From the celebrated author of the international bestseller Suite Française, a newly discovered novel, a story of passion and long-kept secrets, set against the background of a rural French village in the years before World War II.Written in 1941, Fire in the Blood – only now assembled in its entirety – teems with the intertwined lives of an insular French village in the years before the war, when "peace" was less important as a political state than as a coveted personal condition: the untroubled pinnacle of happiness. At the center of the novel is Silvio, who has returned to this small town after years away. As his narration unfolds, we are given an intimate picture of the loves and infidelities, the scandals, the youthful ardor and regrets of age that tie Silvio to the long-guarded secrets of the past.
Amazon Best of the Month, October 2007: As the Nazis advanced on France, celebrated writer Irène Némirovsky composed two final masterworks: Suite Française and Fire in the Blood. The first, smuggled out in a suitcase by her escaping daughters when Némirovsky was taken to her death at Auschwitz in 1942, surfaced more than 60 years later and restored her bestselling status. The other, two pages of which slipped out in that same suitcase, was thought lost--until biographers discovered the rest of the manuscript in papers given to Némirovsky's editor for safekeeping. A worthy companion to Suite Française, it follows three interwoven stories across two decades, when the hot-blooded affairs of youth threaten the cool calm of middle age. Once it has all unraveled, the last line lodges in your heart like a sliver. If only there could have been more. --Mari Malcolm