Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Suite Francaise

by Irene Nemirovsky.

Quickie recap: During the second world war, the Nazis have occupied France and the German soldiers must billet with French families. This means that a German soldier now sleeps in a bed left empty by the sons, brothers, husband and fathers of the women left behind - men now either prisoners of war or long dead - and the wives are quickly finding that the differences between them are not so very large.

Quickie review: Remarkably, Irene wrote this while the historical events were actually taking place. The novel was unfinished because Irene herself was taken prisoner and killed during the war. However, the words are sweet and her intentions for the fully finished work are provided in the back, and it is utterly fascinating to experience the war from so many sides at once.

Quickie recommendation: Touching and beautiful, do read.

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