This perfect gem of a novel by the author of the posthumously acclaimed and bestselling "Suite Francaise" has never previously been published and was discovered only recently in separate archive files. A couple of pages were in the famous suitcase which her daughters saved, and the balance had been deposited with a family friend and editor during the war. A morality tale with doubtful morals, a story of murder, love and betrayal in rural France, "Fire in the Blood", planned in 1937, written in 1941, is set in a small village, based on Issy-l'Eveque where "Suite Francaise" was written, and brilliantly prefigures the village community in her later masterpiece.An old man looks back on a chequered life with secret regrets, concealing a truth he will not reveal until the end. "Fire in the Blood" is a small and beautiful chamber piece which starts quietly, lyrically, but then races away with revelations and narrative twists in a story about young women forced into marriages with old men, about mothers and daughters, stepmothers and stepdaughters, youthful passions and the regrets of old age, about peasant communities and the way they hide their secrets.
Nemirovsky looks at her characters, both young and old, with the same clear-eyed distance and humanity as she displayed in "Suite Francaise", unpeeling layer after layer. Atmospheric and haunting as "Embers" and with the crystalline perfection of "Chekhov", "Fire in the Blood" is a gripping literary find..