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Suite Française
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Suite Française

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  48,080 Ratings  ·  5,502 Reviews
Beginning in Paris on the eve of the Nazi occupation in 1940. Suite Française tells the remarkable story of men and women thrown together in circumstances beyond their control. As Parisians flee the city, human folly surfaces in every imaginable way: a wealthy mother searches for sweets in a town without food; a couple is terrified at the thought of losing their jobs, even ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published February 1st 2007 by Vintage (first published 2004)
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Denise Dougherty This is NOT a "romance" novel. It is a part of an unfinished 5-part novel. It is presented as connected vignettes about a group of people and what…moreThis is NOT a "romance" novel. It is a part of an unfinished 5-part novel. It is presented as connected vignettes about a group of people and what happens to them when France is invaded during WW2. Written in realistic terms about people who are experiencing the most unsettling events in their lives, many of whom act in ways which in calmer, more normal times would be bizzare and unthinkable. It is an interesting study of human nature when exposed to extremes and under dire threat. Meant to be a 5-part novel , the author died in Auschwitz 1942 with only 2 parts completed. Her daughters kept the manuscript while in hiding and later had it published in this form.

Romance? Hardly. For young teenagers? Hard to say - certainly not for the immature and that would be only because of the complex emotional content expressed. Lack of life experience may make that content difficult to understand. From a historical perspective, it is most interesting to read about how some people coped with the nightmarish circumstances of their country being invaded - not the most dramatic parts of such but in the day-to-day terms of such living. (less)
Gillian Not sure what you mean by content. It is the story of those who lived through the occupation in France

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lord Beardsley
Apr 16, 2007 Lord Beardsley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in the human experience during war
Shelves: read2007
This book jolted me. It's rare when I read a book literally from cover to cover...and close it nearly in tears. This was witten as France was being occupied by the Nazis during the Second World War, thus, this may well be the first fictional account of World War Two as it was happening. Needless to say, this is an immensely important book and in my opinion should be required reading in history classes. This is an unfinished work by a Russian-French author who died in Auschwitz before she could c ...more
Oct 19, 2007 Lucy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A masterpiece. And this is the rough draft.

I've spent the last day trying to decide if I loved this book because I'm sentimental. The author, Irene Nemirovsky, was a Russian Jew who wrote this while living in occupied France. A respected author, she had married Micheal Epstein who had also fled Russia when the Bolsheviks revolted. They had sincerely adopted France as their home country, converted to Catholicism and were the parents of two daughters. She began writing this novel while simultaneou
Mar 05, 2011 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic-novels
Unless you’re reading a memoir or autobiography, you usually aren’t conscious of an author’s presence in a book. I’m not talking about style. Obviously, there are times you can tell the provenance of a book, and know its creator, by skimming a few paragraphs. Short, punchy sentences, hyper-masculinity, and casual misogyny mean I’m reading Hemingway; if I can’t understand what I’m reading, it’s because I’m trying Faulkner; and if I’ve fallen asleep, I know I’ve got something by Melville in my han ...more
Tea Jovanović
MUST READ! MUST READ! Wonderful unfinished novel by famous Jewish French author... Interesting story is behind publication of this novel... The manuscript stayed in a box for decades because the daughters of the author thought it is diary... but it was not... One of my favourite novels and I am proud that I was its Serbian editor... :)

U Srbiji je knjigu objavila Laguna... predivna knjiga... veoma dirljiva...
Apr 23, 2012 Fabian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this one up because it resembled a historical romance. (I believe the cover to be one of the most powerful and beautiful, and just o-so-right for this particular book that I could scream!) Then I found out what the tiny particles of pathos all seemed to portend: this was a posthumous work. Immediately the work becomes grounded--it easily turns into something more important, more adult, even more delicate. This is an incredible novel which may've easily been lost forever...! Yikes!

Megan Baxter
May 16, 2012 Megan Baxter rated it it was amazing
Suite Francaise was a book that I wasn't sure about until I started to read it, and got swept up in the story, the characters, and Nemirovsky's merciless eye for human grace and ridiculousness, often both encapsulated in the same moments. The book covers the surrender of Paris, and the later occupation of a small town by the Germans, in two discrete sections, although a few characters bridge the gap.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enfo
Mar 25, 2008 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story of the author and how the book came to be published so many years after her death is a much more compelling story than this, although if Nemirovsky had the chance to complete the book to her vision I may think differently. As it is, the book was well-done in its portrayal of the many facets of human nature that show themselves in times of crises. Nemirovsky shows a sympathy for basic human responses, even if those reactions are abhorrent to common values and sentiments.

The book also po
Seth T.
Feb 29, 2008 Seth T. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in the affects of war on the conquered
Shelves: bookclub
Recognizing beforehand that this wouldn't be a complete story arc, I had to try to approach the book without any prejudice toward it for having a weak ending (i.e., no ending). Unfinished books can be interesting to read to view the storytelling process in the midst of its evolution, but are rarely satisfying as stories in their own right. Némirovsky's work here is perhaps more polished than a simple draft, but even her notes suggest that the finished chapters and two volumes that *were* publish ...more
Feb 06, 2008 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really really wanted to love this book... Instead I'm having a hard time deciding what I really think about it, other than that I pushed through it to finish.

WWII is a somber subject, no way around it and so, of course, the book is somber. But even somber subjects can be compelling and I had a hard time finding a reason to be compelled...

There are two "books" within the cover and I feel like I need to review each quickly but separately. (perhaps this is part of my struggle - it felt almost lik
I realise that left Suite Francaise on my shelves for too long. I bought it because it was a well-loved bestseller, but I delayed the read because I mistook it for a historical war-romance novel (I find myself in the minority when it comes to my opinions on the genre, e.g. my bad experience with The Nightingale).
This book pleasantly surprised me. This is not an action book like so many others set in wartime France. There are no acts of bravery and no heroes here, no linear story line. The book
Sep 25, 2016 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e5, n-ucrania
Leite negro da madrugada bebemos-te de noite
bebemos-te ao meio-dia a morte é um mestre que veio da Alemanha
bebemos-te ao entardecer e pela manhã bebemos e bebemos
a morte é um mestre que veio da Alemanha azuis são os teus olhos
atinge-te com bala de chumbo acerta-te em cheio

Paul Celan - "Fuga da Morte"

Suite Francesa
foi concebido como um romance em cinco partes:
1. Tempestade
2. Dolce
3. Cativeiro
4. Batalhas
5. A Paz
com cerca de mil páginas, tendo como base a estrutura dos quatro andam
I'm not sure which is more eerie: that this is a posthumous novel, or that the author knew it would be a posthumous novel; that had it not been for her daughters who carried it around as a notebook, this novel would not have surfaced, or that the book gave a vivid snapshot of the exodus from Paris which mother and daughters were experiencing at that moment; that her husband was killed for inquiring about his missing famous-writer wife, or that her daughters were then hunted down by the same madm ...more
May 03, 2011 Noce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un dipinto a olio in formato digitale

Ci sono libri che ricordano quei pomeriggi invernali in cui guardi la città piovosa, attraverso i vetri della finestra. Guardi le strade, e la gente ti sembra diversa. Uguale nella loro destinazione, ma diversa nel modo di sentire che le attribuisci. Il tutto mentre sorseggi il tuo caffè, con le gambe calde dal contatto col termosifone.

Irène Némirovsky ci regala uno spaccato di mondo eterogeneo e completo, attraverso le parole del suo romanzo, che noi beatame
Jun 29, 2008 Marigold rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
What a fabulous book. Thought-provoking, beautifully written, sad and yet oddly hopeful. Romantic, violent and unflinching. Irene Nemirovsky was a Russian Jew who became exiled from Russia at a young age & had lived in France for many years by the outbreak of the Second World War. Despite being a well-known writer, she was never granted French citizenship. She started Suite Francaise after the outbreak of the war in Europe, wanting to document what she saw going on around her. She planned to ...more
مروان البلوشي
أنا إنسانة أولاً وكاتبة ثم مواطنة فرنسية مخلصة..صدفة الولادات جعلتني أحمل على جبهتي مسمى "يهودية"..ولكنها ليست صدفة بريئة للنازيين وهتلر والجيش الألماني الذي أحتل بلدي فرنسا قبل أسبوعين.. سيعتقلني الألمان قريبا.. ولذلك أريد إنهاء هذه الرواية بسرعة..هي رواية تحمل ما أريد آن آقوله عن جنون وكفر وهمجية الإنسان وقت الحرب..وأيضا تقول الكثير عن حبه وحنانه وعطفه.

... مرت ٦٥ سنة، واكتشفت إبنة الكاتبة نسخة رثة هي الوحيدة من هذه الرواية، نشرتها البنت وهي تبكي ذكرى والدتها التي حرقها الآلمان في معكسرات الإعت
Mar 15, 2015 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is near on impossible to review this book without first mentioning the author Irene Nemirovsky. A Russian born Jew, settled in France and converted to Catholicism, she started to write Suite Francaise in 1940, two years before her death in Auschwitz. The two novellas included here are the only two completed out of the five that she had planned.

The first, Storm in June, introduces us to the characters as we follow them during the exodus from Paris, fleeing from the German occupiers. There are
I’m giving this high rating not to the book itself -which was, sadly, left unfinished and reads like a first draft- but to what the book could have obviously been –an undying masterpiece about France under the Nazi occupation. But the author –a Russian Jew who emigrated to France- died in Auschwitz during WW2, so this possible magnum opus was left unfinished. What a great loss.

It is a wonderful book, deep, moving, hopeful and beautifully written.

Though some perspectives change without much supp
Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah*
It's a truism that people are complicated, multifaceted, contradictory, surprising, but it takes the advent of war or other momentous events to be able to see it. It is the most fascinating and the most dreadful of spectacles, the most dreadful because it's so real; you can never pride yourself on truly knowing the sea unless you've seen it both calm and in a storm. Only the person who has observed men and women at times like this can be said to know them. And to know themselves.

This book begins
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Paris, June 1940. Word is spreading like a stain that the Germans are only days away from invading the city. It takes a while for the people to believe it, and still longer for them to pack - slinging mattresses on top of their cars, storing linens and tableware in trunks - but when the exodus occurs it clogs the streets and the railway and thousands are left to walk the country roads while those in motorcars honk and swear at them for taking up all the road.

The Germans are everywhere, it seems.
Némirovsky was a Russian Jew who emigrated as a child to France. There, she became a popular and successful writer, converted to Roman Catholicism, became an anti-semite who associated with right-wing (fascist) writers and editors, but who by 1942 was deported to Auschwitz and gassed. Her husband was murdered soon afterwards. She left a lengthy manuscript in a diary that was in the possession of her daughter, who refused to look at it all her life -- thinking it was only a diary and that reading ...more
May 27, 2012 S©aP rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Francia. Giugno 1940. Le truppe tedesche sono alle porte di Parigi, e domani la occuperanno. Nel disastro totale, che travolge tutti e sovverte ogni valore, si rappresenta "la lotta tra il destino individuale e il destino collettivo". I fatti eccezionali e destabilizzanti, come le grandi catastrofi, svelano la vera natura degli uomini. Sollevano ogni maschera. Sbriciolano ogni convenzione e ogni postura sociale. Pongono l'individuo di fronte a sé stesso, e il Sé Stesso a confronto con gli altri, ...more
Inés Izal
May 24, 2015 Inés Izal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Es una pena que no descubramos todo lo que Némirovsky tenía en su mente para darnos. Sencillamente brillante.
Jun 21, 2012 Ginny_1807 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Il palpito della vita
Come è noto, ‘Suite francese’ è stato dato alle stampe postumo e incompleto, vale a dire costituito soltanto da due dei cinque romanzi pensati dall’autrice, che non poté portare a termine il progetto a causa della morte per mano dei nazisti.
Nonostante ciò questo libro merita la più grande attenzione: oltre ad essere concepito in modo magistrale, infatti, è anche un evento letterario del tutto singolare in quanto, pur essendo stato scritto in contemporanea con i fatti di cui
Santiago Llach
Jun 12, 2015 Santiago Llach rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
El gran realismo del siglo XIX se topa de pronto con las ametralladoras de Hitler y los bombarderos de la Luftwaffe, y deja estas dos maravillosas nouvelles que anticiparon en secreto las fisuras del futuro relato heroico de la Segunda Guerra. Némirovsky, niña rica triste, políglota, enojada con su madre, se trajo de la Rusia de su infancia el esprit narrativo de sus grandes escritores y, en un tiempo real que cuesta creer haya sido tal, en el 41 y el 42, mientras Francia era tomada por la Wehrm ...more
La prima parte mi è piaciuta più della seconda, ho trovato davvero eccellente la descrizione dell'esodo da Parigi, sia per quanto riguarda l'avvenimento storico in sé che per la caratterizzazione dei personaggi, che è egregia in entrambe le parti del romanzo. È incredibile pensare che questo romanzo sia incompiuto, perché, se è vero che la storia certamente non finisce, è altrettanto vero che quello che abbiamo il privilegio di leggere possiede una grazia e una perfezione tali da far sembrare qu ...more
Jun 06, 2007 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ANYONE
this book was reccommended to me by my dear friend and avid reader, kimi. For literary mastery I would have given this book four stars, but given the history and circumstances for which this book endured to be written -and published 50 years later, well...its phenomenal! Irene Nemirovsky had intended the book to be five mini-books within one binding. She didn't live to write the final three and ironically titled the final two with (question marks at the end) battle? peace?. She wrote this extrao ...more
Jan Rice
When I finished this book I got rid of it. I can probably count on one hand the books I've given away, at least in adulthood. I donated it to the library.

I read about this book, about how her daughters had held onto the manuscript after she was sent to the concentration camps and how it had recently been published. Exciting! The library didn't have the audio version yet, and I wanted it so I could listen as I drove back and forth to work, so I said I wanted for my birthday or some other occasion
Aggiornamento del 27/08/15
A distanza di diversi anni dalla lettura del libro, stasera ho visto il film che ne è stato tratto, per la regia di Saul Dibb. Mi è piaciuto molto. E’, come d’altronde mi aspettavo, parzialmente diverso dal romanzo, anche se ne rispetta lo “spirito”, direi. Comunque, l’ho trovato ben condotto, sobrio e anche ben recitato. Molto bella l’ambientazione, i costumi e la colonna sonora. Penso valga la pena, se vi capita.


L’ho cominciato con piacere, ma poi mi sono arenat
Nina Rapsodia
Nov 21, 2015 Nina Rapsodia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Los amantes de Francia
Recommended to Nina by: Nadie
Ya he hablado largo y tendido de esta autora, ya que he reseñado varias de sus novelas. Pero me faltaba leer esta novela suya, tristemente inacabada. Y considerada la revelación literaria en Francia desde su publicación.

Como muchos sabrán Irène Némirovsky y su esposo encontraron un triste final en la Segunda Guerra Mundial. En 1942 ella fue arrestada y rápidamente deportada a Auschwitz donde murió en julio. Su esposo Michel a interceder por ella fue arrestrado en octubre del mismo año y asesina
Nov 13, 2007 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part I ("Storm in June") - Follow the lives of average Parisians as they evacuate the chaotic and dangerous French countryside during the German invasion of World War II.

Part II ("Dolce") - A German regiment settles in a small French town, and the villagers must learn to live with their new occupiers, for better or worse.

The descriptions in this novel were rich and beautiful; the author brilliantly wove striking metaphorical images into the scenes to illustrate the emotions of the characters and
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
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  • Fear: A Novel of World War I
  • April in Paris
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  • The Viceroys
  • A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City: A Diary
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  • The Life of Irene Nemirovsky: 1903-1942
  • Americans in Paris: Life and Death under Nazi Occupation 1940-1944
  • Every Man Dies Alone
  • The House in Paris
Irène Némirovsky (born February 11, 1903, Kiev, died August 17, 1942, Auschwitz, Poland) was a Jewish novelist and biographer born in the Ukraine, who lived and worked in France.

More about Irène Némirovsky...

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“Waiting is erotic” 212 likes
“Adieu," he said, "this is goodbye. I'll never forget you, never."
She stood silent. He looked at her and saw her eyes full of tears. He turned away.
At this moment she wasn't ashamed of loving him, because her physical desire had gone and all she felt towards him now was pity and a profound, almost maternal tenderness. She forced herself to smile. "Like the Chinese mother who sent her son off to war telling him to be careful 'because war has its dangers,' I'm asking you, if you have any feelings for me, to be as careful as possible with your life."
Because it is precious to you?" he asked nervously.
Yes. Because it is precious to me.”
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