By Irène Némirovsky
Chatto & Windus £16.99
To say the novel promotes humanity beyond the parameters of expectation, is akin to saying Bob Dylan has a way with words. Like Arundhati Roy’s The God Of Small Things, Némirovsky has captured all the shimmering, and at times, violent, trajectory that misplaced love and loyalty will (not) allow: ‘’The outside world was incoherent and hideous, painted in the colours of hell, a hell Jesus could never enter…because they would tear him to
The authoress initially conceived Suite Française as a four or five part novel (‘twas to be her War and Peace), but, like Anne Frank – to whose diary, the intimacy of this book could quite easily be compared – Némirovsky too faced death as a result of the Final Solution. But unlike the ghastly ideology of the Third Reich (and all the hate and hypocrisy and death and defeat that was endemic during the occupation of France), Némirovsky’s observation and vision substantiates that hope was, and still is, contagious.
A beautiful, beautiful, book, that absolutely needs to be read.