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.
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.
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.
Eclectic taste in audiobooks, and a particular thirst to discover Classic literature I'd otherwise never get around to reading physically!
I would because the writing is frank and intimate, creating rounded characters through a mixture of internal perspectives. Carol Boyd reads it beautifully, and doesn't attempt French accents for the characters but gets under their skin to express their emotions.
Learning more about the occupation of France during WWII which I didn't know too much about beforehand. It is obviously and tragically an unfinished novel, and one can't help but yearn for the planned third part to see what the author had in store for her many characters.
Lucile in the second half because we see everything from her perspective and can relate to her as the main protagonist, her life completely upheaved by war, causing her to reconsider her choices and commit brave actions.
Occupied territory, lonely hearts.
I have read the paperback and was disappointed that this audiobook doesn't include the appendices - letters written by Irene Nemirovsky to her agents, and to her family once she was captured; and from her husband to her agents, desperately asking after her whereabouts and welfare. They provide crucial background and context as to why the novel was never completed, and painfully document how a successful novelist and her family were torn apart by the Holocaust, like so many.
Don't know - didn't read the print version, but generally, print is better.
As the occupation of France continued, an uneasy peace broke out between the invader and the invaded, but the peace was fragile. There were too many characters for my linking, and I'd have preferred to focus in on a few of them.
I didn't finish this book. I found it dull and didn't like the characters and therefore didn't care about them or what happened to them.
I'm not sure I would listen to it again but I did enjoy it the first time around.
Lucille. She does not prejudge anyone. She has an innate sense of what is good and decent about people and can see through their veneer.
No, I have not so cannot compare this one to any other.
The part when you realise that Benoit is going to end up in the home of Jean Marie, the man whom his wife loves.
Its a well written book that in time will become a must read classic.
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