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Fire in the Blood | [Irene Nemirovsky]

Fire in the Blood

An old man looks back on a chequered life, concealing truths he will not reveal until the end. Fire in the Blood starts quietly, lyrically, but then races away with narrative twists and surprise revelations. A young man, newly married, is found drowned in the mill stream; an old man is more concerned about the repayment of a debt than with his young wife; a young woman asks Silvio to plead her case; no-one is quite as they seem.
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Publisher's Summary

A morality tale with doubtful morals, a story of murder, love and betrayal in rural France, Fire in the Blood, written in 1941, is set in a small village, based on Issy-l'Evèque where Suite Française was written. It brilliantly prefigures the village community in her later masterpiece.

An old man looks back on a chequered life, concealing truths he will not reveal until the end. Fire in the Blood starts quietly, lyrically, but then races away with narrative twists and surprise revelations. A young man, newly married, is found drowned in the mill stream; an old man is more concerned about the repayment of a debt than with his young wife; a young woman asks Silvio to plead her case; no-one is quite as they seem. Young women have to marry old men, youthful passions burn, and the regrets of old age simmer in this rural community where secrets are kept close and passed from one generation to the next.

Némirovsky looks at her characters, both young and old, with the same clear-eyed distance and humanity she displayed in Suite Française, unpeeling layer after layer. Atmospheric and haunting, Fire in the Blood is a gripping literary find.

© Irene Nemirovsky; (P) Random House

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