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Jaylia3

Reflections

Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.

All Our Worldly Goods

All Our Worldly Goods - Irene Nemirovsky Anyone who enjoyed Irene Nemirovsky's Suite Française will surely love All Our Worldly Goods just as much. In both books Nemirovsky's writing is incredibly beautiful and gracefully poignant. Though the original French must be even better, these translations by Sandra Smith are wonderful.Nemirovsky was killed at Auschwitz before she could finish Suite Française, but All Our Worldly Goods is a complete novel. It's set in France from 1911, just before the start of WWI, to 1940, shortly after the beginning of WWII, and it tells the tangled story of three families from a small village. Pierre Hardelot's family owns the village factory and at the opening of the book he is set to do what his family wants and marry Simone Renaudin, an orphaned and wealthy heiress. To the shock of all he breaks off this engagement to marry for love. Agnes Florent's family were only brewers, so while the Florents and the Hardelots are friendly no one expected them to be united by a wedding. Pierre's rejection of Simone and devoted love for Agnes start a family feud whose ramifications continue as the world is upended and their village is destroyed by war, painstakingly reconstructed and then razed by war again.All Nemirovsky's characters are well-drawn rounded individuals, sometimes selfish but deeply loving, neither heroes or villains. They have had to rebuild their lives before, so while the novel ends with WWII still raging the tone of the book is more hopeful than despairing.