Book Review,  Recipe

The Nightingale Book Review

author, Kristin Hannah

narrator, Polly Stone,
setting, France, 1940s

Book Rating: 5/5  “In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.” This book has a presence. A heartbreaking yet inspirational novel, The Nightingale was such an emotional read for me. I listened to the audio during my daily walks and I remember sobbing while walking past fields of cows, their big cow eyes following me down the road. I carried this book around in my heart for weeks. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I related to it throughout different aspects of my daily life.  Even a year later, I feel an emotional tug when revisiting the story. If you haven’t read this book yet- what are you waiting for?!?  If you have read it, chances are you are in the majority of those who loved it; come see my book inspired food!

Audiobook Performance:  4/5 Polly Stone did an amazing job narrating such an evoking book. She had spot on timing and her accents just intensified all the characters. It was lovely to hear the often used French pronounced aloud. 

Food Rating: 5/5 The Nightingale was filled with lovely food descriptions which evokes emotion as well as my hunger for all things French. Of course, there are macarons and  fresh baguettes and charcuterie  mentioned. But I also discovered quince and canelés from reading this book and my life will forever be enriched because of it! There were so many descriptive and evoking edibles that I had to narrow my inspired recipes down to only 9!! 

Nerdy Facts

I am so very excited about The Nightingale movie! Sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning will portray Isabelle and Vianne. I’m still not-so-patiently awaiting a release date!

Andrée de Jongh aka “The Postman” helped Allied airmen and soldiers escape from Nazi occupied Belgium. ⁣Kristin Hannah was fascinated with her story and it inspired her character Isabelle in The Nightingale. ⁣“My name is Andrée…but I would like you to call me by my code name, which is Dédée, which means little mother. From here on I will be your little mother, and you will be my little children. It will be my job to get my children to Spain and freedom.”⁣ Andrée de Jongh to downed airmen.⁣ “Our lives are going to depend on a schoolgirl.”⁣ A downed airman.⁣


Click on the pictures to go to the recipes.

Madame Babineau’s Lavender Honey

“Madame Babineau set out a meal of bread and sweet lavender honey and creamy goat cheese. The men planted themselves on the mismatched chairs and scooted close to the table, talking all at once, devouring the food in an instant.”
 Chapter 19

Vianne’s Potato and Lardon Soup

 “That smells delicious,” he said, coming up behind her. She set the wooden spoon down on the rest beside the stove. “May I see what you are making?” “Of course,” she said, both of them pretending her wishes mattered. “It’s just potato soup. “ Chapter 9

Rachel’s Canelés

“Vianne picked up a canelé and took a bite, savoring the vanilla rich cream center and crispy, slightly burned-tasting exterior.” Chapter 3

Tarragon Butter

“Vianne set down the platter. A delicious fragrance wafted upward—roasted pork, and crispy bacon and apples glazed in a rich wine sauce, resting on a bed of browned potatoes. Beside it was a bowl of fresh peas, swimming in butter seasoned with tarragon from the garden.” 
 Chapter 2

French Peas

“Vianne set down the platter. A delicious fragrance wafted upward—roasted pork, and crispy bacon and apples glazed in a rich wine sauce, resting on a bed of browned potatoes. Beside it was a bowl of fresh peas, swimming in butter seasoned with tarragon from the garden.” 
 Chapter 2


The food is as rich and encompassing as the book. My own take on the delicious meal Vianne made- pork roast with German potato dumplings, sauerkraut peppered with bacon and smoothed by shredded green apple, and of course French peas drowning in tarragon butter.

German Potato Dumplings

This recipe has been passed down through my family for generations. It’s made with more of a feeling than by a measured out recipe but I’ve tried to capture it so that others can enjoy. They are a comforting staple from my childhood. 


“I ignore him and stare at the glass case of beautifully colored macarons and pain au chocolat.” Chapter 39

Quince Paste

“A hunk of still-warm bread, a triangle of cheese, a smear of quince paste, and a few slices of ham.” “Her hands were shaking as she picked up a knife and slathered the bread with fruit and cheese. When she set down the knife it clattered. She picked up the bread and bit into it; the single best of food of her life.” Chapter 7

The Nerdy Gourmet
The Nerdy Gourmet

Hi friends!! I’m Jenni, The Nerdy Gourmet. I love books and I love food. Combining the two with a splash of travel has become my passion. I am a self taught cook/baker and I believe that everyone can cook from scratch! I’m here with recipes and Nerdy Tips to help along the way.  
I review books, mostly ‘read’ via audio, and I create recipes inspired by the story lines. Sometimes if I am deeply moved by a story, I will travel and try my best to experience the book- and bring you along via my blog! I provide all the photographs and content for the Nerdy Gourmet (unless otherwise noted). 

  1. Hi Claudia! I’m so happy that you’ve reached out. Thank you so much fir the kind words and the recommendation!…

  2. Claudia Dickson on Travel

    Hi Jenni, I heard your husband Greg talking about your new blog and so I thought I would check it…

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