Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Suite Française” as Want to Read:
Suite Française
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Suite Française

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  38,686 ratings  ·  4,795 reviews
A lost masterpiece of French literature, this epic novel of life under Nazi occupation was discovered 62 years after the author’s tragic death at Auschwitz. Originally intended to be in five parts, the two that form this work are complete in themselves. Part One, "A Storm in June," is set in the chaos and mayhem of the massive 1940 exodus from Paris on the eve of the Nazi ...more
Audio CD
Published 2006 by HighBridge Company (first published 2004)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Suite Française, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

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)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Lord Beardsley
Sep 07, 2007 Lord Beardsley rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
Seth Hahne
Mar 02, 2008 Seth Hahne rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
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
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
Jun 29, 2008 Marigold rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
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
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...
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
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
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.
L’ho cominciato con piacere, ma poi mi sono arenata. Per la precisione, l’inciampo è stato la fuga del giovane Hubert Péricand per unirsi all’esercito francese. Ho temuto che stesse per diventare un altro dei cosiddetti “romanzi di formazione”. Non che abbia nulla contro questo genere di letteratura, al contrario. Ve ne sono di notevoli. Solo che non era il momento adatto. Ossia, non avevo proprio voglia di confrontarmi con il modo in cui questo adolescente si sarebbe scontrato con la realtà e a ...more
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
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
Jun 06, 2007 Becky rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
29 Novembre 2012
Anastasia a Irène Némirovsky

Io spero che la corrispondenza non sia intasata, perché mi dispiacerebbe essere archiviata sotto un elenco interminabile di vivi che scrivono a celeberrime scrittrici disgraziatamente defunte come te, Iréne. Ma è pure possibile che io sia fra le poche svalvolate mentali che si mettono a scrivere lettere a gente morta. Che poi mi viene il ribrezzo a parlarti di "gente morta" alludendo a te, manco fossi fra le bestie da macello passate a miglior vita (od
Che capolavoro!
E non intendo usare altre parole per parlarne.Bisogna solo leggerlo ...
Sono rimasta incantata da questa scrittrice che conoscevo poco. La lettura di Suite francese mi ha svelato una persona straordinaria, dotata di uno sguardo saggio e benevolo, ricolmo di empatia nei confronti dell’universo, sia della natura -che è protagonista costante delle storie, anche tragiche, dei suoi racconti- che degli uomini, donne e bambini che spiccano nelle sue pagine con vivezza e profondità psicologica. Non francesi o tedeschi, ma “uomini” e “donne”. Leggendo i due racconti che comp ...more
Ci fosse la sesta stella, questo è il libro per il quale la spenderei senza esitazioni.
Un libro meraviglioso, ricco, che mi ha toccato profondamente come forse non avveniva dai tempi dalle letture adolescenziali.

Irene scrive delle vicende narrate nel libro, praticamente in presa diretta: anzi parla proprio della vicenda che – consapevolmente – la porterà alla tragica fine ed è stupefacente come il libro abbia il respiro da grande classico che osserva con sovrana lucidità e umana comprensione gli
Suite Francaise is brilliant in its simple and masterful prose, its candid look into the lives of mostly upper-class French during the invasion and then occupation of France by the Nazis, and its almost clairvoyant predictions of what was yet to come.

Nemirovsky actually intended to write this story in five parts, as in the five musical parts of a symphony. Tragically, the Russian Jewish author living in France at the time was seized and taken by the Nazis to a concentration camp where she eventu
A heartbreaking masterpiece--especially considering the horrible convergence of fiction and reality. Nemirov was a Russian-Jewish novelist living in France during the Nazi occupation. She wrote about the occupation with a keen and unflinching eye, particularly about how the French responded to German occupation. As with the classic film "The Sorrow and the Pity," this book documents how most of the French did anything to survive, including accomodation with the Germans at the very least and enth ...more
Aug 14, 2007 Sam rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
When I finished this astonishing book of the shattering lives of Parisians as the Nazis invade, I knew that we readers will not see the likes of this for a long time, if ever. It's brilliant, it's a miracle, and it's incomplete.

"Suite Francaise" was discovered 45 years after it was written. The last half was written in very tiny script to conserve paper during the war shortage. It has been a long time since I wanted to memorize passages from a novel: "To them it all began as a long breath, like
Apr 07, 2008 Qt rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in history, or simply fans of good books
Recommended to Qt by: KW
An amazing book--wholly engrossing, and completely gripping. The writing is beautiful, fluid, and descriptive; the book itself is a very moving portrait of the events in France, as seen through the eyes of several very different characters. In Book One, Parisians flee Paris and take refuge in the countryside, and Book Two describes the occupation of a French village.
There are only a few scenes of violence; the focus of the book is more on people--their emotions, their actions, what they do to s
Avevo già avuto modo di conoscere la Némirovsky grazie a "Due" che ho trovato illuminante per certi versi, ma in questo romanzo si supera egregiamente.
"Suite francese" nasce come partitura, è uno di quei spartiti che non vedi l'ora che il pianista suoni perché sai che sprigionerà note, melodie, armonie. E' uno di quei pezzi che ascolteresti per ore, uno di quei spartiti che non vorresti smettesse mai di suonare. E' bellezza, arte, poesia, un caleidoscopio di umanità e vita che pullula, nonostan
The story of Irene Nemirovsky’s book is undoubtedly more famous than the unfinished book itself. This edition includes not only her notes (who would have thought, she felt the same way about the priest that I did?) but also correspondence from her and her family. In some ways, this inclusion of correspondence is actually to the book’s determent. Nothing is more poignant than a desperate family trying to discover what happened to a missing family member, especially when the reader knows the outco ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Resistance: A French Woman's Journal of the War
  • Comedy in a Minor Key
  • April in Paris
  • Feasting the Heart: Fifty-Two Commentaries for the Air
  • The War
  • The Kindly Ones
  • Claudine's House
  • The Journal of Hélène Berr
  • Brodeck
  • La Débâcle (Les Rougon-Macquart, #19)
  • Fair Stood the Wind for France
  • A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City: A Diary
  • Jakob the Liar
  • Seven Ages of Paris
  • Fatelessness
  • The Voyeur
  • The Etiquette of Illness: What to Say When You Can't Find the Words
  • The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman
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...
Fire in the Blood All Our Worldly Goods El baile David Golder Dimanche and Other Stories

Share This Book

“Waiting is erotic” 179 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.”
More quotes…