted titles for Chapters Indigo Best of the Year
  • Among longlisted titles for Goodreads Choice Awards, 2015
  • Among longlisted titles for Best Books of the Year, 2015
  • Among longlisted titles for Barnes and Noble Best New Books of the Year, 2015
  • Among shortlisted titles for Audie Award Finalist, 2016
  • Among longlisted titles for Library Journal Best Books of the Year, 2015
  • Winner of Audie Award Winner, 2016

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marcie | 10/26/2019

    " This was a very good story. I loved it. It was well Narrated and overall a very good Novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine Barrett | 5/13/2019

    " This is one of my all-time favourite books It had everything I invested immediately to both sisters I literally couldn't put it down Polly Stone was superb as the narrator Fabulous book "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Blithe Spirit | 11/10/2015

    " Important and gripping tale that lends itself perfectly to this excellent oral presentation. "

About the Author

Kristin Hannah is the author of several highly acclaimed and New York Times bestselling books, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers The Four Winds and The Great Alone.

About the Narrator

Polly Stone is an experienced stage actress and an Audie Award-winning audiobook narrator. She has appeared in theathrical productions in New York and across the United States. She holds a degree in dramatic art from the University of California at Santa Cruz.