Fire in the Blood: Book summary and reviews of Fire in the Blood by Irene Nemirovsky

Fire in the Blood

By Irene Nemirovsky

Fire in the Blood

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Book Summary

Here is a missing piece of the remarkable posthumous legacy of Irène Némirovsky, author of the internationally acclaimed Suite Française.

Written in 1941, the manuscript of Fire in the Blood was entrusted in pieces to family and a friend when the author was sent to her death at Auschwitz. The novel—only now assembled in its entirety—teems with the intertwined lives of an insular French village in the years before the war, when “peace” was less important as a political state than as a coveted personal condition: the untroubled pinnacle of happiness.

At the center of the tale is Silvio: in his younger years he fled the boredom of the village and made a life of travel and adventure. Now he’s returned, living in a farmer’s hovel in the middle of the woods, and, much to his family’s chagrin, perfectly content with his solitude.

But when he attends the wedding of his favorite young cousin—“she has the thing that, when I was young, I used to value most in women: she has fire”—Silvio begins to be drawn back into the complicated life of this small town. As his narration unfolds, we are given an intimate picture of the loves and infidelities, the scandals, the youthful ardor and regrets of age that tie Silvio to the long-guarded secrets of the past.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Neither a masterpiece nor a curiosity but an elegant expression of universal longings rooted in a specific milieu, provincial France, that's observed with a caustic brilliance." - Kirkus Reviews.

"In its penetrating distillation of manners and mores, this spare and elegant book makes a worthy follow-up to Suite." - Publishers Weekly.

"Stripped of the backdrop of war, the natural surroundings of Fire In The Blood add a depth and resonance to each of the story's characters, whether young or old, male or female. Subtle in its intention, this novella takes humanity in all its guises and captures the deep-seated desire for belonging and understanding." - Scotland on Sunday.

"Fire in the Blood, on which it seems she was still working when she was taken away to her death, confirms Némirovsky's brilliance as a storyteller with a deep understanding of the hidden flaws and cruelties not just in French society but in the human heart." - The Telegraph (UK).

"Passion and dispassion stare at each other with mutual lack of understanding. In a book fuelled with images of fire and embers, Némirovsky brilliantly depicts a closed-in, inward-looking community, then gives what happens in it universal resonance by exhibiting not only what people do to each other but what the passing of time does to us all." - Peter Kemp, Sunday Times (UK).

The information about Fire in the Blood shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Britta Armstrong
Eloquently written
This book will bring enjoyment to those who like to read a very well written book. It is not "Suite Francaise", however it is still a good read.

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Author Information

Irene Nemirovsky Author Biography

Irène Némirovsky was born in Kiev in 1903 into a wealthy banking family and emigrated to France during the Russian Revolution. After attending the Sorbonne in Paris she began to write and swiftly achieved success with David Golder, which was followed by more than a dozen other books. Throughout her lifetime she published widely in French newspapers and literary journals. She died in Auschwitz in 1942. More than sixty years later, Suite Française, was published posthumously in 2006. Several more of her novels have been translated into English and published in the US.

Link to Irene Nemirovsky's Website

Other books by Irene Nemirovsky at BookBrowse
  • Suite Francaise jacket
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