Fire in the Blood

Fire in the Blood

Book - 2007
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A new treasure unearthed by Némirovsky's biographers: another never-before-published novel from the author of the #1 bestselling Suite Française .

This perfect gem of a novel was discovered only recently in separate archive files. A few pages were in the famous suitcase that Irène Némirovsky's daughters saved, but the balance had been deposited with a very close friend during the war. A morality tale with doubtful morals, a story of murder, love and betrayal in rural France, Fire in the Blood , planned in 1937 and written in 1941, is set in a small village (based on Issy l'Evèque, where Suite Française was written), and brilliantly prefigures the village community in her later masterpiece.

Fire in the Blood is a beautiful chamber piece which starts quietly, lyrically, but then races away with revelations and narrative twists in a story about young women forced into marriages with old men, about mothers and daughters, stepmothers and stepdaughters, youthful passions and the regrets of old age, about peasant communities and the ways they hide their secrets. Némirovsky looks at her characters, both young and old, with the same clear-eyed distance and humanity as she displayed in Suite Française , unpeeling layer after layer. As atmospheric and haunting as Sándor Márai's Embers , and with the crystalline perfection of Chekhov, Fire in the Blood is another gripping literary find.


From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: Toronto, ON : A.A. Knopf Canada, Vintage, 2007.
ISBN: 9780676979817
9780676979800
Branch Call Number: NEM
Characteristics: 137 pages ; 22 cm

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fpsutka
Mar 26, 2016

I struggled through the first third of this novel then it improved so I did manage to finish it. I found it gloomy and depressing. I assume that it is a good depiction of French country folks' lives in the early 20th century. They didn't have a lot of fun!
It seems wasteful for the library to have eight copies of this book when other novels are disappearing from the shelves - one copy would be sufficient.

bmetcalf64 Feb 24, 2012

A gem of a novel. Perfect narrative symmetry, and delicious, evocative, and haunting prose. Reading i is like drinking a glass of very fine old wine.

r
rgally
Feb 27, 2011

Calm and dispassionate Sylvio watches the passions around him and is stirred into remembering his own as a young man.

Worth a read - as are Nemirovsky's Suite Francaise and her other short novels like this one

s
seaspirit
May 19, 2008

Simple premise, but wonderfully written. Great introduction to the French and English versions of the book. I couldn't help wondering at the end if the book would have been continued had the author survived. A lot is left to the imagination with the final sentence.

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