Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Suite Francaise

Suite Francaise is a book about the early days of World War II, as the Germans are advancing on Paris.  It was written contemporaneously with the events, before the author was sent to Auschwitz, where she died.  The book follows an assortment of characters as they flee Paris before the Nazis.  The majority are a pretty unappetizing bunch, with a highly warped sense of values.  Their characters are revealed through their behaviour:  what they decide to take with them when they flee, and who they decide to take with them.  Will it be the mistress or the faithful servants who get to go?  Will it be valued possessions or food?  And what would I take if faced with the same tortured choices?

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, but it had an unfinished quality to me.  Afterwards, when I read that the author was a victim of the Holocaust before fulling polishing off the book, I understood why I felt that way.  Nevertheless, I would definitely recommend this book.

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