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.
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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