Friday, February 17

Book Review: The Dogs and the Wolves


Title: The Dogs and the Wolves

Author: Irène Némirovsky

Pages: 212

Summary: Ada grows up motherless in the Jewish programs of a Ukrainian city in the early years of the twentieth century. In the same city, Harry Simner, the cosseted son of a city financier, belongs to a very different world. Eventually, in search of a brighter future, Ada moves to Paris and makes a living panting scenes from the world she has left behind. Harry Simner also comes to Paris to mingle in exclusive circles, until one day he buys two paintings which remind him of his past and the course of Ada’s life changes once more. . .

My Rating: 7.25/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This was a good read which started off strong, and had a fairly good ending, but some of the stuff in the middle lost the fell and flow of the overall story.

As with her previous books, the writing, flow and story was lovely, as was the metaphor she used for the overall story, although this time I noticed issues due to it being a translation more than in previous books I read by the author, it was done fairly well. The author did a fantastic job at painting a picture of the lives and classes of people of Jewish faith in the Ukraine, during the early twentieth century - which is where the title is influenced from. The class differences we shown brilliantly, and the author managed to give the reader a feel for what life was like for the characters during the time period - especially in her comparison of rich versus the poor.

The second part of the book takes the reader to Paris which is where the author lost me a bit. The tie in of a small romance/affair didn't grip me as a reader - I was happy with reading about the characters and their struggles to survive, how they identified themselves and how the changing times influenced them. I wish the author had stuck with that, instead of bringing the love affair. I found it to be weak from what we learned of the characters and I found it to be weak in how the author told it.  I also didn't enjoy the characters as much as I have in her previous books. They were well developed and complex - but they didn't live up to the standards I've come to love from her other books.

In the end, it was a good read - not my favourite by the author, but a good read nonetheless.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, this may not be my favourite book by the author, but it was still a well written book and story.

What to read next: Jezebel, Fire in the Blood and David Golder, also by the author.


7 comments:

  1. I think I have a couple of books by Némirovsky on my shelf, but haven't gotten the chance to read them yet. There was a time when she was everywhere, and I think it was at that point when my curiosity got the better of me and I ordered a couple. It sounds like I am missing out by not having read anything by her yer. I need to remedy that!

    Very interesting review today, Jules! I got the impression that although this one was not you favorite from the author, that you still mostly enjoyed it. Very thoughtful analysis on this one.

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    1. You should read her, she was a lovely author and depending on the book you read, she can really affect. I did mostly enjoy it, but still prefer some of the others books by the author.

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  2. I really want to read this author. I have a book by her on my TBR pile somewhere.

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    1. The never ending TBR pile like mine I assume? I hope you can find it and read it one day.

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  3. I'm a huge Nemirovsky fan, but I hadn't heard of this one--must check it out. Thanks for the review!

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    1. I think Suite Franciase and All Our World Goods are the ones most people have heard/read about, but some of her other works are just as good. I hope you get a chance to read it soon.

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  4. I'm a huge Nemirovsky fan, but I hadn't heard of this one--must check it out. Thanks for the review!

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