I thoroughly savored this book of short stories from before & during WWII in France, which is something for me since i usually tear through books too quickly to truly savor them. But the writing was so careful and beautiful, and the stories so poignant, they refused to be rushed. Némirovsky was born in the Ukraine in 1903, but moved to France, went to the Sorbonne, and wrote prolifically until her death in 1942 in Auschwitz in 1942. And I'm thrilled she did because I look forward to reading anything of hers that I can find in print. I like that she can write convincingly from such a variety of viewpoints: a wealthy man coping with a sudden change of fortune, squabbling siblings attending their mother's imminent death, an aging prostitute realizing her dreams will never be fulfilled, a servant confessing the terrible truth about the family she served. The stories sound depressing, but somehow I didn't find them so.