In June 1940 France fell to the Nazis. The effects of this momentous event on the lives of ordinary Parisians and the inhabitants of a small rural community under occupation are brilliantly explored in Irène Némirovsky's gripping and heart-breaking novel. Némirovsky herself was a tragic victim of the Nazi regime but she left behind her this exceptional masterpiece. In Suite Française she conjures up a vivid cast of wonderful characters who find themselves thrown together in ways they never expected. Amidst the mess of defeat, and all the hypocrisy and compromise, there is hope. True nobility and love exist, but often in surprising places.
©2006 Irene Nemirovsky (P)2011 Random House AUDIO GO
There has been a lot said about his book, it's author and how it came to be published. What many have failed to highlight was the story of the people displaced by war and those who would pilfer from a neighbour rather than ask. The story of how life is a struggle for the locals left to get on with an occupying force. Love. Hate. Murder. It's all in this book which has made the leap from paperback to audiobook beautifully.
Suite Française is even better than I had expected. It is so revealing of the events at the beginning of the Second World War in France, the attitude of both the French and the occupying German soldiers. It is extremely well written and although there are many characters they are easy to follow through the story. They come to life, their inner thinking explored. They feel very real. I felt a whole gamut of emotions for each of them as if I had actually known them personally.
The reading is clear and exact and in tune with each situation and character. A great book, an excellent narrator.
Loved this! Read as well as listened to this beautiful, intelligent and heartrending account of human behaviour in a small provincial town in France overwhelmed by the invading German army in the 1940s. Provincial jealousies, self righteous arrogance and bitter resentments, desires and dreams frustrated by occupation but also with empathy for the soldiers of an occupying army. The exodus from Paris as the Germans march in - fears magnifying intrenched behaviours of selfishness, possessiveness and class divisions.
A tapestry of humanity in microcosm at a time of extreme stress.
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