Jane Hoppe's Reviews > Fire in the Blood

Fire in the Blood by Irène Némirovsky
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's review
Aug 26, 2009

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Read in August, 2009

Having been so deeply affected by Nemirovsky's Suite Francaise, I was eager to read Fire in the Blood. Fire has the author's signature subtle wit and prodigious powers of observation. She presents early 1900s Burgundy peasant life and paints portraits of their most profound passions from the perspective of an older Cousin Silvio in 1938 reflecting on his youth and that of his family and neighbors.

From the first, we know Silvio has a secret. We identify with his weariness, but also with his young cousins' idealism. We see events unfold from the eyes of the neighboring peasants, who seem wise to Silvio's family's secrets before they have even put the puzzle pieces together themselves. Silvio hangs on to his secret, however, until the very end of the novella.

The question Silvio asks about the mellowing of youthful desires is worth pondering. This story shows us at our best and at our worst. At the end of the day, we are all ~ human. No one escapes. We are all in this story.

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