From the author of Suite Francaise this is a compelling story of infatuation, passion and self-destructive love. Yves Harteloup is a disappointed young man, scarred by the war. He returns for the summer to the rich, comfortable Atlantic resort of Hendaye, where he spent blissful childhood holidays. There he becomes infatuated by a beautiful, bored young woman, Denise, whose rich husband is often away on business. Intoxicated by summer nights and Yves' intensity, Denise falls passionately in love, before the idyll has to end and Yves must return to his mundane office job. In the mournful Paris autumn their love founders on mutual misunderstanding and Denise is driven mad with desire and jealous suspicion until, acting on her sophisticated mother's advice, she takes action...which she may regret forever.
An intense story of self-destructive love: Irene Nemirovsky's first novel, written when she was just twenty-one
"An irresistible talent" Guardian "Dazzling... Extraordinary... A wonder" Irish Times "Shows remarkable understanding of the mysteries of the human heart and the social, familial and economic pressures that pull two lovers apart, even as passion draws them closer" -- Michael Arditti Daily Mail "This is an astonishingly mature work of art. This study in the fleeting nature of happiness is immaculately translated by Sandra Smith" -- Paul Bailey Independent
Irene Nemirovsky was born in Kiev in 1903, the daughter of a successful Jewish banker. In 1918 her family fled the Russian Revolution for France where she became a bestselling novelist, author of David Golder, Le Bal, The Courilof Affair, All Our Worldly Goods and other works published in her lifetime or afterwards, such as Suite Francaise and Fire in the Blood. The Misunderstanding (Le Malentendu) was first published in France in Les OEuvres libres in 1926. Nemirovsky was prevented from publishing when the Germans occupied France and moved with her husband and two small daughters from Paris to the safety of the small village of Issy-l'Eveque (in German occupied territory). She died in Auschwitz in 1942.