After enjoying Fire in the Blood I’m now reading Suite FranÃ§aise by IrÃ¨ne NÃ©mirovsky. I’m interested in knowing more about her, so am pleased that the copy I’m reading has a couple of Appendices and a translation of the Preface to the French Edition published in 2004. Appendix I is a transcript of her handwriiten notes on the situation in France and her plans for Suite FranÃ§aise and Appendix II is correspondence 1936 -1945.
The manuscript of Suite FranÃ§aise survived after IrÃ¨ne was arrested and deported to Auschwitz where she died in 1942, because her daughter, Denise put it into a suitcase as she and her sister fled from Issy l’Eveque. She took it as a momento and didn’t read it for many years.
Another book I started to read yesterday is The Hidden by Tobias Hill. I’d been looking forward to reading this book since last November as part of LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer Programme. It arrived on Thursday just as I had given up hope of receiving it. So far it looks extremely promising as the story alternates between Ben in Greece after the breakup of his marriage and the archaeology of Sparta. My knowledge of Sparta is limited but reading this book it appears that this is not just down to my ignorance but to the fact that little remains of their civilisation. My limited knowledge remembered vaguely from school is that the Spartans were fierce fighters and they put babies out on the hillside to see if they would survive.