Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A fortuitous find

I am always one book short of clinical depression without a book to look forward to. Sometimes I feel that I have read everything worth reading by my crochety tastes, andf will be stuck re-reading "When Patty Went to College" for the rest of my life.

  Then I get lucky.  On a pile of discards at the Good Will, I discovered "All Our Worldly Goods" by Irene Nemirovsky.  I almost skipped it because I noted that the author had been killed in the Holocaust and I thought her work might be gloomy and depressing. Au contraire!

I find it difficult to express  anything positive or approving about a book or movie.  Dislike is so much easier to articulate.  Nemirov, though, delighted me.  I think you will like her work if you like Tolstoy, or maybe Balzac.   The milieu is bourgeous France between the wars, and she is a keen observer of manners and mores, with a dazzling lightness of touch. 

  I downloaded another of her books to my Kindle, "Suite Francaise," which is even better, also taking place just before the German defeat, a period of great despair, confusion, and hysteria in France.  The advancing German troops disrupt everyone's lives and turn everyone into a refugee.  The fabric of society is torn and can never be reclaimed.  Except it is, after a fashion.

  Read the damn book!


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I, too, was sold on the description in my public library-online. I vaguely remembered reading some of Nemirovsky's concoctions in the past, and it wasn't half bad, so I did downloaded Jezebel for the weekend relax.

Oh-the-gods-of-belle lettres!
Absolute horror. Molasses in never-ending slime mixed with rotten operatic moralizing. Suffering of poor Jezebel of 1935 made me want to kill her already, on page 15.
Never, ever read that book!

John Salmon said...

As always, a great read.

miriam sawyer said...

Tat: too late-I already downloaded Jezebel to my Kindle. But I do recommend Suite Francaise.

Anonymous said...

..and I recommend Harris' Roman trilogy. Or start with his Pompeii.

miriam sawyer said...

I've already read all of his books, except the new one. He's great.