E Is For Emotional Connection
I love it when an emotional connection to a book or a character or a situation grabs hold. When it makes you feel, start to ask questions. The book I’m reading right now for our April book club is a very good example of a book that is making me ask all sorts of questions of myself.
The book is The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.
For some context, here’s the book description from Kristin Hannah’s website.
In love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.
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 Gaetan, 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.
As explained above, it is the story of two very different sisters. With two very different ways of coping with the nightmare of living in an Nazi occupied France. I must be honest here and say I’m not fond of WWII stories. Or war stories. Even thought they’re important stories to be told, with their crushingly brutality, heartbreak and loss, as is often the case with the history of this planet we inhabit. But I would not have been allowed to be a soldier. I would not have gone off to fight, willingly, unwillingly or somewhere in between. In this story I saw myself. And I was captivated from the very beginning. The further along I read the stronger the emotional connection. Questions arose. Who would I have been in this story? Would I have been as brave? Made different choices? What would I have done?
That when you know you’re emotional connected and invested in the story. When your heart jumps. When the tears come. When you rage against the circumstances and the only choices left. When you want to decimate the enemy. That’s when you’ve made an emotional connection.
What book(s) do you have an emotional connection to?