A collection of never-before-translated stories by the best-selling author of Suite Française, this is a gorgeous, gemlike volume with the same attention to detail that won Irène Némirovsky so many fans. Written between 1934 and 1942, these 10 stories mine the same terrain as her best-selling novels: a keen eye for the details of social class; the tensions between mothers and daughters, husbands and wives; the manners and mannerisms of the French bourgeoisie; and questions of religion and personal identity. Moving from the drawing rooms of prewar Paris to the lives of men and women in wartime France, here is the beautiful work of a writer at the height of her tragically short career.
©2000 Editions Stock. Translation copyright 2010 by Persephone Books (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Ten luminous and newly translated stories by Némirovsky, who died at Auschwitz, expose the miseries that undermine happy families….these accomplished tales create worlds full of secrets and treacheries….In this superlative translation, Némirovsky's characters emerge full-fleshed, and her voice remains timeless and relevant.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
“[A] gorgeous collection….Elegant, magnetic, and devastating stories of marriage, mothers and daughters, youth and age, rich and poor. Each faceted, cutting tale exposes the barely concealed resentments and envy underlying marriages desiccated by routinely unfaithful husbands, martyred wives, and shiny, selfish children, especially beautiful daughters who hold their muted mothers in contempt….Némirovsky was an empathic, prescient, and boldly clinical dramatist in the mode of Chekhov, Maupassant, and Colette.” (Booklist)
"...her characters and stories are so vibrant and involving that the dominant impression her writing leaves is one of happiness." (Harper's)
I just couldn't finish this book right now. I don't think that is because it was bad or uninteresting, but rather because I just wasn't in the right frame of mind. In fact, I'm pretty sure this would be a great book if I wanted to take the time to really get into it. It is a collection of short stories about interpersonal relationships with an ironic twist at the end, things that I usually really love to read, but I just need to read something different than this right now. It will go on my "Finish some other time, or in another life" shelf. I don't want that shelf to get too heavy with books. I like to finish what I start, but I just had to put a halt to this one for the time being.
Part of my not liking this book a whole lot is because of the narrator. She wasn't bad, but she wasn't really good either. I think it is just a matter of taste, and she just didn't fit with mine.
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