This is one of the best books I have read in a while. The story of the author is as interesting as the book itself. In 1942, after fleeing Paris to a small town in France, the author, Irene Nemirovsky, was captured and sent to Auschwitz where she died of typhus. She left behind leaving two young daughters and a husband (who was also killed in the concentration camps). For years her daughters carried the unfinished manuscript in a suitcase as they fled the Nazis, too afraid and hurt to look at it. 60 years later, her eldest daughter published this extraordinary account of the early war years in France to wide critical acclaim. Lucid portrayals of human relationships, descriptions of dreamy landscapes turned muddy from bombs, and an incredibly poignant ability to show human nature truthfully make this a must read. Ms. Nemirovsky had the uncanny and scary ability to write with such depth and reflection about the events that were unfolding around her. Truly one of the best modern writers.
This book keeps moving until the very end. it is an exciting listen--the characters are believeable and attach themselves to the reader. Although the ending is a bit disappointing, I would recommend this to pre-teens and adults who like realstic fantasy.
This is an enchanting collection read artfully by a variety of people. My girls (10 and 7) love to listen to this at bedtime. It is our special time without me having to read....
The narrator, Simon Jones, truly makes this intelligent and well-written book come alive. I took a peek at the text version and the many footnotes and explanations are a bit distracting to read, but Jones carries it off well and portrays the sarcastic humour perfectly. I read this because my middle school class picked it for our student book club. My students said they learned a lot of new vocabulary without feeling like they were being taught! Bravo to Stroud for holding the interest of middle school students. This book is great to listen to with your own child as well. My nine year old and I cuddled and spent together time as we listened.
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