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Suite Française
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Archive: Other Books > Suite francaise | Irene Nemirovsky | 4-5 stars

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Idit | 1028 comments This is a book about WWII in France, written in WWII in France, by a woman who did not survive the war. Yet it has perspective, humor, wisdom, love and even hope both for french and germans
I find it astonishing.

In classical music a suite is made of up to 5 dances, and the two books that Irene Nemirovsky finished are two dances. And I could imagine it. The mood is very different in them. The first one is all pressure and pettiness and bouts of indulgence (the German are arriving in Paris, and the people of paris escape). It’s more disjointed. The cast of characters is wide. Rich, poor, city dwellers, farmers, learnt and blue collars, religious and hedonistic.
The second book is set in the village and the farms around it and has a whole different tone. Much slower, warmer, pastoral. The german occupy the village, but the urgency of the first part is not there. Here is war time routine. We get to know the enemy and see them as humane, and at the same time be reminded that they are the enemy. The second part focuses mainly on Lucile a french woman living with her mother in law. Her husband is a war prisoner, but there was no love between them, and Bruno - the german officer that lives in their home.

Suite Francaise is beautiful and I will be looking into more of her writings.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6407 comments I loved this book. But I really loved and was inspired by Nemirovsky's story ... the afterward with all the notes / journal entries was incredible.


Idit | 1028 comments Me too. It made me want to read more of her. She sounds amazing. To think of the turmoil she must have been in while writing - and you can’t really feel it. But I loved imagining her sitting in the forest and writing


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