Cover Image: Nightingale

Nightingale

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Member Reviews

An interesting read that I'm glad to have discovered. I'll definitely be seeking out more by this author.
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Nightingale is an exquisitely written story about the relationships that sustain us throughout life set against the the pristine backdrop of a little rural village known as Saint-Sulpice, France. The setting is richly described and evokes that wondrous charm those who have been lucky enough to visit France will recognise immediately. The characters are also beautifully developed making this a truly mesmerising piece of escapist literary fiction. Highly recommended.
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'A moving and masterful novel about sex, death, passion and prejudice in a sleepy village in the south of France'
the perfect get away read, escape in the beauty of these pages and float away...
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This is a vivid, consuming fever dream of a novel. I felt like I was in the middle of France (not a bad thing during a lockdown) with all the drama and heartache unfolding around me. In fact, it's made me lust after a summer in the countryside there; hot, oppressive, all bets off.

Scenes of the empty swimming pool, the house and the gardens will stick in my mind. 

I will definitely be adding Marina Kemp to my list of authors to keep tabs on.
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Beautifully written book ideal for escapism. Set in the lovely South of France, it tells the story of Marguerite who takes on the job of nursing an elderly man who is very unwell. He is grouchy and makes her life miserable. She is isolated living with him and has to walk for miles into town every week to buy their essentials. His sons (all adult and living elsewhere) return and Marguerite learns more about the family. She also meets Henri who lives nearby. Romance ensues but it's complicated. A real page turner. I loved reading this book. One of my favourite reads in a long time.
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I really enjoyed reading this book.  It was beautifully written, but I was disappointed with the ending.  As in reality, all the characters had flaws making for an abrasive mix. Brigitte, Jerome, Henri and Suki were all stuck in lives they didn't want and Margaritte had run away from hers  into theirs.
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What a stunning and emotive book. It was so beautifully written, and the characters were well developed, intriguing and vivid. I was totally immersed in this story and felt I was there in the gorgeous countryside in the South of France. Such a deep exploration of complex relationships, human nature, sexuality, loss, and love. I really couldn’t put this down and I can’t believe this is a debut! 

I highly recommend this book!
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Here is a slow burner of a book but think of it more like a crescendo. It starts off quiet but the further into the book you go the better it gets.
Writing is fantastic 
Thank you to both NetGalley and 4th estate books for gifting me this book in exchange for my review
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It will take a truly exceptional book to beat Nightingale into being my book of the year for 2020. I shall be encouraging everyone I know to read it.

Marguerite is nursing Jerome who lies dying in his home in a small French village. She has left Paris and her memories of her younger sister behind but is hiding a secret for which she is trying to atone by devoting herself to wealthy Jerome's needs. He has three selfish sons who pay little attention to him when they pay a surprise visit, and it is obvious Jerome was not a good father.  

The village is a hotbed of gossip and unfriendliness, where petty jealousies abound and people wonder what a  young twenty-something girl is doing shutting herself away with Jerome.

Henri  is a handsome farmer who grew up alongside Jerome's sons and older than Marguerite. He is long married to Brigitte who is openly resentful of the younger woman. But Brigitte should be looking nearer to home where Henri is concerned. 

Nightingale is a love story, and also an examination of sexuality and of families and the lasting impact parents have on their children. The relationships between Henri and Brigitte and Henri and Marguerite are especially beautifully developed.

While this is a literary novel it is easy to read and I lingered over the locations and actions of the well-drawn characters with weaknesses many will empathise with. Also, superb descriptions eg 'unpeeling the ghosts of onion skins with steel wool' etc.

Thank you to NetGalley and 4thEstate for the opportunity to read and review Nightingale. I hope it wins all the prizes as it so deserves. A  massive  5* from me and I'm now off to re-read it.
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Marina Kemp's writing is strong and eloquent which carried the novel through the slow parts; I would certainly recommend this to readers who appreciate the slow burners, the thoughtful dramas that focus on characters more than plot.
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- book review - 
Hands up my Kindle doesn’t do justice to this book. The hardback cover is gorgeous and I’m sad that my Kindle doesn’t capture that. Head to @yearsofreading’s feed to see what I mean.
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But to the book itself, mysterious Marguerite arrives in the quiet French village of Saint-Sulpice to take up the challenge of caring for the notoriously difficult Jerome Lanvier. Seen by the village as an outsider Marguerite tries to find her place with caring for Jerome whilst dealing with the suspicious villagers and tackling her demons.
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Cankerous Jerome slowly opens to Marguerite and in turn she finds herself opening to the wounds of her past. When Jerome’s sons return to the village, their childhood friend and local farmer Henri joins them at their old home and finds his own demons waiting. Both haunted by their pasts Marguerite and Henri find a blossoming kinship in their sorrows.
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It’s so easy to be swept up in the sweet sleepy village of Saint-Sulpice. Kemp quickly sets her scenes, allowing readers to easily visualise her story. Her characters realistic in their initial simplicity. There’s nothing complicated or difficult about this book, it’s a natural, organic read that deepens as you move along and becomes richer as the story unfolds.
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This book is tender and sensually filled with so much humanity. With beauty in its sorrow I was left in tears as I finished it. I’d highly recommend this debut and keeping an eye on Kemp’s future as she’s a wonderful writer. I’m excited to see more from her.
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‘Nightingale’ by @marinakempull is out 6th Feb on @4thestatebooks. Thanks to @4thestatebooks and @netgalley for giving me advance access.
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A haunting novel.A young woman arrives in a small village to care for an invalid.As we are introduced to the man the village characters and most of all this young woman each character comes alive their relationships connections to each other.Literary fiction that drew me in to this spider web of a story.A mesmerizing read.#netgalley#4thestatebooks.
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