Review: SUITE FRANCAISE - Irene Nemirovsky
Original review is here
It is hard to know how to describe this book. Irene Nemirovsky was a Jewish woman who decided to write a novel based on her experiences as the Germans invaded France in WWII. Although a work of fiction - much of the scenes are based on fact. She was captured and died in Auschwitz concentration camp.
Originally meant to be a book in 5 parts she only wrote 2 prior to her capture. In the first part, Storm in June, she tells of the panicked exodus from Paris on the eve of the Nazi invasion. All classes of people pack up their belongings and flee, forced to rub shoulders in traffic-jams on the crowded roads south, some behaving with dignity, others with nauseating selfishness. Some die - some overcome dreadful situations and start to pick up their life again. Her description and observations just leave you breathless as she conjures up in your minds eye just how it must have been.
In part two, Dolce, she writes about some of the survivors from part one who are now in a small French village where Nazi soldiers are billeted, she describes how the German men were treated by the villagers, and concentrates on one young woman she tries to resist the attractions of a German officer, and takes the risk of defending a young farmer who joins the resistance.
The story ends in 1941 - the author never returned to write the end of her "Suite Francaise"
Read this book - it will be a great experience.