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Suite Francaise

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  55,185 ratings  ·  6,088 reviews
By the early 1940s, when Ukrainian-born Irène Némirovsky began working on what would become Suite Française—the first two parts of a planned five-part novel—she was already a highly successful writer living in Paris. But she was also a Jew, and in 1942 she was arrested and deported to Auschwitz: a month later she was dead at the age of thirty-nine. Two years earlier, livin ...more
Hardcover, First North American Edition, 395 pages
Published April 11th 2006 by Alfred A. Knopf (first published September 2004)
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Denise 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)

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3.83  · 
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 ·  55,185 ratings  ·  6,088 reviews

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Oct 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic-novels
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
Tour de force!

What a breathtaking achievement - this novel is incredible! The story of how it was written is a dramatic witness account of the surreal world of France occupied by the Wehrmacht from 1940 on. Irène Némirovsky, of Jewish origin, wrote it while expecting to be deported to the East, and she had barely finished it when she was arrested in July 1942. She was murdered in Auschwitz, but her children survived, hidden until the end of the war. And with them, moving from one hiding place t
Lord Beardsley
Apr 16, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Apr 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this one up because it resembled a historical romance. (I believe the cover to be one of the most powerful and beautiful, & just o-so-right for this particular book that I could scream!) Then I found out what the tiny particles of pathos all seemed to portend: this was a posthumous work. Immediately the work becomes grounded--it easily turns into something more important, more adult, even more delicate. This is an incredible novel which may've easily been lost forever...! Yikes!

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...
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: francesi
“Tolone S/Arroux 13 luglio 1942 - ore 5 [scritta a matita e non obliterata]
“Copro di baci le mie bambine adorate, e che la mia Denise faccia sempre la brava... Ti stringo forte sul cuore insieme con Babet, che il buon Dio vi protegga. Quanto a me, mi sento calma e forte” .

Non avevo mai letto nulla della Nemirovsky e ho sfidato la sorte cominciando con il suo ultimo e incompiuto.
Suite francese è apparentemente un libro semplice. Un’opera pensata come una sinfonia, più tempi, ogni personaggio st
Mar 25, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Megan Baxter
May 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Suite Francaise was a book that I wasn't sure about until I started to read it, and got swept up in the story, the characters, and Nemirovsky's merciless eye for human grace and ridiculousness, often both encapsulated in the same moments. The book covers the surrender of Paris, and the later occupation of a small town by the Germans, in two discrete sections, although a few characters bridge the gap.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enfo
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
Seth T.
Feb 29, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  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
Feb 06, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kiwi Begs2Differ  ✎
I realise that left Suite Francaise on my shelves for too long. I bought it because it was a well-loved bestseller, but I delayed the read because I mistook it for a historical war-romance novel (I find myself in the minority when it comes to my opinions on the genre, e.g. my bad experience with The Nightingale).
This book pleasantly surprised me. This is not an action book like so many others set in wartime France. There are no acts of bravery and no heroes here, no linear story line. The book
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-ucrania, 5e, favorites
Leite negro da madrugada bebemos-te de noite
bebemos-te ao meio-dia a morte é um mestre que veio da Alemanha
bebemos-te ao entardecer e pela manhã bebemos e bebemos
a morte é um mestre que veio da Alemanha azuis são os teus olhos
atinge-te com bala de chumbo acerta-te em cheio

Paul Celan - "Fuga da Morte"

Suite Francesa
foi concebido como um romance em cinco partes:
1. Tempestade
2. Dolce
3. Cativeiro
4. Batalhas
5. A Paz
com cerca de mil páginas, tendo como base a estrutura dos quatro andam
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Jun 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Branwen *of House Targaryen*
It's a truism that people are complicated, multifaceted, contradictory, surprising, but it takes the advent of war or other momentous events to be able to see it. It is the most fascinating and the most dreadful of spectacles, the most dreadful because it's so real; you can never pride yourself on truly knowing the sea unless you've seen it both calm and in a storm. Only the person who has observed men and women at times like this can be said to know them. And to know themselves.

This book begins
Mar 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jim Fonseca
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french-authors
This is a story of the invasion of Paris by the Germans in WW II (Part I) and the German occupation of a village outside of Paris (Part II). War brings out the best and worst in people and during the chaotic flight out of Paris (to which most of those who fled simply returned a week or two later) we see examples of great generosity and sharing but also people stealing food and gasoline from each other. The author follows the escapades of a variety of people from a cross-section of classes but sh ...more
مروان البلوشي
أنا إنسانة أولاً وكاتبة ثم مواطنة فرنسية مخلصة..صدفة الولادات جعلتني أحمل على جبهتي مسمى "يهودية"..ولكنها ليست صدفة بريئة للنازيين وهتلر والجيش الألماني الذي أحتل بلدي فرنسا قبل أسبوعين.. سيعتقلني الألمان قريبا.. ولذلك أريد إنهاء هذه الرواية بسرعة..هي رواية تحمل ما أريد آن آقوله عن جنون وكفر وهمجية الإنسان وقت الحرب..وأيضا تقول الكثير عن حبه وحنانه وعطفه.

... مرت ٦٥ سنة، واكتشفت إبنة الكاتبة نسخة رثة هي الوحيدة من هذه الرواية، نشرتها البنت وهي تبكي ذكرى والدتها التي حرقها الآلمان في معكسرات الإعت
May 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Inés Izal
May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Es una pena que no descubramos todo lo que Némirovsky tenía en su mente para darnos. Sencillamente brillante.
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.
Such a sadness that Irène Némirovsky never finished this work. Written during the Occupation of France and describing its events, it’s almost a contemporaneous description of life in Occupied France. The two parts that do exist suggest that it would have been a magisterial work. Part 1, Tempête en Juin, describes the flight from Paris of four families and is clearly the more polished of the two parts. Part 2, Dolce, feels more unbalanced. A critical killing that takes place towards the end feels ...more
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
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Marina (Sonnenbarke)
La prima parte mi è piaciuta più della seconda, ho trovato davvero eccellente la descrizione dell'esodo da Parigi, sia per quanto riguarda l'avvenimento storico in sé che per la caratterizzazione dei personaggi, che è egregia in entrambe le parti del romanzo. È incredibile pensare che questo romanzo sia incompiuto, perché, se è vero che la storia certamente non finisce, è altrettanto vero che quello che abbiamo il privilegio di leggere possiede una grazia e una perfezione tali da far sembrare qu ...more
Maria Hill AKA MH Books
This book was intended by the author a great opus to the lives of the French during the occupation of World War II, a kind of War and Peace. It was mean’t to be a five part novel but was unfortunately never finished due to Némirovsky’s death in Auschwitz. It is never the less a fascinating insight into French society in 1940 and 1941.

Némirovsky creates characters that are flawed and nearly always both arrogant and selfish. However, each one is beautifully, beautifully drawn. She describes the i
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La lucidez de Irène. La novela y la historia que hay detrás es fantástica y trágica a la vez.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Resistance: A French Woman's Journal of the War
  • April in Paris
  • The Journal of Hélène Berr
  • Claudine's House
  • A Very Long Engagement
  • Wandering Star
  • The Handmaid's Tale
  • The War
  • The Kindly Ones
  • The Mirador: Dreamed Memories of Irene Nemirovsky by Her Daughter
  • Brat Farrar
  • The Life of Irene Nemirovsky: 1903-1942
  • Fear: A Novel of World War I
  • Outwitting the Gestapo
  • A Jew Must Die
  • Lord of the Flies
  • The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)
Irène Némirovsky (born February 11, 1903, Kiev, died August 17, 1942, Auschwitz, German Occupied Poland) was a Jewish novelist and biographer born in the Ukraine, who lived and worked in France.

“Waiting is erotic” 234 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.”
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