Spoiler Warning: These book club discussion questions on Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky reveal important details about the book. Finish the book before reading on.
- Irène Némirovsky wrote Suite Française during the German occupation of France. After completing Storm in June and Dolce, she was captured by Nazis and died in Auschwitz. How did knowing Némirovsky's fate change how you read the book?
- How do you think Némirovsky's descriptions of the war differed because they were written while it was happening? Do you think she would have recalled and written about the occupation differently if she had written Suite Française years after the war ended?
- How was Suite Française similar or different from other books you have read about World War II?
- Storm in June and Dolce were written in different styles. Which did you prefer? Why?
- What does Suite Française reveal about social classes in France during the war? Do you think that sort of class structure has as much influence today? Do you agree with Mme de Montmort’s assessment in Dolce? (“What separates or unites people is not their language, their laws, their customs, but the way they hold their knife and fork.”)
- How did different villagers cope with the occupation? Were you surprised by how friendly some became with the soldiers?
- Who were some of your favorite characters? What were some of your favorite storylines?
- Were you disappointed that the last three sections of the novel were never written, or did you feel that Storm in June and Dolce could stand on their own?
- Rate Suite Française on a scale of 1 to 5.