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Literature / Suite Franšaise

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A planned sequence of five novels by Ukrainian-born French writer Irène Némirovsky, only the first two of which were completed before the author's death in Auschwitz in 1942. The manuscript of Storm in June and Dolce were kept by the author's daughters, who miraculously escaped deportation and remained undiscovered for decades until it was finally published in 2004 under the title Suite Française, more than sixty years after Nemirovsky's death.

It bears a strong resemblance to Le Silence de la mer, which was written pretty much at the same time and shares similar themes and situations.

A film adaptation was released in 2015.


This work contains examples of:

  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Bruno to Lucile, twice.
  • Apron Matron: Charlotte Péricand. She runs her household with great efficiency, and when fleeing from enemy bombing she acts to save her children with ruthless decisiveness (as long as the family's alive, nothing else matters). However, she usually fails to match the "caring" and "kind" part of the trope description by her lack of real empathy, even though she conscientiously tries to carry out the duty of being good-hearted and generous.
  • Black Comedy:
    • The Péricand's escape from Paris, the elderly grandpa stops them because he had to poo, then he's forgotten by his own family falls ill and dies blubbering about a will he wrote during WWI
    • Charles Langelet's absolutely random and gratuitous death also counts.
  • Les Collaborateurs: Several, notably the Péricands and the de Montforts and Némirovsky was planning an arc with Gabriel Corte writing for the Vichy regime but eventually becoming disillusioned with it.
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  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Benoît is not pleased of seeing Kurt Bonnet wooing his wife.
  • Death by Irony: Charlie Langelet, a collector of fine porcelain, while making his way along roads full of refugees fleeing the fear of German bombing, reaches safety in his automobile by stealing gas from a pair of young lovers. Safely returned to Paris, he orders his cleaning woman to clean his entire apartment, puts his very favorite porcelain, a figurine of Venus, on display, and leaves to have dinner with Arlette Corail, only to be struck dead, head smashed, by her car in the pitch-dark, blacked-out street. Back in his apartment, the cleaning woman knocks over the figurine of Venus, smashing its head. Imagining trying to explain this to her employer, she exclaims, "I don't care what he says. He can drop dead!"
  • Evil Matriarch: Madame Angellier is spiteful to the point of emotional abuse towards her daughter-in-law Lucile.
  • Eye Scream: Father Philippe Péricand gets his eye ripped by a stone from the boys. Ewwww
  • Farmer's Daughter: Cécile and Madeleine, tough the latter is adopted.
  • Feuding Families: The Labaries and the Montfort.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: How Madeleine fell for Jean-Marie.
  • Good Shepherd: Father Philippe Péricand, mostly, though he struggles with his Christian duty towards the delinquent boys he must accompany.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Cécile towards Madeleine because of the crush they both had for Jean-Marie, who was wounded by Germans and seeks shelter in the Labaries farm.
  • Happily Married: The Michauds are the only happily married couple in the novel and serve as a moral compass.
  • It's All About Me: This way to behave has many examples to count but Charles Langelet and Gabriel Corte outshine most of the characters. Portraying in this way such bunch of antiheroes is obviously intentional from the author, who want the reader to see how people react in the aftermath of a country at war and probably many people would behave in such a selfish manner. Luckily, not all people would.
  • Love Across Battlelines: Lucile Angellier and Lieutenant Bruno von Falk. It has to be noted that this is one of the earliest examples of World War II, as it was written in 1941 and most of all a sympathetic example.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Where should we start? Err...Lucile is unhappily married to Gaston and while he is a POW she starts an affair with German officer Bruno. Madeline is engaged and later married to Benoît, but loves Jean-Marie who is also loved by her sister-in-law Cécile. Kurt Bonnet is a German officer who occupies the Labaries farm and sets his eyes on Madeleine, much to Benoît's chagrin, while Jean-Marie also fell for Madeleine but ends up having an affair with...Lucile.
  • Malicious Slander: Labarie siblings (Benoît and Cécile) like to do this occasionally. Must run in the family.
  • The Mistress: Arlette Corail to Corbin, Florence to Gabriel Corte, and even Lucile's husband has a mistress in another city (who bore him a son while Lucile never did) which her mother never knew anything until Lucile tells her out of spite.
  • The Neidermeyer: Lieutenant Kurt Bonnet, a Smug Snake Nazi who preys on Benoît's wife Madeleine.
  • Officer and a Gentleman: Oddly enough Bruno von Falk turns out to be one, and even a Elegant Classical Musician. His Foil Kurt Bonnet makes an effort to be one but his The Neidermeyer jerkassery outshines.
  • Phenotype Stereotype: The only German character who is not described as blond and blue-eyed is Kurt Bonnet's replacement, who is red-haired.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Bruno von Falk is a Wehrmacht officer, but he disliked his line of work and would rather prefer to pursue his career as a Elegant Classical Musician composer if he had not been called in for military service.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Falk is one in his position as one of the officers leading Bussy's occupation and tries to work his way around having to unnecessarily bully the citizens, while Bonnet had no problem with committing such heinous acts.
  • La Résistance: It's seen since the beginning and few characters (Bennoît, Hubert Péricand, Jean-Marie) joins it.
  • Sex as Rite-of-Passage: Hubert Péricand slept with Arlette Corail while she was hiding him from Germans, that and his joining of La Résistance means that he's approaching adulthood.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Those who murdered Father Péricand surely are.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Everyone's opinion about Philippe Péricand's death.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Cécile and Madelein grew up as sisters (Madeleine was adopted) but they relationship soured after Jean-Marie kissed Madeleine instead of Cécile, who starts beig bitchy and snarky to her friend at any occasion.