Saturday, January 19, 2008
Book review--Suite Francaise
Just a quick note to tell you about an excellent book I just finished reading. Suite Francaiseis a collection of two novellas written by Russian-born author Irene Nemirovsky during the Nazi occupation of France in WWII. It follows the stories of several families during the war, and offers a great deal of insight into the minds of the French at this time. Although I have read many books set in WWII, I felt this book offered a new and well-informed perspective. It moves away from the front lines, away from the larger political arenas, and instead focuses on smaller, personal vignettes. Nemirovsky was of Jewish decent, and despite having converted to Catholicism before the war, was arrested and sent to Auschwitz, where she died in August of 1942. Suite Francaise was published many years after her death by her daughter, who had saved the original manuscripts as a memento of her mother. Included in this version of the book are a series of correspondences from Nemirovsky, her husband, and her publisher, which offer insight into the tragic reality of Nemirovsky's life while she was writing Suite Francaise.