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Publisher's Summary

Irene Nemirovsky was arrested soon after completing the second part of Suite Francaise. Ten days later, on August 17, 1942, she died of typhus in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Her husband, Michel, perished in a gas chamber on November 6. Their daughters, Denise and Elizabeth, survived, hidden in safe houses and convents, carrying a suitcase packed with clothes, photographs, and their mother's manuscript written in tiny letters to save paper. For years, both girls thought it was a journal and couldn't bear to read it. Then, in the late 1980s, Denise began transcribing it with the help of a magnifying glass.Part One, "A Storm in June", is set in the chaos and mayhem of the massive 1940 exodus from Paris on the eve of the Nazi invasion. Part Two, "Dolce", opens in the provincial town of Bussy during the first influx of German soldiers. Each part features a rich cast of characters, people who never should have met, but come to form ambiguous relationships as they are forced to endure circumstances beyond their control.
Translated by Sandra Smith.
©2004 Editions DENOEL; English Translation ©2006 Sandra Smith; (P)2006 HighBridge Company
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Critic Reviews

Audie Award Finalist, Literary Fiction, 2007
"A finely made work of fiction that portrays occupied France with both severity and sympathy....Written with extraordinary detachment by a woman who seemed to know that her own days were numbered." (The New York Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
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.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Aimee on 10-24-06

Sweet Melancholy

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.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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