Just finished reading a book I started maybe four or five months ago. I love this author and have read several of her books. She is one who is consistently descriptive in such a way that creates a vision, produces a movie of the story in writing on the page. This movie was, in particular, a difficult one to watch in this present time frame because of the setting and period in history, which is comprised of the occupation of France by Nazi Germany between 1941 through the conclusion of the War in 1945. The subject matter highlights the great heroism in the face of horrific war crimes against humanity in the tragedy of WWII. Specifically, of course, against the Jews.
To my point about the difficulty I had getting through this book, I have had my fill of reading books about the horrendous decimation of an entire generation of the Jewish population in Europe in the last century. Secondly, the tyranny of the last turn-of-a-century shines a bright light on that which we seem to be experiencing in this, the onset of the second decade of yet another turn-of-a-century tumult, though it is manifesting in differing ways. I can see some of the deceit, the power hungry, controlling, discriminatory aspects of the Nazi scourge over Europe in the ’30’s and ’40’s playing out in whole new insidious fashion in this century.
We are facing, in my opinion, an opaque menace to our freedoms and way of life here in America. This experience is more covert as it is brought on by a relationship between media, social media, and our own government through it’s institutions. It has been a long indoctrination fought within our academia and our staid institutions, rather than at the butt end of rifles or the utter physical destruction by bombs and tanks. We in this century are at the long end of the slow, insidious infiltration of Marxist socialist theory having accomplished what it set out to do back 80-100 years ago, and in earnest in our schools beginning with Marcuse and John Dewey and others who came to America in the beginning of the 20th century. ” The long march within our institutions” has been realized in this century.
This time frame, brought in with a flurry in 2020 by a pandemic policy expanded in the blink of an eye to the complete shut down of an entire nation’s economic engine coupled with the abandonment of our core freedoms with an unprecedented lock down for months and over a year in some states ruled by tyrannical governors. In my mind, this time frame became the opportunity to “never let a good crisis go to waste” as the “left” likes to say. And thus was ushered in the day to day war on tyranny in which we now, in my opinion, find ourselves embroiled.
Which leads me back to my difficulty in getting through the book; The Nightingale, by author Kristin Hannah. The story line, which is written as I said, in high definition, centers around the lives of two sisters and their father and the emotional threads tying them together and directing how they live out their lives, as well as the psychological makeup of each and how that affects their actions in facing the German occupation of their homeland of France. Life in Paris and the surrounding towns changes drastically as the German menace gradually tightens its grip on the people of France, and the details are fleshed out by Hannah in vivid realistic fashion. With no recourse, and no strength of leadership, an entire nation becomes subjugated, it’s citizenry annihilated either literally or psychologically; it’s children abused, murdered, obliterated.
One sister joins the underground revolutionaries fighting the German occupation in the shadowy night and heroically saves downed allied pilots and expands the endeavor to include saving many of the Jewish children hidden away in a religious orphanage. The other sister remains in her home but is abused and terrorized by the occupation within her home of one of the SS commanders in her small town outside Paris where Jews gradually start disappearing in the night and then they are visibly rounded up in trainloads in the decaying town centers, to the dismay and eroding psychological health of the French citizenry. Their neighbors and friends, hauled away in inhuman fashion, taken to their deaths. She saves the children of these friends, takes them in under her roof, in the very presence of the enemy housed within her home.
It is a movie relating a story of courage and tenacity in the face of utter inhumane tyranny and destruction of culture and community.
Which is why I found it difficult to watch/read in the midst of watching the erosion of our own traditions and culture over the past years, enduring one crisis after another.
In short, the book was “too close to the bone” to what I can imagine could happen in a very different yet starkly similar way here in America, and across the world stage, by subversive and covert traitorous acts carried out within our very own government structures. This makes it even more horrific on a psychologically damaging level, in my opinion.
I hope you read the book, and that it encourages some to read more of what the author has to offer.