Online Book Club Questions: Suite Francaise

Posted at 15:24pm on 27th May 2011

Suite Française
by Irène Némirovsky

Discussion Summary will be posted shortly, when comments will be open for debate for six months.


  1. How did you feel, generally, about the author's style / complexity / content / characterisation of the book?
  2. Did you find the two parts equally enjoyable or not?  And did the ending leave you with a sense of unfinished business?
  3. If this were your story, your life, would there be 'unfinished' business?  What legacy would you like to leave?  Page 121
  4. "Christian charity" is withheld in some instances, dispensed in others.  Sometimes characters are seen in a "plea bargain with God." Are the insights offered in this respect common to all mankind?  If so, why?  Pages: 46, 47, 49, 181, 217, 273, 296
  5. One of the themes of the book was hypocrisy.  How did this manifest itself in the book?  How might it do so in your life, or mine?  Pages: 146, 147, 246, 300
  6. Class differences prevailed, between country and town, aristocracy and trade (so that sometimes the enemy, instead of compatriots, were perceived as equals). Is this evident in our time / our society? Why?  Pages: 67, 217, 235, 297, 308
  7. Morality was another theme: Charlie Langelet stealing petrol; the "thrill" of war; fleeting happiness / pleasure of Lucille's love for a German officer.  Pages: 114, 246, 260, 270, 304
  8. The "spirit of the hive v personal freedom" might be termed "community v  the individual".  How does this play itself out in the book?  And for good / or negative purposes in real life.  Pages: 168, 268, 303
  9. Forgiveness & Sin: In Philippe's death, do we think, as Hubert does, in terms of "pigs and dogs v saints" when it comes to people reaping their just deserts?  Pages: 128 - 138, 145-147
  10. Do you agree that it takes war to see how multifaceted, contradictory and surprising people can be?  If not, why not?  Page: 341


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This Book Club Précis, Questions or Discussion Summary may be reproduced in printed format or on any non-commercial website or blog on condition that the following copyright line and bio are prominently displayed beneath it.

© Copyright Mel Menzies: USED BY PERMISSION

Author of a number of books, one a Sunday Times No 4 Bestseller, Mel Menzies runs an Online Book Club and is also an experienced Speaker at live events, as well as on Radio and TV. This article, in its original form, can be found at

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