Amazon Best of the Month, October 2007
: As the Nazis advanced on France, celebrated writer Irène Némirovsky composed two final masterworks: Suite Française
and Fire in the Blood
. The first, smuggled out in a suitcase by her escaping daughters when Némirovsky was taken to her death at Auschwitz in 1942, surfaced more than 60 years later and restored her bestselling status. The other, two pages of which slipped out in that same suitcase, was thought lost--until biographers discovered the rest of the manuscript in papers given to Némirovsky's editor for safekeeping. A worthy companion to Suite Française
, it follows three interwoven stories across two decades, when the hot-blooded affairs of youth threaten the cool calm of middle age. Once it has all unraveled, the last line lodges in your heart like a sliver. If only there could have been more. --Mari Malcolm
--This text refers to the
From Publishers Weekly
Silvio, the narrator of Némirovsky's brief, posthumously published novel, lives alone on his small farm in pre–WWII rural France, committed to his permanent bachelorhood. But as he watches the affairs of young people around him, he recalls his early love life and the dying embers in his spirit start to glow again. Bramhall reflects this well in his deep, harsh voice by building up from Silvio's tone of quiet disdain and aloofness into one of possessive fervor. The French-accented English he uses for all conversation helps listeners place the story on a cognitive map. His voice lulls listeners past noticing the novel's unfinished state. The dropped strands of the plot, the chapters consisting of just a few paragraphs and the scenes with rougher edges all fade thanks to his low but intense growl. Fans of Némirovsky's more polished Suite Française
and romantics with a taste for passionately spoken French, will be swept up by this entrancing and evocative tale.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.