Nick Tramdack's Reviews > Le Bal; And, Snow in Autumn

Le Bal; And, Snow in Autumn by Irène Némirovsky
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's review
Apr 25, 11

really liked it
Read in December, 2009

"It was at this moment, this fleeting moment that their paths crossed 'on life's journey'. One of them was about to ascend, the other to plunge downward into darkness. But neither of them realized it."

This collection of two novellas features some sharp psychological insight in a toxic haute-bourgeois setting. Check out the spinster piano teacher who immediately checks to see if her invitation to a ball is printed or engraved... amazing little details like this really sell the story.

I preferred "The Ball" to "Snow in Autumn" in that the first had more suspense and a stronger storyline. It's about a fourteen-year-old girl who is not given permission to appear at her mother's ball, and exacts a terrible revenge by throwing almost all the invitations into a river. The second is more a slice-of-life deal about Russian emigres now living in poverty.

Well worth checking out.

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