Suite Française – Irène Némirovsky (2007)

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In 2007, 65 years after Irène Némirovsky was murdered in the Holocaust at Auschwitz-Dachau, her two novels – Storm In June, and Dolce – written during her time as a Ukrainian Jewish Refugee in WWII, were posthumously released together, as Suite Française. Focussing on two different aspects of the war in France – the evacuation and bombings of Paris and the occupation of France by the Germans – Némirovsky writes alarmingly truthfully. While, unlike her famous counterpart Anne Frank, Némirovsky is not a child and she is writing fictional stories, set in reality, however, her own experience creates a layer of pain and reality that those who attempt to “re-live” the time simply cannot achieve. The book covers many families and stories throughout, with no single protagonist. Told from the French perspective, in the first part, the second part also highlights some of the experiences of the German soldiers, as men and as occupying forces. The book is long at 434 pages, but exquisitely written, and translated. I recommend this book to readers who are fascinated by WWII, history, or modern society with regards to loneliness and warfare.  

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