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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little gem of a book
At first the book seems to be a gentle story of French rural life and then, about half way through the book, the narrative erupts into one of crime and passion and one is propelled along to finish it. The writing is very taught with short sentences and no redundant description and yet the author evokes atmosphere and character: she reminded me of Georges Simeon.
Published on 8 Mar 2008 by Bluebell

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another gem from Irene
Irene shows us through this book her deep understanding of human nature in French society and culture.The book explores the introverted rural French people with their hidden ways and of things unspoken.
Families seemingly happy are actually riven with dark incidents in their past.Infidelity,lust,longing and pathos all provide a panorama of rural life in pre war...
Published on 9 Jan 2009 by D. Glowacki


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another gem from Irene, 9 Jan 2009
By 
D. Glowacki (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fire in the Blood (Paperback)
Irene shows us through this book her deep understanding of human nature in French society and culture.The book explores the introverted rural French people with their hidden ways and of things unspoken.
Families seemingly happy are actually riven with dark incidents in their past.Infidelity,lust,longing and pathos all provide a panorama of rural life in pre war France.As the individual stories unfold,the sadness increases,but Irene's loves of all things French shines through.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fine novel by Nemirovsky, if probably unfinished, 22 Aug 2008
By 
Andres C. Salama (Buenos Aires, Argentina) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fire in the Blood (Hardcover)
Irene Nemirovsky's short novel, written before her arrest and subsequent death in Auschwitz in 1942, was considered lost (there was a partial text of the first pages) and was only found on 2007 (!). Nevertheless, everything indicates this is not the final draft, and had she lived to publish it a different version would have arrived to us. The book itself is a tale of secret passions in a French small town. The arrival of Silvio, a single man in his sixties, to his home town, after a lifetime of living abroad, lets secrets hidden under the cover of normalcy and boredom out of the closet; a lot of it it's beguiling, but it also feels incomplete: for example, the relationship between Silvio and Brigitte (fundamental, given what we find in the book's last pages) is curiously underworked: this lets me to think we should consider this book to be an unfinished work. Despite this, it is another fine work by the Russian-born Jewish-raised French author, whose books have gone through a revival in the last few years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little gem of a book, 8 Mar 2008
By 
Bluebell (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Fire in the Blood (Hardcover)
At first the book seems to be a gentle story of French rural life and then, about half way through the book, the narrative erupts into one of crime and passion and one is propelled along to finish it. The writing is very taught with short sentences and no redundant description and yet the author evokes atmosphere and character: she reminded me of Georges Simeon.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 24 Aug 2008
By 
Boof (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Fire in the Blood (Hardcover)
What a wonderful book. Lyrical and atmospheric, this book is a story told by Silvio about his family in the early last century who live in a little village in rural France. What starts out gently and as a story of great love between the various family members quickly descends into secrets, lies, betrayal and grief.

I picked this book up this morning and read the first page to see how I liked it and before I knew it I have read the whole things while barely pausing for breath. A lovely book and I shall certainly be reading more by this author.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful read, another Nemirovsky masterpiece, 16 April 2008
This review is from: Fire in the Blood (Hardcover)
After reading Suite Francaise, which I absolutely LOVED, I was a little bit anxious that this other "new" book (that found the day of light after so many years in oblivion) will not fulfil my expectations...but the hell it did, what a brilliant book!

Although it is way too short, and it is obvious that Ms Nemirovsky intended to write a lot more, fortunately the plot is quite coherent and you could imagine where she was going to with it. Nevertheless, I felt the same rage and frustration I experienced with Suite Francaise of never being able to read the finished product, due to the author's untimely death. I am delighted anyway that it has been published in spite of all these shortcomings, as it has been a crime that such a beautiful book has been hidden away for so many years. And unfinished or not, it is always a pleasure to read anything from Irene Nemirovsky. It brings tears to my eyes to realise her voice was extinguished way too early and we have been denied the honour of reading more of her fantastic books.

This book is a gem, I just love Ms Nemirovsky's style, it is so well written, her vivid description of the French country live is a delight to read. It is a very sarcastic and sharp critic to the sometimes petty and particular ways of the peasant mentality. The plot has so many clever twists; I could not put it down. Something I particularly loved about it was how masterfully the author mirrored the past and the present, showing how the more things change the more they stay the same.

A must read. Thank you Ms Nemirovsky, I'll eternally be a fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'what happened 20 years ago was nothing but a moment of madness', 22 April 2012
By 
sally tarbox (aylesbury bucks uk) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Fire in the Blood (Paperback)
Short (150 page) but exquisite novel set in rural inter-war Burgundy and narrated by crusty bachelor Silvio who likes nothing better than his own company.
As the book opens, he is at a family get-together celebrating the engagement of his cousin's daughter. Her devoted parents look on.
Yet there are many secrets, both in the past and still to come. As Silvio observes from his calm middle age 'how is this fire lit within us? It devours everything and then in a few years...it burns itself out. Then you see how much damage has been done.'
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Secrets buried beneath a bucolic exterior, 13 Jan 2012
By 
Julia Flyte - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Fire in the Blood (Paperback)
This novel was discovered many years after Irene Nemirovsky's tragic death. It is technically unfinished, but not to the point where it cannot be read and enjoyed. The narrator is Silvio, aged in his 60s, who lives alone just outside a small French village. In his youth he travelled the world and had affairs, but now he regards that younger self as being so removed from him that it's almost as if it were someone else. He believes that "fire in the blood" is only for the young: living life with passion and disregard for the consequences.

The book takes place over a few years, as Silvio observes the actions of the younger people in the village. It is only towards the end of the book that we realise the secrets that connect them all.

It's a beautifully written story that develops at its own pace. You can almost see the village, smell the lavender, hear the insects buzzing, taste the rustic soup. It's a shame that the ending is as abrupt as it is. It's not that you're left wondering what was going to happen, but more that you feel cheated of having the ends neatly tied up. Nevertheless a lyrical, evocative read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Age of Hypocrisy, 28 Mar 2009
By 
C. Calisgil "Leyla" (Somerset, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fire in the Blood (Paperback)
As with Suite Francais I was hooked from the first page - exquisitly written. Set in rural Burgundy the story is told by Silvio - one-time traveller - a prodigal son who, by his own admission, was gone from home for so long that even the fatted calf had died of old age by the time he returned! Now he's elderly and living quite alone, but with cousins nearby. He lives in a community where {quote} 'Everyone lives in his own house, on his own land, distrusts his neighbours, harvests his wheat, counts his money and doesn't give a thought to the rest of the world.' Family loyalty is paramount and skeletons are kept in the cupboard. This story is woven around a secret that slowly reveals itself whilst we consider the various stages of life, and the fact that youth and age are usually at odds with each other. What Irene Nemirovsky has highlighted so well is the way most of us become clothed in respectibility and wisdom as we age, usually forgetting how it felt to be young - when we experienced that 'fire in the blood'. Although only a short novel, the author very cleverly covers a lot of ground; no wasted narrative - every word moves the reader to the story's conclusion. Wonderful!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gem, 24 April 2009
By 
Suzie (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fire in the Blood (Paperback)
I loved `Suite Française' so was really looking forward to reading this other lost gem from Irène Némirovsky. Again, it is tragic that she died in Auschitz without ever having the chance to revise or finish the story. As a result, this is more a novella than a full-length novel. Nevertheless, it is a beautifully written, if unedited, tale set in rural France.

It starts off seemingly mild and bucolic, and indeed, seems as if it will continue in this vein. But about halfway through the story it suddenly becomes transformed into a compelling web of passion and deceit.

The stories of the two young women, Colette and Brigitte, would be more compelling and involving if told from the viewpoints of the women themselves, rather than narrated by Silvio, an ageing cousin of Colette's mother Hélène. Silvio lives a somewhat reclusive life in what he describes to as `a farmer's hovel in the middle of the woods', and seems an unlikely vehicle for relating the passions of two young women. By the end of the book, though, the reason for using him became clear, but while no other narrative voice could have been used so effectively for the final chapters, I still wonder if the author would have used multiple viewpoints had she been spared to revise the work. Or maybe that's too modern a technique. It was only towards the end of the book that I appreciated the aptness of the title, too.

I had become so immersed in the story that I was sorry when it ended so soon after it had started. It's a gem well worth reading but be warned - if you love stories about human relationships it'll leave you wishing for more!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing , Charming (2 thumbs Up), 13 Mar 2008
By 
Maroun H. Khoury (Lebanon) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Fire in the Blood (Hardcover)
I picked up this book long after reading "Suite Francaise".After I read its book description on Amazon I could not wait for my local Bookstore to have this book available so I ordered it from amazon and Voila as expected Irene Nemirovsky did an amazing and impeccable job.

It took me on a magical trip through the French countryside which I have visited long time ago. The Characters are so real and the story is more into real life scenarios.

I would recommend it to anyone who likes reading a charming book on a quiet corner in a coffee house.

1 downside is that it is very short (176 pages) ...It is shame because I believe Irene Nemirovsky wanted to add more but the Nazis were quicker I suppose ...
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Fire in the Blood
Fire in the Blood by Irène Némirovsky (Paperback - 2 Oct 2008)
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