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Starred Review. HighBridge has chosen exceptional readers for these remarkable novellas. Oreskes reads "Storm in June" in a clear, low storyteller's voice, changing tone to designate characters without trying to act out or be those characters. He handles Nemirovsky's black humor and irony with intelligence, and understates to great effect reactions from haughtiness to decency in the midst of panic and death as masses suddenly rush from Paris in the wake of Nazi bombings in 1940. Rosenblat has a husky Lauren Bacall voice that draws you into the dialectically complex relationship between French villagers and German occupiers in "Dolce." This is not a diary or a novel written years later in cool contemplation. These are historical novellas written while the author lived through the events. Yet with the detachment of hindsight and the craft of a fine, experienced author (she had successfully published nine novels), Nemirovsky shapes into novel form the stories of a small gallery of French Parisians and villagers and occupying German officers and soldiers, each with his or her national and personal idiosyncrasies and destinies. This was to have been the first of five novellas in an ongoing war saga, but in 1942 the Germans discovered the Jewish writer living in a small village. She was arrested and shipped to Auschwitz, and died a month later.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
*Starred Review* Nemirovsky, a young Russian Jewish emigre, became a celebrated novelist in Paris at age 26 in 1929. She wrote eight more novels; then, even though she was certain that she wouldn't survive Germany's occupation of France, she embarked on a grandly symphonic, courageous, and scathing work about France's collaboration with the Nazis. She completed two of five planned movements before she was sent to Auschwitz, a heart-wrenching story meticulously documented in a supplemental section. As for Nemirovsky's masterpiece, it begins with the tumultuous "Storm in June," in which diverse Parisians frantically evacuate Paris during the June 1940 German invasion. Nemirovsky's gift for combining the panoramic with the intimate, high emotion with stinging wit, is reminiscent of Turgenev, Babel, and Berberova. Acutely sensitive to class differences, and mordantly scornful of hypocrisy, she orchestrates a veritable carnival of cowardice, lies, larceny, and murder as a panicked populace drops all pretense of civilization. The second movement, "Dolce," evokes the eye of the storm in the village of Bussy, where German officers are billeted in French homes, and life and love resume. Suite Francaise is a magnificent novel of the insidious devastation of occupation, and Nemirovsky is brilliant and heroic, summoning up profound empathy for all, including regretful German soldiers. Everything about this transcendent novel is miraculous. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
Excellent book,wtsh book was longer,it is very sad to think the author died in such conditions.Published 6 months ago by eve jaspers
Unbelievable, heart wrenching read. Touching and human and beautifully written. Author's notes at the end made it very special. Highly recommended.Published 10 months ago by Taiga
I have no idea why this book got such great ratings. I was so excited to read this book based on all the fantastic reviews only to be greatly disappointed. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Avid Reader
I have not finished reading it yet. Other issues got in the way. So far I am finding it a little slow but others who have read it really like it and I believe I will too. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Helen Esau
While reading Suite Francaise, I was expecting a plot, any plot, to thicken, but was disappointed.
Too many characters, all being members of "the privileged few"... Read more
I really enjoyed reading these two books (published in one book) set in WWII France, written by someone experiencing WWII France while they were writing. Read morePublished on April 27 2011 by buddinghable