Read the lost masterpiece behind the major new film starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Michelle Williams
In 1941, IrÃ¨ne NÃ©mirovsky sat down to write a book that would convey the magnitude of what she was living through by evoking the domestic lives and personal trials of the ordinary citizens of France. NÃ©mirovsky’s death in Auschwitz in 1942 prevented her from seeing the day, sixty-five years later, that the existing two sections of her planned novel sequence, Suite FranÃ§aise, would be rediscovered and hailed as a masterpiece.
Set during the year that France fell to the Nazis, Suite FranÃ§aise falls into two parts. The first is a brilliant depiction of a group of Parisians as they flee the Nazi invasion; the second follows the inhabitants of a small rural community under occupation. Suite FranÃ§aise is a novel that teems with wonderful characters struggling with the new regime. However, amidst the mess of defeat, and all the hypocrisy and compromise, there is hope. True nobility and love exist, but often in surprising places.