In June 1940 France fell to the Nazis. The effects of this momentous event on the lives of ordinary Parisians and the inhabitants of a small rural community under occupation are brilliantly explored in Irene Nemirovsky's gripping and heartbreaking novel. Nemirovsky herself was a tragic victim of the Nazi regime but she left behind her this exceptional masterpiece. In "Suite Francaise", she conjures up a vivid cast of wonderful characters who find themselves thrown together in ways they never expected. Amidst the mess of defeat, and all the hypocrisy and compromise, there is hope. True nobility and love exist, but often in surprising places.
Irene Nemirovsky was born in Kiev in 1903, the daughter of a successful Jewish banker. In 1918 her family fled the Russian Revolution for France where she became a bestselling novelist . She was prevented from publishing when the Germans occupied France and moved with her husband and two small daughters from Paris to the safety of the small village of Issy-l'Eveque (in German occupied territory). It was here that Irene began writing Suite Francaise. She died in Auschwitz in 1942. Translated by Sandra Smith.