Posted by: patriciamar | March 31, 2016

The Nightingale

“Tante Isabelle says it’s better to be bold than meek.  She says if you jump off a cliff at least you’ll fly before you fall.”

As you may have noticed from my comments and suggestions over the last while, lately I’ve been interested in books (mostly fiction) that take place during World War I and II.  I’m not sure why that is exactly, I have never been particularly interested in wars or history.

However, I am interested in the idea of eras.  It intrigues me that there are generations of people and that these are not only named, but that the people in these specified generations do tend to have certain characteristics, more so than I would have liked to think.

Baby Boomers, Generation X, Y, and so forth, of course it’s not a perfect formula, but it becomes clearer and clearer the more generations that you consider, the extent to which we are shaped sociologically by our culture and the period of history in which we lived.  This can be as basic as what we eat and what we cook to where we buy clothes, who we marry, and the jobs that we want.

Of course there’s fashion and geography.  Where you live (and where you grew up) is certainly important at each and every moment of your life, however, it seems to me that the era has a significance greater than we have been led to believe.

At an office, for example, there can be a such a clear divide between generations that sometimes I can scarcely believe companies and businesses manage to function.  Add to this, culture and gender, and it’s a wonder we can communicate at all…21853621

As for “The Nightingale,” I discovered during a recent conversation with my grandmother that she and I were reading the same book–this book.  We were both highly enjoying it, and I’ll admit, my grandmother was on her second go-around.  It was a re-read for her.

This coincidence brought the whole picture together for me.  You see, one of the things that has been intriguing me about World War I and II, is that the people that remember them are gone are nearly gone.  When speaking of shifting generations, it is both alarming and unsurprising that relatively soon, the vast majority of people will not remember or be personally connect to  a world war in any way.

Although war is still a part of our lives, this is a change, and a momentous one at that.

“The Nightingale,” by Kristin Hannah, is touching and sad and full of love.  It is inspiring, but also horrifying.

This all sounds a lot to me like living through a war.

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