Book to Movie: Suite Francaise



Based on my book review from April 21, 2014 on my old blog:

The first part of this  3-story”Suite” had me wishing for more–the exodus from Paris as the Germans approached, the resulting struggle to survive while stranded–it was gripping. The personalities emerged and took hold of me–I wanted to know how their stories came out. The rest of the book–not so much. While there were mentions of the first characters they were fleeting and meatless. I found the story of the occupying Germans far less engrossing. A bit too predictable. The author’s personal story, deported and killed at Auschwitz, will stay with me far longer than most of this book. Still, it does add to the knowledge of the war in that the lives of the occupiers has seldom been told.

Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky (Sandra Smith). I listened to the audio version of this book.


The movie version was a disappointment as it focused only on one of the vignettes offered in the book–Dolce. In this story a young wife is stuck at home with her domineering mother-in-law when a German officer is billeted with them. In the film the mother-in-law sucked the life out of everywhere and everyone even more than in the book. I almost couldn’t watch–that’s how overbearing I found her to be. But the film stayed true to the emotional landscape of the book. Interestingly enough, actress Kristin Scott Thomas said her character, the mother-in-law, was very much like herself! Wow. Not sure I’d want to admit that.



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