" 'Oh for heaven's sake, Isabelle. Paris is overrun. The Nazis control the city. What is an eighteen-year-old girl to do about all of that?' "
"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."
"Men tell stories. Women get on with it. For us it was a shadow war. There were no parades for us when it was over, no metals or mentions in history books. We did what we had to during the war, and when it was over, we picked up the pieces and started our lives over."
I have always been a fan of Kristin Hannah, but she became one of my all-time favorite authors with her first historical novel, The Winter Garden, a few years ago. I couldn't wait to read her new novel and it was so worth the wait! It was beautifully written and is one of the best books that I have read in a long time. The story is essentially was 'war-time' story of Nazi occupied France during World War II. It is a story of family and love and war and sacrifice and takes readers on a indescribable journey from the very first page to the last. I read a lot of historical novels set during the war, but Kristin Hannah as the wonderful ability to capture a new aspect - much like she did in The Winter Garden.
I won't give away too much of the plot, but the center of the novel is on two sisters - Isabelle and Vienne - and they're determination to survive the war one day at a time. As the novel progresses, each is faced with unthinkable decisions that they will live with long after the war is over. One of my favorite parts of the novel (besides the breathtakingly beautiful writing) is how each of the sisters grow and develop throughout the book. The relationships are intense and are made even-more-so by the constant horrors of wartime France. A wonderful and unforgettable story!! I loved every second of it and cannot wait to see what Kristin Hannah has planned next!
This was #1 on my top ten list of 2015.