Suite Française

Suite Française

Book - 2006
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Beginning in Paris on the eve of the Nazi occupation in 1940. Suite Française tells the remarkable story of men and women thrown together in circumstances beyond their control. As Parisians flee the city, human folly surfaces in every imaginable way: a wealthy mother searches for sweets in a town without food; a couple is terrified at the thought of losing their jobs, even as their world begins to fall apart. Moving on to a provincial village now occupied by German soldiers, the locals must learn to coexist with the enemy—in their town, their homes, even in their hearts.When Irène Némirovsky began working on Suite Française, she was already a highly successful writer living in Paris. But she was also a Jew, and in 1942 she was arrested and deported to Auschwitz, where she died. For sixty-four years, this novel remained hidden and unknown.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf : Distributed by Random House, c2006
Edition: 1st North American ed
ISBN: 9781400044733
Branch Call Number: F Nemirovsky
Characteristics: x, 395 pages :,map ;,25 cm
Additional Contributors: Smith, Sandra 1949-


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cmlibrary_jdesantis Dec 15, 2015

If you ever wanted to read a book on the Nazi invasion -- this is it!

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May 27, 2019

One of the best books I've ever read, Suite Francaise was written by Irene Nemirovsky, a Jewish woman living in Paris, while Paris was being stormed by the Nazis. She escaped the city to the countryside and wrote another story here, about forbidden love and survival in wartime France. The special thing about this book is that it's not historical fiction; it's fiction written while observing Nazis out the window and seeing Jewish people arrested. It's beautifully written and gives such insight into the conditions under which people lived in Vichy France. There were to be more stories, but Nemirovsky was arrested, taken to a concentration camp, and was murdered by the Nazis. Because of that, this book was even more vivid, because I knew that her time was coming to a close, and the fiction is more powerful because of that looming fact. Highly recommended.

Vero_biblio Oct 16, 2018

Falling in love with the enemy is a dangerous game... A love story set during the Nazi occupation of a small village in France. The author, a Jew who had converted to catholicism, died after being taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Oct 13, 2018

I only wish that the author lived to finish the remaining parts of this work. The authenticity of the story, although fictional, surely played out during the occupation of France. Oddly, the enemy in this story is not the Germain Army, it is the citizens themselves whether thinking only for themselves or being selfish to the point of being blind about the feelings of their families.

Feb 04, 2018

The story itself is about the German invasion of France in 1940 and the beginning of the occupation of France. The pace is quiet and consistent; the author never indulges in the desire to stare at a train wreck. The planes fly overhead and train crashes at the same tempo as the wealthy man wraps his precious belongings or the aristocratic mother benevolently distributes chocolates to those less fortunate.

The author doesn't linger because she doesn't have to. She paints a full enough picture with a minimum of words so you can easily follow the character's train of thought and see clearly where that person's psychological breaking point is. Because of that, you can understand how easily people can let themselves fall into behaviors that they might previously have held reprehensible if it's the price they pay so that they can have a normal life- whatever that is. We, the readers and students of history, know how much these people will regret what they've done; however, when reading this book, it is impossible to fault them for their actions. Still, we are left with the depressing picture that the challenge of this period is not man's inhumanity to man but rather his indifference.

We learn through Nemirovksy's notes for the unfinished portions of the novel that she despised her fellow French for their cowardice. It is remarkable, therefore, that she seemed unable to make any of her characters despicable. It would seem as if she understood their motivations too well to do that.

The picture that comes through her correspondence leading up to her capture and death and then the biographical notes created at the end is of someone who faced her hopeless situation without any illusions about how badly it would end for her. Still, despite premonitions of her death, she did not mourn what she couldn't change but did her best to make sure that her children would be well taken care of. One wants to use the word "admirable", but it feels as if she would have thought that term far too romantic.

This is an easy book to read- you'll have to resist reading it from cover to cover in one sitting- that will deeply disturb you.

CRRL_MegRaymond Jul 25, 2017

A novel hidden for 60 years after the death of the author at Auschwitz tells a beautiful story of Parisians fleeing their city in 1940.

Jan 01, 2017

Interesting characters and some horrible stories about human beings who should be deprived of a privelage to be called humans. I found the first part to be more interesting, although I had to remind myself who was who by tracking some characters down...I didn't complete the second part because at some point I started feeling that I was going in circles. I did learn quite a few facts about WWll that I didn't know - this book is rich in providing all those specific to France details, but at the same time it left me a bit confused. The German occupants, in this book, are described as being polite, helpful and respectful to the community. Yet, throughout the book we read about the French people being bombed, killed and taken as prisoners.

Feb 09, 2016

The parts she wrote are great; leaving the reader wanting more. Part one covering the Invasion and Part two the occupation. Being unfinished the reader is left unsatisfied, the writer died before she could.

cmlibrary_jdesantis Dec 15, 2015

If you ever wanted to read a book on the Nazi invasion -- this is it!

Jun 15, 2015

This book is an amazing work that lets you really understand what is was like to live during the exodus from Paris during WWII and the bittersweet humanity that is experienced by some living in an occupied village. I like that it portrays life from characters across social economics. My husband is reading it now.

Apr 14, 2015

This uncompleted “suite” about WWII France shows a variety of French citizens in Paris and small villages as the Germans invade and then occupy France. The French weren’t all heroes. Some were selfish, some were generous. Nemirosvsky portrays the French as individuals. As I read it I felt that this was really what life was like. When you read the story of the author’s life during World War II the story has even more meaning.

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Jan 30, 2011

Early WWII, during and after Germany's invasion of France. First book is about refugees and their travels and some meeting each other. Book two (Dolce) is about some of these same characters and some new ones coping with occupation of their village by German soldiers.


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