Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dimanche and Other Stories; Irene Nemirovsky

Author: Irene Nemirovsky
Publication Year: 2010 
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Edition: audio book 
Reader: Cassandra Campbell (very good)
Source: Library
Date Completed: 6/27/2011 
Setting: France
Rating: 4.5/5
Recommend: yes

Dimanche and Other Stories is a a wonderful collection of (1) short stories, written between 1934 - 1942. The author, and her husband died in Auschwitz, but their two you daughter survived, protected by a teacher, friends of the family in various safe houses. Some of her writing was tucked away in a suitcase and saved, and then published many years after her death.  You can read more about this talented writer whose life was cut short HERE.

The stories in this collection take place in France before and after the war. Most  of the stories centered around family, relationships, social class and religious differences. Most were deeply moving, and left me with a lot to think about while listening and after I had finished listening.  A few of my favorites were:
  • Dimanche
  • Those Happy Shores
  • Flesh and Blood
  • The Spell
  • Confidante
A few of these stories dealt with the passion of youth, the loss of youth, and loveless, middle-aged marriages.  Another story dealt with family relationships, self-centered adult children, and family dissension, much of which was based on misunderstandings.

One story, as seen through the eyes of a young girl, who because of her age, did not understand what was going on in an adult relationship, and was left confused.  Another story, which left me saddened was about a husband who never really cherished or understood his wife, until after she was gone.

The characters in each story were expertly drawn, and were all too human; some of the characters I pitied, others I disliked. The setting in many of the stories also left a lasting impression.  The audio book reader Cassandra Campbell did a very good job, and her use of a French accent worked out well I thought.

If you enjoy audio books, and stories with some substance, I think you will enjoy this collection.


  1. I enjoyed Irene Nemirovsky's Suite Francaise. Haven't read her books for quite some time. I'll put it in my wishlist =)

  2. I've read another book by her, Suite Franciase (sp?) and really enjoyed it so maybe I should read more!

  3. Hi Diane,

    I am not usually a great lover of short story collections, but I may have to make an exception in this case.

    It would have to be the printed version for me though, as I am definitely not a fan of audio books at all.

    Of course I have heard of Irene Nemirovsky, although I have never read any of her work, but your post prompted more research about her and I shall be delving into some of her books very soon.

    Thank for the recommendation.


  4. It's so sad about the author. I am glad that her writing was published. I do not read short stories usually, but this one looks so good. Also, I really enjoyed Suite Francaise by this author.

  5. Oh my, that sounds quite interesting!

  6. This does sound like an interesting book of stories. The writer and the history behind it makes it most intriguing.

  7. I have never been much for short stories, but your review gave me an idea -- I want to try listening to them on audio -- for some reason, I think I might like the idea of stories better in that form. Thanks so much for this review; I'm going to look for the audio version of this.

  8. I love a good short story collection but I don't come across them too often. This one catches my eye with that great cover.

  9. I loved Suite Francaise and Fire in the Blood. This has been on my wishlist for awhile, but I hadn't considered the audio. Cassandra Campbell is one of my favorite readers!

  10. I have a copy of Suite Francaise, but have not yet read it. I find everything about Nemirovsky fascinating, and would love to delve into this one, and all of her work. I am glad to hear that you loved this one, and will be looking forward to reading it for myself.

  11. I really have to read this author! I have Suite Francaise, though. I wonder what other gems she would have written had she not perished in Auschwitz. I'll link to this on War Through the Generations.

  12. I have Suite Francaise in my TBR pile - and may add Dimanche too. I do enjoy short story collections...

    Thanks for the review.

  13. This sounds fascinating.

    You might want to check out Paris in July - a fun blog even sponsored by and - a month long celebration of all things French. You already have a jump start. I'm looking for France-related books to read, so I'll check this one out.

  14. This one sounds wonderful! I don't like audiobooks much, but I will certainly pick this short story.

  15. Ditto the comment of "playing.librarian!"

    I read (print) SUITE FRANCAISE and was fascinated by it. Will look for DIMANCHE in either print or audio (since you've given the narrator such high marks).

  16. I've been adding lots of books set in France to my wish list lately. this one looks good.

  17. I've been adding lots of books set in France to my wish list lately. this one looks good.

  18. I hope to get to uite Francaise in July-the work you posted on does sound very interesting also

  19. Wow...this one almost slipped below my radar...thanks for bringing it to my attention. I enjoyed her Suite Francaise enormously, I love audio books, and short stories is a genre I'm particularly fond of. So this is the trifecta!


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