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Suite Francaise

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Némirovsky, Irčne(2006)
Suite Francaise

Two young Jewish girls escape the clutches of the Nazis with only a suitcase and their mother’s diary. Six decades later they find the suspected diary is really a manuscript penned by their mother, writer Irene Nemirovsky, in the years before her death at Auschwitz. Detailing the fall and occupation of France during WWII, the work provides realistic, objective and human glimpses into the lives of civilians, prisoners of war and the German enemy. Somehow Nemirovsky manages to see beyond the horrors of war and the regularity of life to find humanity. Sadly in its incompleteness, the work also represents the unfinished life of its creator, a writer with the talent and forgiveness to record with honesty the events that lead to her tragic end.

Reviewed by Courtney A., South County Regional

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Reader's comments about this book

The overwhelming tragedy of this modern masterpiece is that it must forever remain unfinished. Its author, a Jew, was arrested and sent to Auschwitz, where she died in 1942. Her recently discovered manuscript consists of two completed novellas and plans for three more. They follow a cross-section of French civilians – from the spoiled rich to the common – as they flee Paris before the advancing Germans, and then endure the occupation of a farm community. The story is one of often surprising contrasts between love and hatred, friend and enemy. Both humor and tragedy – and the vast territory between – are tenderly and closely examined.
-Jim, Charlotte, NC

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