Falling down in my Historical Fiction Challenge


As I have been busy doing other things I haven’t read many books for my Historical Fiction Reading Challenge.  I have been reading crime fiction but I am now reading a historical fiction book for my challenge.  The book is Suite Française by Irene Némirovsky

Suite FrancaiseA wonderful book with so many interesting characters.

From the cover:

“Set during the year that France fell to the Nazis, Suite Française falls into two parts.  The first is a brilliant depiction of a group of Parisians as they flee the Nazi invasion; the second follows the inhabitants of a small rural community under occupation.  Suite Française is a novel tha teems with wonderful characters struggling with the new regime.  However, amidst the mess of defeat, and all the hypocrisy and compromise, there is hope.  True nobility and love exist, but often in surprising places.”

This book gives you a fascinating look at Paris during World War II  and the massive exit from the city seen through the eyes of the author who (while writing this book) was living in the French countryside until her capture by the Nazis. All characters are carefully depicted and each one brings to the novel some aspect of life during the Nazi invasion of France in 1941.

“In 1941, Irene Némirovsky sat down to write a book that would convey the magnitude of what she was living through by evoking the domestic lives and personal trials of the ordinary citizens of France.  Némirovskys death in Auschwitz in 1942 prevented her from seing the day, sixty five years later, that the existing two sections of her planned novel sequence, Suite Française would be rediscovered and hailed as a masterpiece.”

Although the author never finished Sweet Francaise what is amazing is that her lack of an ending does not affect a beautifully written story.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. Jennifer says:

    Can you imagine? This is powerful stuff …… dying in Auschwitz and having her words published. I have a fascination with the WWII era – I think because my parents lived through it but I didn’t. It was history to me. Now the Vietnam War, that was different – well way different since I could never understand the purpose of it at all. And I still can’t get over you finished that sweater. I’ve been trying to teach myself continental knitting because it is so much easier on your hands than throwing, which is what I do. I am left-handed so holding the yarn in my left hand shouldn’t be hard?

    1. suth2 says:

      I hold my second colour in the left hand when I am doing colour work. If I am working with more than two colours in a row or round I just pick up the other colour and put it down again. No doubt there is a faster method but I think I would need someone in person to show me how.

      Suite Francaise was certainly powerful. At the end of the book were the notes written by the author while she was writing the book and there was also the correspondence before she was imprisoned and after her imprisonment.

      Her daughters also suffered during those years.

      1. Jennifer says:

        Amazing story. I need a buddy to show me how to hold my yarn in that left hand – I keep looking at internet pictures, but I don’t get it!

  2. Hi… yes, I have read this book, found it very moving… my cousin-in-law has just written a book which was compiled from letters written between her mother and grandmother in wartime. The book is called “Escape to Auschwitz” Hulda’s story published by Feedaread.com. She is doing a book signing this week in a local book shop.

    1. suth2 says:

      That is amazing that your cousin-in-law has published a book about her family during wartime. I will check it out on Feedaread.

      Suite Francaise was certainly a moving read. Beautiful literature captured in a terrible time.

  3. vagabonde says:

    I read this book in French when it came out a few years ago. I had read an article in a French newspaper saying that Irene’s daughter had her mother’s black book containing this story and had not found the courage to read it for years, then she did and a friend suggested that it be published – I am pleased she did. I bought several other books by her, in French, and still have a couple to read. Now about your tea cosy – I’ll have to find the pattern as I think it is very petty. Less than a week to watch the Tour de France – I hate to see it ends, the days went fast.

    1. suth2 says:

      The book was made even more poignant by the inclusion of correspondence and notes at the end of the story. It was a beautifully written book.

      I am loving the Tour this year even more than last year. Orica Green Edge have not done as well as their spectacular year last year but another Australian rider, Michael Rogers has won a stage. Love it.

      The pattern for the tea cosy you can find on Ravelry.

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