Monday, March 23, 2009

ON BOOKS ~ Suite Francaise (again)...

MizB asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page.
  • Share the title of the book the teaser comes from…that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

From pg. 179 of SUITE FRANCAISE by Irene Nemirovsky (fiction)...

"He wanted to write a story about these charming little horses, a story that would evoke this day in July, this land, this farm, these people, the war - and himself.

"He wrote with a chewed-up pencil stub, in a little notebook which he hid against his heart. He felt he had to hurry: something inside him was making him anxious, was knocking on an invisible door."

I know - that is 3 sentences. I have broken my steadfast rule and challenge to use only 2 sentences in Teaser Tuesdays to capture the essence of a passage in the book I am reading. But I don't care. These sentences to me capture how the author herself felt as she was writing this very book. And it makes me sad to know that someone with such passion, and talent with words, was one of millions of souls murdered senselessly in WWII.

Instead of writing about the persecution of Jews leading up to and throughout the war or the battles going on to defend France, Irene Nemirovsky chose to focus instead on the everyday lives of the people whose lives were disrupted during the invasion and occupation in the cities and villages of the Occupied Zone in France.

Her work here was unfinished so we will never know the full story of her characters - just as she never found out the full story of the war's result. But we do have entries from her journal to give us a peek into her process and plans. As she wrote July 1, 1942, two weeks before she was sent to Auschwitz and just over a month before she died:

"Which all in all would correspond to my deepest conviction. What lives on:

1 Our humble day-to-day lives

2 Art

3 God"

If you love lyrical prose and character development, I highly recommend this enjoyable book. As always, you can read my detailed review by following the Goodreads icon link on our sidebar. For those interested, you can visit the Woman of Letters: Irene Nemirovsky & Suite Francaise exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in NYC through 08/30/09 or online. Here are some photos from my visit this weekend:


17 comments:

Sandy Nawrot said...

I've got goosebumps...you went to the exhibition! I was seriously considering flying up there myself just to see it (but I'm not sure the husband could survive on his own!) The book is quite haunting in the way everything is unfinished, and Irene seemed to know what was coming. I was so moved by the book, I went out a purchased another book that has four other of her works in it. Of course I haven't read it yet, but I'll get there!

Mary said...

I thought it was such a good book. Thanks for you informative post!

Erika Lynn said...

great teaser and thanks for all the information!

My teaser tuesday

Book Bird Dog said...

Sounds like writer's block...familiar sensation. Great teaser.

Kaye said...

Wonderful teaser. It does give me chills just to think what was going through the minds of people as they were herded onto trains bound for the concentration camps. It's horrific to contemplate.
Glad to hear you are enjoying it. Here is my teaser

Debbie said...

What a good teaser, and post! I've been wanting to read that book and from your teaser and everyone's comments, I think it just moved up to the top of my list.
The Lace Reader...I liked it alot. It was a fast read, but a good, escape for an afternoon book. I like that she self-published and bookclubs gave her a huge THUMBS UP, so much so that publishers had bidding wars over her.
Yay bookclubs!

JoAnn said...

I loved Suite Francaise! Thank you for the post and pictures.

me said...

I think that might be a book I need to "gear up for". Nice teaser though.

Hey - been to Casey's lately? :-)

Mari said...

I have heard great things about this book. Great teaser. :)

TheChicGeek said...

This sounds very interesting. I'm going to have to check it out. It sounds hauntingly moving in that it is unfinished.
Thanks for a great review!

Staci said...

Oh my...I loved that teaser and then having that extra information that you provided made it even more intriguing. I definitely would like to read this book. Thanks for stopping by my blog Molly!!
~Staci

zetor said...

I have just bought that book, can't wait to read it.

Caspette said...

I loved this book. What always got me was despite what she herself went through she was able to write the German characters with such sensitivity.

I did not know there was a museum display about Irene. Is that a permanent display? If I ever get to NY I would like to visit.

Kerri said...

Great teaser to break the rules for that extra sentence. Thanks for stopping by. I should have a review of The Gum Thief up on my blog by the weekend.

rajm said...

Yes a wonderful book - I persuaded our book group to read it last year, blogged about it and got a comment linking back to that exhibition (before it happened). Bit far to cross the Atlantic for though.

Jenny Girl said...

I read her four short novels and each one was beautiful and haunting, because the endings were not happily ever after. I knew that but kept reading anyway. Her writing beckons you to continue onward. I wish I could see that exhibit, because it is a testamnet to all of the talented people that were lost.
Great post and your blog is very interesting! I always loved the Bumble, with or without teeth :)

sunnysweetpea said...

Wow this is amazing Molly!