Our Military Life Blog

The Nightingale – Week 2

Vianne is still living in her nightmare. She has no idea where her husband is, and she still has the German Captain living in her home. As they move through the days, the feelings of loneliness overtake her, and she fears for the future. Money is running out, and winter is coming. How will she provide for her daughter with less money than she is used to? Supplies are short, and the lines are long for rations. Isabelle helps as she can, but the defiance she feels has not lessened.

Captain Beck finally comes and tells her that her husband and several others are being held as prisoner of war. They are alive, but they are not coming home – at least for a long time. As she gathers the other women and tells them about their husbands, they are allowed to write a short postcard to send to their husbands. Captain Beck takes them to mail out. Now the purge of those in the village is beginning. Jews and Freemasons are being relieved of their jobs, although no one knows how far exactly the changes will go. Vianne questions something that happens at the school and is relieved of her post as well, just for questioning the authority that has taken over.

Isabelle has not stopped her quest to find a way to help out and become involved in the war. She wants to do more, and her small acts of rebellion are noted. One day when she is chalking a V onto a poster, she is grabbed and taken to a small room. There, she agrees to pass out tracts and deliver messages as she can. When she can bear it no longer, she decides to move back to Paris. There she acts as messenger, ferrying messages back and forth. When she comes across a British airman hiding, she knows she cannot leave him there, as he will be captured. She tells him where to meet her, and then hides him in the small fort in her room at her fathers house. As she tries to figure out what she is going to do, and how to get him to safety, she has to shield him from her father as well. Her father is working for the German high command, and she does not know exactly where his loyalty lies. It is not until she decides to take the biggest risk of all, something that could cost her her life if she fails, that she discovers exactly where he stands, and how deep he is in to all he has been doing. Will her gamble succeed?

This week we are reading Chapters 10-19


  1. Vianne is asked to give a specific list to Captain Beck. Should she have complied or feigned ignorance?
  2. Isabelle dreams of being able to help the war effort more than just planting gardens and standing in lines for food. Has she really thought the entire thing through, or is she being impetuous as always?
  3. War is rough, but how can you really know who to trust and who to fear?