Monday, 22 October 2007

Another Nemirovsky Novel

Finished October 20
Fire in the Blood by Irene Nemirovsky
This book was originally written in 1941 and it is believed that it was still being worked on right up to when she was sent to her death in 1942. It is only recently when writers were working on an autobiography of her that the entire novel was discovered and brought together for publication. The main character here is Silvio, an older man who spent his youth travelling the world having a variety of adventures. He has sold off most of his land to pay expenses and now lives alone in a very small and badly kept house. When he attends the wedding of a young female cousin he is reminded of the fire in the blood that he had in his youth and that she has. He is an observer of the family and as he describes his young cousin and her parents and other local relations, we see other youthful loves and regrets of age, some of them long-guarded secrets. This is a short, but strong novel that shows Nemirovsky's awareness of the rural life and the social conventions of the time.

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