In a French courtroom, the trial of a woman is taking place. Gladys Eysenach is no longer young, but she is still beautiful, elegant, cold. She is accused of shooting dead her much-younger lover. As the witnesses take the stand and the case unfolds, Gladys relives fragments of her past: her childhood, her absent father, her marriage, her turbulent relationship with her daughter, her decline, and then the final irrevocable act. With the depth of insight and pitiless compassion we have come to expect from the author of Suite Française, Irène Némirovsky shows us the soul of a desperate woman obsessed with her lost youth.
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Irène Némirovsky is the literary discovery of the decade - Sunday Times
Slender, but engrossing, novel... Némirovsky's subtle twist and typically jewelled prose presents the glittering enormity of Gladys, an unsympathetic but vividly realised character who dominates this tale in a fascinating portrait of paranoid self-absorption - Financial Times
Nemirovsky's tale of a woman on trial for shooting her young lover rings more contemporary bells than we might think at first - The Independent on Sunday
Fast-paced and highly dramatic, it offers a fascinating glimpse into an inter-war world of privilege, wealth and Darwinian social combat - New Statesman
Irène Némirovsky was born in Kiev in 1903, the daughter of a successful Jewish banker. In 1918 her family fled the Russian Revolution for France where she became a bestselling novelist, author of David Golder, Le Bal and other works published in her lifetime or soon after, as well as the posthumous Suite Française and Fire in the Blood. In July 1942 she was arrested by the French police and interned in Pithiviers concentration camp, and from there immediately deported to Auschwitz where she died in August 1942.