Saturday, April 11

Book Review: Le Bal

Title: Le Bal

Author: Irène Némirovsky

Pages: 106

Summary: Le Bal contains two Novellas;

Le Bal
is a sharp brittle story of a girl who sets out to ruin the mother she hates. The Kampf’s have risen swiftly up the ranks of the 1930’s Parisian society. Painfully aware of her working-class roots, and desperate to win acceptance, Madame Kampf decides to throw a huge ball to announce her arrival to society. Her daughter Antoinette, who has just turned fourteen dreams of attending, but Madame Kampf is resolved not to present her daughter to potential admirers. In a fury of adolescent rage and despair Antoinette exacts a swift and horrible revenge….

Snow in Autumn pays homage to Némirovsky’s beloved Chekhov and chronicles the life of a devoted servant following her masters as they flee Revolutionary Moscow and emigrate to a life of hardship in Paris. As the crisis pushes the family to the brink of dissolution, Tatiana struggles to adapt to life in Paris and awaits in vain for her cherished first snow of autumn.

My Rating: 9/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: Both of these short novellas were wonderful! Filled with Némirovsky’s beautiful, elegant style of writing and her ability to draw the reader into her stories, as if they were really there does not fail her in both short stories.

Le Bal, as a great story, filled with emotion, I felt so sorry for the poor little girl, who never felt love from her mother, the emotion pours of the pages, and you feel so much for her. Némirovsky was able to create such real and believable characters for this short story. I didn’t enjoy this novella as well as the second, it was still a very enjoyable read. I think it was the mother, who made it not very enjoyable, but it’s because her character is so unlikeable, you can tell the author has done a fantastic job, when you want to slap them mother.

Snow and Autumn was beautifully approached and written, telling of a devoted servants life, I read this feverishly, I couldn’t put it down. It’s a short novella, but so eloquently written, with lovely descriptions a vivid paintings of emotions of the characters as they are affected by the revolution and as we watch the poor servant Tatiana, become ruined because of what she has lost and always enjoyed, the snow in autumn, and those around her changing. She is left to her memories and the ending was sad yet happy at the same time. It’s hard to explain, but again Némirovsky wrote such a vivid and eloquent story, even the sad parts were swallowed up by me. She was a amazing author, and it is a truly a shame she was never able to create more stories from her creative mind.

Would I recommend it to read: Yes, yes yes! It is a must read in my books, if you enjoyed Suite Francaise, then you will should absolutely enjoy these two novellas. Filled with her elegant and beautiful style of writing and enjoyable stories it’s hard not to enjoy her books.

What to read next: Suite Francaise and David Golden (her first book)

Challenges: 100+ Challenge, Support Your Library Challenge, A - Z Challenge


  1. Another book that you have made me want to rush out and buy! These two stories sound amazing, glad you posted this!

  2. Glad to have helped. I jumped for joy and nabbed it from the library, plus one other book she wrote off the shelves. This one was hard to return to the library, and has been put on my "I need to own" book list.