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Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky

by Lydia C. Lee (follow)
Fiction (373)      Review (36)      WWII (2)     

Suite Francaise Book (taken by L.Lee)

Have you read this book? What did you think? I loved the first book (she set out to write an opus, based around the structure of a symphony, but only got the first two books written, before being sent to her death in a concentration camp).

The first book is written in a style very reminiscent of Proust, and while the world is coming undone, it still seems very whimsical. There is a charm to all the heavily flawed characters.

The second book, which is the sweet part of the symphony, is not as grabbing for me, but I did like that it was the war and occupation from the point of view of the women left behind, that is pretty rare in a book written in that time.

What I really loved was the study of human nature, so many truths in there, that are not the grandeur and heroic things we read in war stories, but the weird things people do, when reacting in shock, or not knowing how to react, and that seems more realistic to how it would have been how it happened.
There is also a sad irony, that while in the story the author's mistress fails to pack his manuscripts when they fled, in real life, Nemirovsky's daughter, then 9, carted her manuscripts around, thinking they were diaries, as she fled from place to place, with the Nazi's hunting her down. For that, we are all very lucky.
It's a really interesting read. I recommend it, though another friend said she thought it was 'light on'.
I'd be Interested to know others' thoughts....

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