Fire in the Blood by Irene Nemirovsky

Fire in the Blood by Irene Nemirovsky, translated by Sandra Smith, (published 2007, written 1940ish) has a history beyond the actual story. Nemirovsky died in Auschwitz in 1942, and two pages of this manuscript survived in a suitcase carried by her daughters as they escaped from the Nazis. The rest of the manuscript was discovered in her editor's possession sixty years later, fortunately for readers.

Nemirovsky creates a slice in the life of the Burgundy paysans (sort of farmers, sort of peasants--uniquely French) by telling interlocking stories of love and betrayal, the kind only found in obsessive, illicit affairs, as seen through the first-person eyes of an aging Silvio. The impact of the past reverberates in the present.

Although I found myself wondering a few times why we were being given so much detail about something that seemed insignificant, everything falls perfectly into place in the hands of the extremely talented, gone much too soon Nemirovsky.

My overall personal rating of Fire in the Blood is a B.


Anonymous said…
That is a bittersweet back story. I wonder how many more novels she would have written, had she survived?
Violet said…
I wouldn't have guessed the story from the cover, but it does sound good and sad
sapphireblue said…
This will be on my "to-read" list.

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