Saturday, July 24, 2010
Summer in Paris; 1001 Books to Read Before You Die
Part of what makes this novel of wartime France so compelling is knowing that Nemirovsky wrote of what she knew, and sadly, that she never survived the German invasion of France. Nemirovsky was sent to a concentration camp and died before the war ended. Her daughters, hidden in homes during the war, carried her manuscripts with them and eventually had them published. Suite Francaise, which is composed of two section of a proposed five part novel was put together from Nemirovsky's notes. We can never know how she might have edited or changed what this book ended up becoming. Amazingly, it is still a great read and a wonderful, if incomplete story.
Storm in June covers the exodus from Paris after France fell. Alternating chapters show the many perspectives and experiences different classes of people had. Dolce is a smaller story, focusing on one small village under occupation by the Germans. Both give a view of what life would be like during a war and an uncomfortable occupation. Nemirovsky keeps the focus on the individual person, and the fact that she wrote this while the war was going on, with no idea of the eventual outcome, and kept such an impartial view impressed me.
The writing was fluid and poetic, in some parts more than others. I wondered if some of her asides in brackets were meant to be there or just notes to herself about character that she wanted to make sure to include later. All in all, her insight into human behaviour and feelings combined with the wonderful writing was what made this an engrossing book. And a very sad story - both hers and the novel.
also reviewed: lizzysidal at Lizzy's Literary Life, joanna from lost in a good story, caribousmom, jill at fizzythoughts,
Book Bath and Tamara from Thyme for Tea.
Posted by raidergirl3 at 9:58 PM