View Full Version : Suite Francaise

Donal DeLay
06-25-2006, 08:58 PM
I'm not finished with the book by Irene Nemirovsky, but already I know it is one of the best books that I've picked up in a while.

For those of you not in "the know", Suite Francaise was written by a Ukrainian Jew named Irene Nemirovsky who was living in France during World War Two when it was occupied by Germany. She was a writer by trade, and was writing the book when she was taken to Auschwitz. She managed to write two parts of a five part drama and the manuscripts survived the war.

Though technically the book is a "rough draft" it reads beautifully. She had mastery over words that astounds me.

For example:

"And the most horrible thing was that he couldn't ignore the sacrifices, the heroism, the kindess of some. Philippe, for example, was a saint; these soldiers who'd had nothing to eat or drink (the supply officer had left that morning but hadn't returned in time) going to do battle for a hopeless cause, they were heroes. There was courage, self-sacrifice, love among these men, but that was frightening too: even goodness was predestined, according to Philippe. Whenever Philippe spoke, he seemed both enlightened and passionate at the same time, as if lit up by a very pure flame. But Hubert had serious doubts about religion and Philippe was far away. The outside world was incoherent and hideous, painted in the colours of hell, a hell Jesus never could enter, Hubert thought, 'because they would tear him to pieces.'"

Just thought I would share.