Suite Francaise


Translated from: Suite Francaise
Author: Irene Nevirovsky
Translator: Mimi Benetto & Lenah Susianty
Publisher: Penerbit Qanita
First Published: June 2011
631 pages

Whew...it's really a hard book to review. On one side the author tells about a unique look into the German occupation of France during World War II and I learned a lot about life in France in the early 1940s. But on the other hand as an unfinished book (it only consists of two parts of a projected five as a whole), it has no ending. Moreover the author wrote down so many characters in the books without any up-close-and-personal exploration. No wonder that I just could not connect with any of the characters and did not care what was happening to them. In fact I really struggled to finish the book and wished there was finally something awesome in this thick novel.

The idea of the novel is actually quite interesting. In the first section the author tells about the German invasion and the second part is focusing on the beginning of the occupation. But the execution of the book is disappointing. The pace is really slow and it is hard to get into the story since I could not emotionally connect with any of the characters in the book.

Then why is the novel so popular? I guess one of the reason is people curious about the author's life. Yes, the story about the author's life is much more interesting than the novel itself. Nemirovsky was writing this novel during the German occupation of France World War II and before she could finish it, she was captured by Nazis and died in a concentration camp in Auschwitz. Her handwritten manuscript remained undiscovered in a suitcase. At first her daughter thought it was a diary of her mother which would be too painful to read. In the late 1990s upon discovered what the manuscript was about, she finally published it in France and it became a bestseller in 2004 and has been translated into 38 languages.

If you are interested in reading France history perhaps this book is for you.





2 comments:

ferina November 28, 2011 at 10:40 AM  

awalnya aku juga bingung baca buku ini. tapi, di sela2 baca ceritanya, aku ngeliat ke bagian apendix. aku jadi malah semakin pengen baca. dan.. malah jadi sedih..

mbak, coba baca Sarah's Key deh. Masih seputar tragedi Holocaust.

riana November 28, 2011 at 11:28 AM  

@ferina: buku ini alur ceritanya lambat & tokoh2nya terlalu banyak, baca appendix-nya malah lebih menarik dibanding cerita novelnya, mungkin karena true story & akhir hidup penulisnya amat tragis..:(

Sarah's Key sudah ada di rak, menunggu giliran dibaca :)