Sunday, February 10, 2008

Fire in the Blood - Irene Némirovsky


“How is this fire lit within us? It devours everything and then, in a few years, a few months, a few hours even, it burns itself out. Then you see how much damage has been done.”

This lovely small masterpiece (129 pages) by author Irene Némirovsky began by lulling me into thinking I was reading what I would refer to as a “gentle book” – one with beautiful descriptive passages, intriguing characters and dialogue and a slow thoughtful pace.

I was quite content to be taken back in time to experience the peaceful village life in rural France. I should have known better. The title itself was the give-a-way.

“Fire in the Blood” – that passion one experiences which oftentimes leads to committing errors in judgment with consequences that will haunt you. Perhaps for years. Perhaps for the rest of your life.

Beneath the idyllic rural setting that so entranced me lay a story of love, longing, passion, betrayal, murder and long-held secrets - just as beneath the seemingly idyllic lives of the characters lay that fire in the blood which is never quite extinguished despite maturity and advancing years. The beauty, promise and wonder of both nature and human nature are expertly rendered. But as the story unfolds, we witness how deceiving these gifts can be.

(Click on the link for a brief story synopsis.)

I loved Némirovsky’s novel Suite Française. While Fire in the Blood did not have quite the same impact upon me, nevertheless, it made a lasting impression and was such a pleasure to read. It was written in 1941. Némirovsky died in Auschwitz in 1942.

I can’t give away the last line in the story but after reading it (twice) I ended up flipping back through the pages of the book.

It left me wondering. When one is possessed by that “fire in the blood,” can the longing and the dreaming surpass the reality?

9 comments:

Sherry said...

As usual Beth, you and I share the same love of the same books, by the same authors. I too found "Suite Francaise" more moving but I have read all of Nemirovsky's books now and each one is a little gift in itself. "David Golder" was incredible.

Eileen said...

Now I am left hanging, and totally intrigued. It sounds like the perfect book to be taken away to another place in time, and to feel so much love or "fire in the blood" for another, what would one be willing to do? Someone gave me a book by Nemirovsky, a long time ago,and I don't think I ever read it. I am going to search my library, that sounds funny, it is really a room that has all our books in it, not fancy, but we still call in ouribrary, and see it I can locate it. I'm in the middle of 2 books right now, but my goal it to have 1 of them finished today.
Thanks for telling us about this, it sounds excellent.

Oh, about your comment, I really write to vent. My spelling and grammer is so bad, I wouldn't know where to begin to send it to!! Thanks for the idea. I think so many people are already ahead of me in this. I wish people in power would listen.xoxoxo

Lyn Cash said...

What a marvelous review, Beth. Now I have to find this woman's work.

Shari said...

Great review, as usual. :)
Next to Ireland, France holds some fascination for me. This book sounds like a great read and thanks for recommending it.

Mrs. G. said...

I REALLY enjoyed Suite Française, and I look forward to reading this one. It was one of those books that I didn't want to end, so I limited my daily reading to prolong the pleasure. I'll put this one on my ever expanding library hold list. I am currently reading Ha Jin's new book. I don't know if you've read anything by him, but he is amazing, though I'm not enjoying his new book nearly as much as I have enjoyed his others-like "Waiting"

I'm still waiting to receive a blog rant from you...I just don't see you as the ranting type. Have a wonderful Sunday.

La La said...

Lovely review. I will have to check this out. Thanks!

Gary said...

I loved Suite Francaise so will have to check this out too. Sounds engaging...

oreneta said...

OOooooo, another book review, thank you so very much!

patricia said...

Oooooo...you've got me hooked! I read 'Suite Francaise' (thanks to your recommendation) and enjoyed it very much.

I've certainly made a few mistakes in my past as a result of 'Fire in the Blood'....but nothing worth writing a novel about...