Melissa's Reviews > Suite Francaise

Suite Francaise by Irène Némirovsky
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May 08, 08

Read in May, 2008

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 portrayed a part of history, the German invasion and occupation of France, that I didn't know much about besides the hard facts - how people fled Paris only to be killed on the roads and villages by German bombs, the guilt of French people who chose to collaborate with the Germans in order to survive. Suprisingly, she did not discuss the experiences of Jews in France and the deeper fear they must have felt upon the German invasion, but perhaps that was for a later part of the book she didn't finish before being sent to a concentration camp herself.

Still, even though I did enjoy the book, I did not find it engrossing in a way that kept me reading. I think this is because of a lack of plot. Each chapter was like a self-contained episode in the lives of certain characters. And while those episodes were interesting and entertaining, perhaps even meaningful, there was no drive to keep reading. The second half of the book, the Dolce volume, had more of a storyline that continued from chapter to chapter and had more of a pull. But I still can't say that it deserved a three-star review. Maybe two-and-a-half.

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Sana That's exactly how I felt about it. Well said.


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