It’s difficult to separate the novel All Our Worldly Goods from the true story of what happened to Irene Nemirovsky. This book is haunting, in large part because I could feel the ghost of the author, looking over my shoulder, begging me to understand.
I’ve read several reviews of this book and it seems that many people felt unsatisfied because they weren’t sure how they were supposed to feel, or what lessons they were supposed to take from the story. For me, that was the power of this book. I believe that everyone who reads it will take something different from it.
It is a tale of true love, of a couple who’s willing to turn their backs on arranged marriages that will surely lead to simple lives, and who instead embark on a life together that’s full of hardship. Even through wars and deaths and the complete annihilation of the lives they once knew, they never regret their decision.
I was struck by the way that the lives of numerous characters intertwined. I won’t ruin the book for anyone else by giving too much detail, but this book really drove home the point that you really just never know what could happen. How awful would it have been for them to marry the people they were ‘supposed to’, just to get a simple, wealthy and easy life . . . only to find that it was none of those things?
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I received this book courtesy of the Goodreads First Reads program.