February 29, 2020

Book Review | Suite Française

*Hello loves! I have another book review for you today. I finally got around to reading Suite Français and I really enjoyed it.  😀


Book Review: Suite Francaise


Title: Suite Française
Author: Iréne Nèmirvosky
Published: 2004
Pages: 388


Initial thoughts:

- I really liked the writing style. The way the characters talked was distinct and it fits very well with the story.
- The multiple perspectives were not hard to follow.
- This was far different from what I was expecting it to be but I really liked it.
- My favorite thing about the story was the writing style.

A little background:

This book is actually two stories. Storm in June and Dolce. The author lived through the German invasion of France but was taken prisoner in 1942 and was killed in a German concentration camp. She had been working on the two stories and never completed them before her death. For over 60 years these unfinished stories remained in a suitcase that her daughters could not bear to open. Upon discovery of the manuscripts, they were published in French in 2004 and then translated into English in 2006. I was very eager to read this book for its history alone. I'm so glad I read it and enjoyed it.

Character:

This book was quite interesting. There is a wide range of characters. Some innocent, others malicious, still others deplorable. I can't say that I had a favorite character, but there were definitely some that I related to better than others. The characters were all very different and unendingly interesting. I just never knew what they were going to do or what was going to happen next in the story. There was never a dull moment!

Atmosphere (World):

This was quite interesting because it was set during the exodus from Paris before the German occupation and then from the occupation of France until the Germans were at war with Russia. The author wrote this fictional story quite literally while she was living through these same circumstances herself. She had first-hand experience and that made for a very vivid backdrop. It's one thing to write about such times. Another to live through them and craft a story from it.

Writing Style:

I really enjoyed the writing in this book. It was refreshing and fit the time period well. The people's mannerisms were very French and very German, respectively. There were funny bits but a lot of the book was serious. All of the characters were unabashedly human and I found that I related to all of them at one time or another. The book was written in such a way that the characters acted like there was no audience witnessing what they were getting up to. I really enjoyed this aspect of the book.

Plot:

There really wasn't a plot to this tale. It was a first-hand account told by many different characters of what it was like to live through the exodus from Paris and then what life was like in a rural village occupied by a German regiment. It was nice to read a book that didn't have a mystery or a problem to solve.

Enjoyment:

Yes, I enjoyed this book. It wasn't a romantic tale, but it was very human and full of little things that would best not be forgotten. I found the content to be interesting and compelling. And a good reminder that we are all human.

Rating: I gave Suite Française 4.5/5 stars based on my personal rating scale.

Happy reading,

Alicen