“If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: in love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. I think we know the answer—we’d all ditch insignificant sleep and try not to blink. I’m pretty sure we’d feel delirious. And yet the stars come out every night and we elect to watch t.v. Our obvious deficiencies don’t change the fact that some books feel like starry, starry night. They make us feel delirious. In fact, they’re indescribable. So here’s my frank admission: I don’t have enough lovely words to adequately describe this week’s throwback. (Yes, I’m fully aware that it’s Friday.)
It’s a daunting task to try and review a book that glimmers like The Nightingale. Personally, I think this is a story everyone should read. While World War II novels don’t constitute the read less traveled, I was particularly riveted because Hannah opted to focus on a part of history seldom explored—the women’s war. Two sisters, dissimilar as night and day, navigate the treacherous and winding path of Nazi-occupied France. I felt blessed to observe valiant characters in defining moments of great challenge—characters that grew out of real-life war heroines Andree de Jongh and Edith Cavell. This unforgettable novel celebrates the durability and strength of women. It reminds me of the resilience of the human spirit. I was no less enamored by the powerful message of love and sacrifice. A book that is irrefutably inspiring. Like Emerson’s description of the stars, The Nightingale is an “envoy of beauty,” to help illuminate the universe. And I'm still basking in this brilliant novel.