My Family & Other Animals

"Suite Francaise" by Irene Nemirovsky

The book club that I belong to read this book last month and it was so wonderful. I'm not sure which was sadder the fictional story written by the author or the author's life story.

This book was written by an amazing woman, who was living in France when the Germans occupied parts of that country during WW2.  She and her parents had fled from Russia when the Jews were persecuted in that country, only to find themselves in the same situation in their adopted home. Sadly the author was captured and sent to Auschwitz where she was killed in the gas chambers. Her husband Michel Epstein suffered the same fate some weeks or months after. Her two daughters were kept safe and survived WW2. In the late 1990's her eldest daughter Denise discovered the manuscript when she was going through the paperwork of her parents.  The book was published in 2004.

The book has two stories. My favourite being the second one.  Both are set in France during German occupation in WW2.  They tell the story of several families, rich and poor, and how they survive. What they have to do to get by, and how war changes everyone. That goodness can sometimes be only skin deep and that possessions are not as important as family. 

I highly recommend this book and suggest you read both the story of the author along with the stories that the author wrote.  To me it makes the fictional stories more poignant and makes you wonder in awe, at the dedication of the author.  I have included a link to wiki which may help you decide. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky - Wikipedia


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