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The Misunderstanding Hardcover – 6 Sep 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus (6 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701186755
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701186753
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2 x 20.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 486,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"How easy it is to be drawn into this superb period novel" (The Connexion)

"Written when the author was just 21 years old, The Misunderstanding shows remarkable understanding of the mysteries of the human heart and the social, familial and economic pressures that pull two lovers apart, even as passion draws them closer. The two central figures are exquisitely drawn, with Yves, in particular, a remarkable portrait of the deep pain and wounded pride of a man born to luxury and living in reduced circumstances" (Michael Arditti Daily Mail)

"Knowing, empathic and sophisticated: it’s a wonder that someone so young could have written it" (Anne Haverty Irish Times)

"This is an astonishingly mature work of art. This study in the fleeting nature of happiness is immaculately translated by Sandra Smith" (Paul Bailey Independent)

"An astonishingly mature account of a doomed adulterous affair... it deserves to be ranked alongside all the other fine novels by this great writer" (Irish Independent)

Book Description

An intense story of self-destructive love: Irène Némirovsky's first novel, written when she was just twenty-one

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Susie B TOP 100 REVIEWER on 7 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover
'The Misunderstanding' is the latest of Irene Nemirovsky's work to be skilfully and sensitively translated by Sandra Smith, but this novel is actually Nemirovsky's first book, which was written when she was aged just twenty one, and first published two years later in 1926.

One of the two central characters in this story is Yves Harteloupe, a young man whose family fortune has been lost, and a man who has been deeply affected by the Great War and by the terrible experiences he endured in the trenches. In the attempt to recapture happier moments from his past, Yves returns to the resort of Hendaye, in the Basque Region, where he remembers spending wonderful family holidays as a child. At Hendaye, Yves meets the beautiful, but bored, Denise Jessaint, a young mother who is married to a rich businessman who is frequently away on business. Yves finds Denise very attractive and tries to spend as much time as he can in her company and, before long, he becomes infatuated with her. Caught up in the intensity of the hot, late summer days and by Yves' infatuation with her, Denise finds herself falling passionately in love; but this is no summer romance and neither Yves nor Denise have any intention of saying goodbye to each other at the end of the holiday.

When Yves and Denise return to a subdued autumnal Paris, they make plans to continue their clandestine affair - but their relationship has its difficulties, especially as Denise cannot seem to understand that the significant difference in their financial positions has the potential to cause an unbridgeable gap between them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. C. R. J. Castell on 22 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have now read all of Nemirovsky's novels translated into English by the excellent Sandra Smith. Also the biography by Philipponnnat and Lienhardt-very informative. This latest novel is an excellent read with wonderful characters and sensitively portrayed incidents. A very rewarding novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Blumenau TOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Yves Harteloupe is a young man who, before the First World War, had been brought up as one of those fin de siècle wealthy fastidious flâneurs with exquisite taste. Then came the War. He survived the horror of the trenches, but his inherited wealth had disappeared, and he had to find modestly paid office work in an international news agency, a job he hated. He found his greatest moments of happiness when he recalled his happy childhood at the seaside in Hendaye, and the novel opens as revisits this place in 1924.

There, on the beach, he glimpses a young woman whose beauty is wonderfully described by Némirovsky. She is staying at the same hotel, and he finds that she is married to Jacques Jessaint, who had been to the same military hospital as Yves during the war and who was now an engineer who had made a huge fortune with one of his inventions. Jacques has to leave for a prolonged visit to London the next day, leaving Denise and their little daughter Francette at the hotel. Yves and Denise saw and talked to each other for several days without Yves feeling that he was in love with her - until one day Denise was inexplicably absent, and then he suddenly felt desperately bereft. Her return that evening changed the chemistry between them. A love affaire begins, which continues in Paris when the holidays are over.

But it is a tortured one. Though they love each other, their psychologies are too different from them to be happy with each other. Yves cannot see her as often as Denise would like, and something prevents him from saying how much he loves her; so she suffers agonies of uncertainty.
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By Kindle Customer on 21 Jun. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
her words flow so poetically, so artful. the story is simple but smacks you with its complexity. the end is poignant but horrific. amazing book.
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