Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
Lake Louise, Canada
Copenhagen, Denmark
Loch Ness, Scotland
  • Location: Finland, Kiev, Paris

The Wine of Solitude

The Wine of Solitude

Why a Booktrail?

WW1: The most autobiographical of all Irène Némirovsky’s novels

  • ISBN: 978-0701185572
  • Translator: Sandra Smith
  • Genre: Autobiography/memoirs, Historical

What you need to know before your trail

Largely believed to be the autobiography of the author herself, this is  a sad story about a young girl and the relationship between her and her mother and her mother’s lover Max.
The family moves from Kiev to St. Petersburg to Finland to Paris as the events of World War I and the Russian Revolution unfold. The events and chaotic life is evoked as seem through young Hélène’s eyes as she grows up

Travel Guide

Hélène takes us on quite a journey as she moves from one country to another with her troubled family and with only her French governess for company of any kind. Her father is a gambler, her mother has a lover and no wish to be any kind of comfort or stability for young Helene.
Starting off in Ukraine we meet the family and the start in life. (Kiev is the city of Némirovsky’s birth) This is where Hélène starts to question things and to examine the world around her.

“From the Karol’s balcony, you could see the whole town, from the Dnieper River to the hills in the distance…”
“The wind brought the smell of the Ukrainian plains”

Then the family moves from the Ukraine to Paris where Helene gradually becomes more aware of herself as a person and as a woman. As she blossoms so we see this via the descriptions of the city itself

“Some cars stopped in front of the Cafe de Paris, men in tuxedos got out and women in ballgowns”

The setting is not just the locations in the book however but also the backdrop of history such as the Great War and the Russian Revolution

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