Novel Comments

5 Feb

The novel to be commented upon is Irene Nemirovsky’s “Suite Francaise.” Many years after her Mother’s death, Irene’s daughter, Denise, began to copy the notes she had thought were just notes or perhaps a diary, but Denise had discovered, according to the preface writer, “a violent masterpiece ” depicting Germany’s occupation of France and the reactions of the French people. Irene Nemirovsky had intended the book to be composed of five parts, like the musical movements of a symphony. She finished two before her death in Auschwitz. She and her husband had been born to Russian Jews but they were converted Catholics.

One is left with the amazement at her artistic talent and sorrow that the work is incomplete. Also included were the letters of appeal,written mostly by her husband, attempting to free her. The letters did not bring her home, and her husband was soon sent to the gas chambers in the same death camp. His letters on her behalf may have brought him to the attention of the Germans.

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