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The Wine of Solitude (Vintage International)


The Wine of Solitude (Vintage International) Cover



Reading Group Guide

The questions and additional material that follow are intended to enhance your group’s discussion of this intense and poignant coming-of-age novel by Irene Némirovsky, the author of the international bestseller Suite Française.

Product Details

Nemirovsky, Irene
Vintage Books
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Vintage International
Publication Date:
7.96 x 5.14 x 0.76 in 0.56 lb

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The Wine of Solitude (Vintage International) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages Vintage Books - English 9780307745484 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Némirovsky's (Suite Française) tragically short life is epitomized in this mournful yet effervescent autobiographical novel spanning WWI, the Russian revolution, and the 1920s. Hélène's passage from Kiev to Finland and finally Paris follows her metamorphosis from awkward, solitary child to beguiling adolescent and intoxicating woman. Attempting to find a haven (and save their riches) during this period of historical upheaval, the Karols eventually reach France. Observant beyond her years, Hélène fixes her laser sight on all aspects of her turbulent, nomadic existence, particularly her hedonistic mother, Bella, whom she despises with an enduring passion that is perhaps too pervasive. Blaming Bella for 'ruining childhood' and provoking the loss of her beloved governess, Hélène hatches a plan to seduce her mother's lover. The ambiguous father figure of Boris Karol, a successful businessman and compulsive gambler, is a subtler achievement than Bella, in what constitutes a prequel of sorts to the author's first novel, David Golder. Beyond the waves of 'sadness and venom' which characterize much of Némirovsky's coming-of-age tale, her incredible eye for detail and the naturalistic beauty of her writing make this taut narrative glow with her irrepressible love of life. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Wonderfully atmospheric....Némirovsky evokes the places of her childhood with a sensuous clarity that shows how much she learned from Tolstoy and Proust....A captivating and searingly honest portrait of the artist as a young woman."
"Review" by , "Strangely haunting....Profound, exquisitely wrought....A pitch-perfect evocation of adult duplicity."
"Review" by , "Breathtaking....Némirovsky’s powers of social observation, [her] implacable eye for the nuances of human conduct...make The Wine of Solitude so memorable."
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