Nightingale by Aleksandr Voinov
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I struggle to know where to begin with this review. I've never read anything by Aleksandr Voinov before, but based on my experience with this novel, I'm absolutely certain that I'll read another.
I feel like this story was important, that it needed to be told. So much of it rang true that I imagine a lot of research went into writing it. I have a lot of respect for Voinov for that.
What I'm struggling with, is how to put into words how I feel about the story. There was so much that I liked and that I found necessary, and yet there were some aspects that felt slightly incomplete. I understand that the passage of time was required, but I found that time was fluid in this novel, and I couldn't quite keep track of how much time was elapsing. How long was Yves with Heinrich and Falk? We see their first romantic encounters, and then all of the sudden, months seem to have passed with very little explanation. I found this a bit frustrating, most particularly when Yves and Heinrich's relationship began to cool (because we didn't see much in the way of their intimate relationship to begin with, and I couldn't tell the difference when they'd begun to lose interest), and it suddenly felt like months or years had passed, but I had no way of knowing.
Following along the last note, I also wished that we would have seen more of Falk and Yves. I adored how they interacted, and am ultimately disappointed that I didn't get to see more of it. I realize that the romance wasn't the purpose of this novel, and that's fine, but a bit more than those few blinks of romance would have been nice.
My frustration aside, this was a brilliant novel. It was heart-wrenching and painful, but also so artfully written and romantic. It might have been fiction, but with so much fact and history put in, it really felt like it could have been real, which made it all the more painful.
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Award winning historical romance author, wife, and stay-at-home mom of four. Chocoholic, nerd, & bath bomb enthusiast.