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Critique de Ag_the

  27 février 2022
I have lots of things to say about this historical fiction.
First off, I like the plot, not in its entirety, but I do like the portrayal of women it makes in the French Résistance. The construction of the character is really complex and thoughtful, and the reference to historical events is on point. HOWEVER, why the obsession with this overuse of the French language, especially in wrong circumstances, or simply complete misuse of it? I say this as a French person: I do love my language, but if I had to correct one more of my classmates on the pronunciation of words and define French sentences that are NEVER EXPLAINED at any point in the book, I will scream. I have not wanted to throw a book away for burning my eyesight as much as I have with this one.
On a second point, why is there a sudden need to romanticize Nazis and make a French woman almost fall in love with Captain Wolfgang Beck? This is purely my opinion, but I did not enjoy the almost justification of Nazi behavior under the reasoning that 'he is so handsome and such a gentlemen' that has a family and cares so much for people. This is where the fictional aspect of the book takes over, and I had to remind myself it was written with good intention. I know it is important to mark the distinction between the group and the individual, but I do not think playing the devil's advocate was needed. Maybe I am just an old soul in that way, but seeing the history of my own family, the disaster and chaos my own country had to live through being romanticized for readers. And it is not like the romance was a lacking subject in this book.

Furthermore, I need to express my thoughts on the ending of the book. I know we are not given much information in the last chapter because of multiple reasons, maybe including a possible spin-off, but I cannot help but wonder which language they are speaking at the WWII Remembrance Convention. Julien does not know any English, but at the same time, why would it be set in English, especially given that it should not be expected of survivors to know the language?

Another point that does not seem clear to me is how Isabelle completely got rid of her identity as if the Nazis did not have access to almost every piece of data on the French population. It seems very unlikely that she would succeed in doing so without anyone making the connection between her last name "Rossignol" (in English: Nightingale) and her codename: *The Nightingale*. Even if we consider that no one believed a woman could be behind it all, evidence such as this one could have led to her own father, who is not mentioned to ever have changed identity, or his last name for that is.

Otherwise, really pleasant read on the topics of war, grief, Stockholm syndrome, sister relations, PTSD, etc.
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