Isabelle's Reviews > Le Maître des âmes

Le Maître des âmes by Irène Némirovsky
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Jul 17, 10

Read in July, 2010

I was a little nervous when I started this book, as the preface was dedicated to explaining pre-WWII flurry of French antisemitic literature, and of course, placing Nemirovsky's work against that context...
Well, I should have skipped the preface and just got to the novel. As always, it is a wonderfully well-written chronicle of the moral decay of a person against the backdrop of the moral decay of a particular socio-economic group. The fact that the protagonist is an immigrant from the Middle East, possibly a Jew, just adds a note of extra intolerance, hypocrisy and downright racism to the portrayal of this group of unprincipled "nouveaux riches", all charlatans and crooks...
Of course, in the midst of all that, there is a certain nobility about our hero who will do anything to protect his family, to spare his son the misery he himself has known.
For Nemirovsky's fans like me....
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