Book Review – THE COURILOF AFFAIR by Irene Nemirovsky

BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 5 / 5

BOOK REVIEW: Powerful. Don’t let the lack of words used (only 168 pages) fool you – Nemirovsky delivers a powerful message through the telling of this story.

In her usual beautiful prose (credit must also go to translator Sandra Smith) she does much more than relate historical events and experiences of our narrating character at the dusk of his life – she evokes a mood. (I should point out I’m avoiding using the word protagonist because Nemirovsky presents characters that are not intended to gain the readers empathy, their actions are not to be glorified.)

Nemirovsky uses the tale to shine a stark light on terrorism and its futility – no matter how just a cause’s beginnings. She explores the frailty of human society and how the roles of assailant and target can be easily interchanged. This historical tale is one whose themes and message remain very much relevant today.

This is the second title by Irene Nemirovsky I have simply devoured and been immensely moved by. The first was Suite Francaise (see my review).

Read the book summary for The Courilof Affair.

Other titles by this author: Suite Francaise, David Golder, Le Bal, Fire in the Blood, All Our Worldly Goods