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review 2016-07-25 19:40
Suite Française, by Irène Némirovsky
Suite Française - Irène Némirovsky,Sandra Smith

I had previously thought that John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces had the saddest publication history of any novel I’d ever read. Irène Némirovsky’s incomplete Suite Française, however, has an even more heartbreaking history. Némirovsky planned a five part novel about the French experience of World War II. The first two parts of Suite Française are based directly on the months after France was invaded by Germany; it felt as if the novel was written in real time. The novel was never finished because Némirovsky was arrested by the Nazis and deported to Auschwitz, where she died in 1942. Her daughter, Denise, found, edited, and published the fragments of Suite Française more than 60 years after Némirovsky’s murder...


Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type.

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text 2015-03-18 22:28
I won!
The Fires of Autumn - Irène Némirovsky

I won The Fires of Autumn by Irene Nemirovsky as a First Reads Giveaway on Goodreads. Irene Nemirovsky is the author of Suite Francaise. I own it but haven't read it. TFoA has what I like in a book. It's set in Paris, during a war and is historical fiction.

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text 2015-03-01 14:41
My Twelve Books of February
The Rival Queens: Catherine de' Medici, Her Daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal that Ignited a Kingdom - Nancy Goldstone
The Fires of Autumn - Irène Némirovsky
Dust Tracks on a Road - Zora Neale Hurston
How to Be a Heroine: Or, What I've Learned from Reading too Much (Vintage Original) - Samantha Ellis
Shadow Scale - Rachel Hartman
Some Luck: A novel - Jane Smiley
Murder With Puffins - Donna Andrews
Mort - Terry Pratchett
Aya - Marguerite Abouet,Clément Oubrerie
Ozma of Oz (mobi) - L. Frank Baum,John R. Neill

It was a bitterly cold and snowy February here in Maryland--not as bad as Boston, but still enough to drive us all indoors. I coped with it as best I could by reading 12 books. The 10 above were new-to-me and the 2 below were re-reads--Seraphina I listened to as an audiobook.


I tried again to read a graphic novel, Aya, which only confirmed it's not a format I enjoy much--no fault of the author or illustrator.


The standouts for me are The Fires of Autumn, a gorgeous book by Irène NémirovskyDust Tracks on a Road, Zora Neale Hurston's lyrical and moving memoir, How to be a Heroine, Samantha Ellis's thoughtful and enthusiastic book about how reading novels has changed her life, and Some Luck, the first of Jane Smiley's family saga trilogy, which spreads out considerably from its opening on the farm fields of Iowa.  


February's re-reads:


    Emma - Jane Austen  Emma by Jane Austen


    Seraphina - Rachel Hartman Seraphina by Rachel Hartman


OOPS! It looks like I tried to add a book too many on the slide show above. The 10th book listed but not shown is Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum.

Source: jaylia3.booklikes.com/post/1119221/my-twelve-books-of-february
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review 2015-02-24 00:08
Lyrical, poignant, captivating
The Fires of Autumn - Irène Némirovsky

If you enjoyed Irene Nemirovsky's Suite Française, her novel of life in France during the German occupation of WWII,  I think you will be just as enthusiastic about The Fires of Autumn. It has the same kind of sweeping but intimate storyline, and the same gorgeous prose style. Written in 1940, after Nemirovsky fled Paris and two years before her death at Auschwitz, The Fires of Autumn is being marketed as a “spiritual prequel” to Suite Française because though it doesn’t have the same characters it takes takes place in France in the years before the events of the other book.


The Fires of Autumn follows a diverse but connected set of Parisian families from the days of optimistic confidence before WWI, and carries them through the despair and disillusionment of the war itself, the intoxicating moral and monetary temptations of the 1920’s, and the financial and cultural adjustments of the 1930’s. Fortunes are made and lost, affairs are begun and abandoned, and children grow up and have children of their own. The book concludes during the chaotic early years of WWII.


Though many characters are involved, much of the story revolves around the sometimes tender but often fraught relationship between Thérèse Brun, who wants to live a simple, loving, traditional life, and Bernard Jacquelain, who is cynical after his harrowing experiences of trench warfare in WWI and  bent on grasping all the pleasure he can through fast living, luxury surroundings, and assignations with willing women, not caring--at least at first--about the cost.


So far I have loved everything I’ve read by Nemirovsky. She excels at painting a scene, so it’s easy to imagine the colors, ambiance, and smells of her settings. And she brings readers inside the hearts and minds of her characters in sometimes long internal monologues, but her writing is always sensually and emotionally  rich, never dry. This is a compact book, only 240 pages long, but Nemirovsky makes every word and image count.


Source: jaylia3.booklikes.com/post/1116402/lyrical-poignant-captivating
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text 2014-09-03 13:26
Bookaday UK - Home Front Novel
Suite Française - Irène Némirovsky,Sandra Smith

This is all I got right now.

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