Book Recommendation of the Week

Saturday, September 4, 2010

This is a weekly feature here on the blog where I will recommend ONE specific book that I have read, and loved. It could be something I recently just read, or a one from five years ago. Doesn't matter when; if I feel as if a lot of people might like it as much as I do, then I'll recommend it! Last week, I recommended The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. For the second week, I recommend..

Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky

Genre: General/Literary Fiction
When I Read It: 2008
Synopsis: Beginning in Paris on the eve of the Nazi occupation in 1940. Suite Fran├žaise tells the remarkable story of men and women thrown together in circumstances beyond their control. As Parisians flee the city, human folly surfaces in every imaginable way: a wealthy mother searches for sweets in a town without food; a couple is terrified at the thought of losing their jobs, even as their world begins to fall apart. Moving on to a provincial village now occupied by German soldiers, the locals must learn to coexist with the enemy—in their town, their homes, even in their hearts.

Recommended if:
1) you enjoy reading about fictional stories based on facts and history.
2) you want a beautifully-written, moving, and thought-provoking story. This is quite a sad book, but it's a good one.

For mature YA readers and adults. Generally, 15+ would be good.

Why I Loved It:
Suite Francaise
is genuinely real, believable, and relevant. It captures the very essence of humanity -- the loss, triumphs, successes, failures, pain -- during a difficult time.
It's heartbreaking but a really good story. And it's just so beautifully written. It's so vividly drawn, and every prose is as painfully lovely as the story itself. The characters are memorable, and the overall feel of the book is definitely unforgettable for me.

Quote from the book: "Important events - whether serious, happy or unfortunate - do not change a man's soul, they merely bring it into relief, just as a strong gust of wind reveals the true shape of a tree when it blows off all its leaves. Such events highlight what is hidden in the shadows, they nudge the spirit towards a place where it can flourish."

Quote from the author: "I must create something great and stop wondering if there's any point." - Irene Nemirovsky

Have you read this before? And if you have, did you love it as much as I did? Maybe it's on your TBR list, waiting to be read. And if you could recommend one book for this week, what would it be?


  1. Hi Jillian. I have this book right now too!! And of course, I am loving those quotes.

  2. Jillian, I loved this book, which was made all the more poignant by the author's own story; someday I will read the rest of her work.
    And I'm so glad you enjoyed The Book of Lost Things. It was one of my favorites last year!!

  3. sounds like a good one.
    thanks for the recommendation. I like that quote from the author.
    I do have The Book of Lost Things on my shelf.

  4. I've never read this book, but it sounds incredible. That quote was really quite something, too :) Great pick!

  5. I overlooked this book when it came out.
    Thinking I need to put this on my wishlist now.
    thanks for the review.


  6. Thanks for the recommendation, I have not read this one.

  7. I read this with my Library book group. If you are interested, here is a link to a comment left with info on a Memorial of her in NYC. (2 years ago, but still includes more info.)

  8. Oops ... here it is: