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By Robert on 04-05-07
The best book I've read all year
What a wonderful writer -- and what a marvelous translation! I just loved these two connected novellas and have recommended them to all of my book-loving friends. They're beautifully read by narrators who have sense enough to inflect the story but ultimately to disappear. Just a lovely, lovely book, although there is additional material in the print edition that the recording ought to have included.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
By Aimee on 10-24-06
This is one of the best books I have read in a while. The story of the author is as interesting as the book itself. In 1942, after fleeing Paris to a small town in France, the author, Irene Nemirovsky, was captured and sent to Auschwitz where she died of typhus. She left behind leaving two young daughters and a husband (who was also killed in the concentration camps). For years her daughters carried the unfinished manuscript in a suitcase as they fled the Nazis, too afraid and hurt to look at it. 60 years later, her eldest daughter published this extraordinary account of the early war years in France to wide critical acclaim. Lucid portrayals of human relationships, descriptions of dreamy landscapes turned muddy from bombs, and an incredibly poignant ability to show human nature truthfully make this a must read. Ms. Nemirovsky had the uncanny and scary ability to write with such depth and reflection about the events that were unfolding around her. Truly one of the best modern writers.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
By Stephanie on 08-07-06
This moving and powerful book, authored by a published writer in France who perished at Auschwitz, presents two parts of a planned multi-part suite which were recently discovered by the author's surviving daughters. The first, "Storm in June," relates the tale of disparate denizens of Paris fleeing to the countryside steps before the Germans. The second, "Dolce," depicts the German occupation of a French village and the strained relations between the soldiers and their reluctant hosts (some of whom were introduced in the first part). This novel is beautifully wrought, with profound insights into human nature -- greed, corruption, grief, fear -- and told with a sly wit and humor. Expertly read with just the right dramatic punch. As an added bonus (for those of us who are bereft of foreign language skills), was the opportunity to listen to a correct pronounciation of the various French names and locations.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
By D. Littman on 11-27-06
Feel the terror of occupation
In two novellas, Storm in June & Dolce, Nemirovsky skillfully brings the reader into the world of civilians under German occupation in France in 1940 & 1941. The first work follows several individuals as they flee Paris in the ahead of the German advance. This work captures the confusion, panic, divided loyalties, prejudices showing through patriotism, the impact of stress. In short sketches, Nemirovsky provides the reader with a sense of the motivations driving the many characters, how they react to a completely novel and often terrifying situation. In Dolce, Nemirovsky focuses her gaze on a small town under German occupation several months later, with a new & smaller set of characters. This work provides a sympathetic appreciation of how difficult it is to naturally maintain patriotic fervor in the rhythm of everyday life, while at the same time showing that individuals can rise above this everyday situation to demonstrate heroism against the occupying forces. Although this work was penned nearly 70 years ago, they speak powerfully today.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
By W.Denis on 07-31-06
I have read many books about war-time France, but never one like this one. To hear the story from one who lived it is an experience - which is what the book is. It is not war-time plots, spying or battle it is war-time living and the relationships that the people envolved develope with their own and with the enemy.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Georgine on 04-30-06
One of the most moving, brilliantly observed and beautifully written books about war, fear and the irrepressible human impulses that emerge under these conditions that I have ever read. Nemirovsky had remarkable insight, understanding and sympathy for people as well as a capacity for observing the beauty of the everyday and ordinary. We are so fortunate that her books did not perish.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful