Suite Francaise

Suite Francaise

A Novel

Book - 2007
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By the early l940s, when Ukrainian-born Ir#65533;ne N#65533;mirovsky began working on what would become Suite Fran#65533;aise --the first two parts of a planned five-part novel--she was already a highly successful writer living in Paris. But she was also a Jew, and in 1942 she was arrested and deported to Auschwitz: a month later she was dead at the age of thirty-nine. Two years earlier, living in a small village in central France--where she, her husband, and their two small daughters had fled in a vain attempt to elude the Nazis -- she'd begun her novel, a luminous portrayal of a human drama in which she herself would become a victim. When she was arrested, she had completed two parts of the epic, the handwritten manuscripts of which were hidden in a suitcase that her daughters would take with them into hiding and eventually into freedom. Sixty-four years later, at long last, we can read N#65533;mirovsky's literary masterpiece

The first part, "A Storm in June," opens in the chaos of the massive 1940 exodus from Paris on the eve of the Nazi invasion during which several families and individuals are thrown together under circumstances beyond their control. They share nothing but the harsh demands of survival--some trying to maintain lives of privilege, others struggling simply to preserve their lives--but soon, all together, they will be forced to face the awful exigencies of physical and emotional displacement, and the annihilation of the world they know. In the second part, "Dolce," we enter the increasingly complex life of a German-occupied provincial village. Coexisting uneasily with the soldiers billeted among them, the villagers--from aristocrats to shopkeepers to peasants--cope as best they can. Some choose resistance, others collaboration, and as their community is transformed by these acts, the lives of these these men and women reveal nothing less than the very essence of humanity.

Suite Fran#65533;aise is a singularly piercing evocation--at once subtle and severe, deeply compassionate and fiercely ironic--of life and death in occupied France, and a brilliant, profoundly moving work of art.
Publisher: Toronto : Vintage Canada, c2007.
ISBN: 9780676977714
Characteristics: 431 p. :,map ;,21 cm
Additional Contributors: Smith, Sandra 1949-

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CRRL_MegRaymond Jul 25, 2017

A novel hidden for 60 years after the death of the author at Auschwitz tells a beautiful story of Parisians fleeing their city in 1940.

m
Margush
Jan 01, 2017

Interesting characters and some horrible stories about human beings who should be deprived of a privelage to be called humans. I found the first part to be more interesting, although I had to remind myself who was who by tracking some characters down...I didn't complete the second part because at some point I started feeling that I was going in circles. I did learn quite a few facts about WWll that I didn't know - this book is rich in providing all those specific to France details, but at the same time it left me a bit confused. The German occupants, in this book, are described as being polite, helpful and respectful to the community. Yet, throughout the book we read about the French people being bombed, killed and taken as prisoners.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 04, 2016

On its own, Suite Française isn't all that great. Unfortunately, the novel was never finished and this reads more like incomplete outline told in beautiful sentences. Take it for what it is, however, and read the appendices, and there's a chance you'll find a way through the jumbled story to a meaningful tale.

c
Charlie68
Feb 09, 2016

The parts she wrote are great; leaving the reader wanting more. Part one covering the Invasion and Part two the occupation. Being unfinished the reader is left unsatisfied, the writer died before she could.

cmlibrary_jdesantis Dec 15, 2015

If you ever wanted to read a book on the Nazi invasion -- this is it!

j
JillRose_0
Jun 15, 2015

This book is an amazing work that lets you really understand what is was like to live during the exodus from Paris during WWII and the bittersweet humanity that is experienced by some living in an occupied village. I like that it portrays life from characters across social economics. My husband is reading it now.

b
brangwinn
Apr 14, 2015

This uncompleted “suite” about WWII France shows a variety of French citizens in Paris and small villages as the Germans invade and then occupy France. The French weren’t all heroes. Some were selfish, some were generous. Nemirosvsky portrays the French as individuals. As I read it I felt that this was really what life was like. When you read the story of the author’s life during World War II the story has even more meaning.

r
rtwete
Jan 25, 2011

Karen tagged this book a strong 5. Author died in Auchwitz at age of 39.

j
Jennmro
Jan 10, 2011

I found this book difficult to get into. I couldn't get involved with any of the characters as the story bounces back and forth between several families very quickly. I found myself working hard to finish passages and eventually, gave up.

c
charlie2009
Dec 16, 2010

Book Club - great personalities

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rtwete
Jan 30, 2011

Early WWII, during and after Germany's invasion of France. First book is about refugees and their travels and some meeting each other. Book two (Dolce) is about some of these same characters and some new ones coping with occupation of their village by German soldiers.

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