Irene Nemirovsky, Suite Francaise Review

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Harriet Klausner's review of Irene Nemirovsky, Suite Francaise


“Suite Francaise ”

Written on: 01/04/2006 by Harriet Klausner (18637 reviews written)

Suite Francaise

Irene Nemirovsky

Knopf, April 2006, $25.00

ISBN: 1400044731

"A Storm in June." 1940 France is in chaos as the Nazis are just hours from Paris. Rich, middle class or poor matters little, as everyone who can, evacuates the city. Writer Gabriel, Father Pericand and several orphans, haughty Charles and several others forge a caravan of pilgrims heading to the countryside in the hope of surviving the ordeal. Parisian's have no other dreams as their world is gone.

"Dolce." In 1941 the Germans are returning for the third time since easily conquering the French to occupy the village of Bussy. There peasant farm families have lived for generations, but now have many of the urban expatriates residing there also. Regardless of ones roots, everyone from the farmer to the exiled middle class to the Quisling show caution whenever a Nazi is near, as the occupation rules, even when taboo love blossoms between a local and a German soldier.

This treasure was actually written during the beginning of WWII just prior to the author being sent to die at Auschwitz; her preadolescent daughter rescuing the two segments of Suite already written. Each story tells what life is like from a wide variety of French perspectives, and somewhat from the Herman viewpoints during the Nazi occupation of Vichy France. The tales are haunting and gripping, yet not quite refined, as Irene Nemirovsky never finished her objective, but that lack of refinement adds to the evocative depths of a terrific memorable tale.

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