Suite Francaise

by Irene Nemirovsky

interlocking/intervweaving stories of families, couples, individuals young, old, rich and not-so, mostly French and a few German soldiers for good measure, in France in WW2.  If I’m remembering the old liner notes correctly, Nemirovsky had intended her book to be like a music suite, different pieces of music played together although not necessarily all one big blob of story. I liked how she brought out the stupid, petty, human everyday troubles against the larger, harder to swallow background of a war.  Think my entire reading was coloured by knowing that they found Nemirovsky’s drafts in her personal papers after she died at Auschwitz- the section after the story where they print her notes on actually writing the piece while living through the war herself made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

Cinematic and character driven, with microscopic detail and broad brushstrokes. Makes you want to go to Provence… Worth a read.

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