Nightingale is listed as a romance. Historical romance. It didn't hurt that the story included scenes of Esther working in the airplane. Since my husband is a pilot I seem to be drawn to stories that include flying.
But what really grabbed me was the relationship of two women. A friendship that Esther tried to shove away. But somehow Caroline didn't give up.
The bonding between the two nurses is what let each one keep their sanity in a world gone crazy by war. Friendship is real and can last forever.
A history of Nazis, WWII, amazing characters and an author's love are what make up this second installment in Susan May Warren's Brothers in Arms collection. As I am typing this review, I am trying to determine which I liked best: Sons of Thunder, the first installment, or this one. I really LOVED Sons of Thunder so it's hard to top it. Nightingale is full of historical details in an era that many people seem to have forgotten. An era that I would love to have been a part of...it just fascinates me to read about the way things were, how close people were and the styles of clothing (I know, I'm weird. What can I say? I was born about 40-50 years too late.). Susan's particular attention to every little historical detail was phenomenal. Add a plot line that seems to come to life before the reader's eyes, and this book ranks up there with Sons of Thunder.
This novel has such an epic plot and incredible characters. Esther's beautiful character immediately captured me. I was back in time, working beside Esther and her friend, Caroline as a Red Cross nurse. The 1940's came to life, as I said above, for me as I read Esther's story, felt her inner turmoil and confusion that one night of passion in the backseat of a soldier's car caused her. It was a wonderful and sad feeling all wrapped up in one.
Peter, the medic Esther writes to after receiving a letter from her fiance Linus saying he was dead, really tugged at my heart. The letters he wrote to Esther were so sweet and felt like it was a REAL soldier writing. He just wanted Esther to feel loved and wanted. His character really filled this novel with depth and love. Through his letters to Esther, I started to feel jealous of her! Susan's words that she put forth in Peter's letters were just so incredible that I was wishing that it was ME that Peter was writing to and not the beautiful nightingale, Esther.
Yep, in case you didn't realize it by now, I've come to the conclusion that, while I absolutely loved Sons of Thunder, Nightingale has topped it for me. Five star worthy and highly recommended to everyone. Military, romance, history and God's redeeming love of second chances make up this truly epic novel! I can't wait until Susan May Warren writes book three, Part the Waters, for this collection!
Nightingale by Susan May Warren is an excellent read. I loved the story of Esther as she tries to cope with the consequences of one night of passion with a man she doesn't love. Dealing with the stigma of being a single mother, suffering the near-abuse of her future in-laws, struggling to make a life for her daughter, Esther tries to make it on her own. Her friends - both patients and nurses at the hospital - support her and encourage her to rely on God. It's not until she meets a German prisoner through letters that she begins to understand that God really can love her and offers the forgiveness she so desperately seeks.
The use of letters in this book allows readers to get inside the minds of some of the characters. It's a unique writing style that I greatly enjoyed. The book also gives a unique perspective on World War II. I've not read many books that relate the experiences of Germans (or American-Germans) who were held in "concentration camps" in the United States.
Towards the end of the book, I felt like the story dragged a little bit. Perhaps it could have been resolved a little sooner. However, overall I enjoyed the story and will look for future installments of this series.
I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for my participation in this blog tour. I was not required to give a positive review.
I didn't like this book as much as the first book in the series, Sons of Thunder, but I did like it. It was SO different from Sons of Thunder! The plot, the style, almost everything was so different. But, like the first book, this has a strong faith message and a message about being redeemed through Christ. I liked that the Esther was a "fallen woman" who was searching for what was missing in her life. However, I didn't feel very close to her. That may have been because of the POV changes to the main male lead, but I'm not sure. I just didn't get totally caught up in her story.
Part of the reason I didn't really connect with this book may have been because I was trying to read it quickly. However, the book has GREAT historic details that help the era to come alive. The letters exchanged between Esther and Peter were so sweet and I really enjoyed reading them. This IS a good book in its own right, just very different from book one in the series.