All Our Worldly Goods

All Our Worldly Goods

Book - 2008
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All Our Worldly Goods reads like a prequel to Suite Française , but is a perfect novel in its own right.

In haunting ways, this compelling novel prefigures Suite Française and some of the themes of Némirovsky's great unfinished sequence of novels. All Our Worldly Goods , though, is complete, and exquisitely so -- a perfect novel in its own right. First published in France in 1947, after the author's death, it is a gripping story of family life and star-crossed lovers, set in France between 1910 and 1940.

Pierre and Agnes marry for love against the wishes of his parents and the family patriarch, the tyrannical industrialist Julien Hardelot, provoking a family feud which cascades down the generations. This is Balzac or The Forsyte Saga on a smaller, more intimate scale, the bourgeoisie observed close-up, with Némirovsky's characteristically sly humour and clear-eyed compassion. Full of drama and heartbreak, and telling observations of the devastating effects of two wars on a small town and an industrial family, Némirovsky is at the height of her powers.

Taut, evocative and beautifully paced, the novel points out with heartbreaking detail and clarity how close those two wars were, how history repeated itself, tragically and shockingly. The story opens in the Edwardian era, on a fashionable Normandy beach and ends with a changed world under Nazi occupation.
ISBN: 9780701182144
Characteristics: 204 pages ;,24 cm.


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TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 03, 2016

All Our Worldly Goods is a wonderfully rich novel of “love between the wars.” It is an easy read driven largely by the plot which follows the Hardelot family through its ups and downs from 1911 to 1940. It is filled with an intriguing cast of characters whom I wished to know better. The prose is beautiful, vivid, and succinct creating appeal across many genres of literature. Although I can only base what Europe was like during the wars through reading, All Our Worldly Goods has rendered the most seemingly realistic picture I have seen to date. While Némirovsky spoke of hope, the underlying tone was one of great dread; yet, during the war, life moved on for the civilians, a detail often missing in literature. Némirovsky's words were prophetic, predicting not only the ravages of World War II, but her own death two years later at the death camps. This made the novel all the more real. Touching. And relevant.

Jul 10, 2015

A love story that began just before the 1st world war. It followed the couple right through to the last few years & also their own son going to the 2nd world war. It was well written. It was very matter of fact but had an endurance at the same time.

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