The Fires of Autumn

by Irene Nemirovsky

eBooks of the Month Sagas and Romance

The Fires of Autumn Synopsis

The Fires of Autumn was written in the last two years of Irene Nemirovsky's life, after she fled Paris in 1940. The prequel to her masterpiece, Suite Francaise, it is a panoramic exploration of French life and a witness to the greatest horrors of the twentieth century. After four years of bloody warfare Bernard Jacquelain returns from the trenches a changed man. No more the naive hopes and dreams of the teenager who went to war. Attracted by the lure of money and success, Bernard embarks on a life of luxuriant delinquency supported by suspect financial dealings and easy virtue. Yet when his lover throws him off, he turns to a wholesome childhood friend for comfort. For ten years he lives the good bourgeois life, but as another war threatens everything Bernard had clung to starts to crumble, and the future for his marriage and for France looks terribly uncertain. First published posthumously in France in 1957, The Fires of Autumn is a coruscating, tragic evocation of the reality of war and its dirty aftermath, and the ugly colour it can turn a man's soul.

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The Good Book Guide Review

The prequel to the acclaimed Suite Française, this novel – written in the last two years of its author’s life after she had fled Paris in 1940 – spans the years from 1912 to 1941. It follows the fortunes of Parisian petit bourgeois families whose lives are intertwined: young men who go to war in 1914, who have ‘aged without having had the time to grow up’; the women who wait for them, and the parents whose expectations for their offspring must be altered or remain unfulfilled. In the aftermath of the fighting a new morality takes hold, civilisation appears undermined as the old order is put aside in favour of those with no scruples, no conscience, and fortunes can be made in careers seemingly without substance and essentially corrupt. But then a second conflict begins, and everything changes once more. A convincing portrait of human nature in the crucible of war.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780701186593
Publication date: 06/11/2014
Publisher: Chatto & Windus an imprint of Vintage
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780701186593
Publication date: 6th November 2014
Author: Irene Nemirovsky
Publisher: Chatto & Windus an imprint of Vintage
Format: Hardback
Genres: eBook Favourites, Sagas and Romance,
Categories:

About Irene Nemirovsky

Irène Némirovsky was born in Kiev in 1903, the daughter of a successful Jewish banker. In 1918 her family fled the Russian Revolution for France where she became a bestselling novelist, author of David Golder, Le Bal, The Courilof Affair, All Our Worldly Goods and other works published in her lifetime or soon after, such as the posthumously published Suite Française and Fire in the Blood. The Dogs and the Wolves, now appearing for the first time in English, was published in France in spring 1940, just months before France fell to the Nazis. She was prevented ...

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