In 1941, Irène Némirovsky sat down to write a book that would convey the magnitude of what she was living through by evoking the domestic lives and personal trials of the ordinary citizens of France. Némirovsky ’s death in Auschwitz in 1942 prevented her from seeing the day, sixty-five years later, that the existing two sections of her planned novel sequence, Suite Française, would be rediscovered and hailed as a masterpiece.
Set during the year that France fell to the Nazis, Suite Française falls into two parts. The first is a brilliant depiction of a group of Parisians as they flee the Nazi invasion; the second follows the inhabitants of a small rural community under occupation. Suite Française is a novel that teems with wonderful characters struggling with the new regime. However, amidst the mess defeat, and all the hypocrisy and compromise, there is hope. True nobility and love exist, but often in surprising places.
Some of the praises for Suite Française:
‘A masterpiece of French fiction’ Sunday Times
‘An irresistible work. Suite Française clutches the heart’ The Times
‘Quite outstanding, full of beauty, pain and truth’ Sunday Telegraph
This is the first historical fiction novel that I will be reading. I discovered this book through a blog post. I found the plot interesting, so I then put the book in my want to read list. Then when I went to a second hand bookshop, I found a copy of this book; without hesitation I bought it. It was sitting on my shelf for quite a long time. Finally I was able to make time to read this one.