suite francaise really is a masterpiece

Posted on April 28, 2006. Filed under: Books |

I am now a bit more than half way through Suite Francaise, and it is just such a well written and well translated book. The story behind it? Well, it was written as a novel in World War II — the author left her home to hide in the countryside. She wrote in very small handwriting while hiding away day after day and hid everything in a suitcase. I believe she was later taken to the camps and killed. Her daughter had the suitcase for 60 years and just opened it to find that the contents was not a journal (as she had suspected) but a novel intended to be in 5 parts, but only 2 were finished.

First of all this time period fascinates me. The History of the Holocaust was one of the most interesting classes I was able to take at Queen’s (we actually gave our prof a standing ovation at the end of term). The writing is so well-crafted that every word seems so carefully placed makes an impact. Precision.

The other thing I like is that you’re reading along and something terrible is about to happen and normally it wouldn’t be conceived of in a novel, but because of the time and situation and the atrocities, the terrible things do occur on the page. I’ve been left in absolute shock a couple of times and it’s a good thing.

Pushing the boundries and precision.

The making of a beautiful friendship.


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