Sunday, June 13, 2010

Fire In The Blood by: Irène Némirovsky


We hear the voice of Silvio: a man getting on in years who has returned to the village of his youth after a long time abroad. He lives by himself, enjoys his wine and his solitude. But a visit from his cousin Hélène and her husband François, with their future son-in-law in tow, begins to draw Silvio back into the life of his family and of this insular community, toward the revelation of secrets he and others have guarded for decades. As the novel unfolds, we are given an intimate picture of the web of marriage and infidelity, loyalties set against love, trust and betrayal, scandal vying with reputation, evils petty and potent, youthful passions and regrets of age that tie Silvio to both his past and the unexpected events of...(the present).

[from the end was cut off for some reason, so I added what I assumed they meant to be written after the elipsis.]
This is the first novel I've read by Irène Némirovsky, and I know it won't be the last. It was a well crafted story, taking place in a small French town, where everyone knows everyone, but doesn't like to get involved in anyone else's business but their own. It made for the perfect setting for the novel, especially when all the secrets from the past and the secrets in the present are unraveled.
At the core of this novel is youth and the passing of time. How when you're younger you have that "fire in your blood" that sometimes disapates when you get older, and how it's missed once it's gone.
I liked the main character's voice and how we get to see him change throughout the novella, and I liked the tiny glimpses into his past that we were shown, especially the ending bit.
All in all, a good story. Very easy to finish, but something that makes the reader think.
Overall rating: 7/10

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