It’s October and the next Festilitt book festival in Parisot is about to take place (weekend of 19-21 October). A few of us Hucklow book lovers got together, as we did last year, to read a book about France in solidarity with the bibliophiles of Parisot. This time we chose Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky. Completed in 1942, the novel deals with the exodus from Paris and life in the village of Bussy under German occupation. The first section paints a vivid picture of the chaos and mayhem of the exodus and follows the flight and fortunes of a number of different Parisian families, while the second section explores the responses of a more rural community to the Occupation. We all really enjoyed the novel, particularly the language, with its detailed observation of character and human behaviour and its evocative descriptions of rural France. In our discussion we touched on the sad fate of the author, Irène Némirovsky, who was arrested as a Jew, deported and then died in Ausschwitz: tragically she was unable to finish Suite Française, which was intended to be a novel in 5 parts. We were also aware that whatever the British suffered in the war, we were spared the experience of occupation.
See our thoughts here:
Our book discussion was a really enjoyable and enriching experience- thanks to Janet for hosting the evening and to all who took part!