The Wine of Solitude by Irene Nemirovsky

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Introspective, intense and poignant, "The Wine of Solitude" is the most autobiographical of all Irene Nemirovsky's novels, now available in English for the first time. Imbued with melancholy, and regret, it explores the troubled relationship between a young girl, her distant, self-absorbed mother and her mother's lover, Max. We follow the family through the Great War and the Russian Revolution, as the young Helene grows from a dreamy, unhappy child into an angry young woman. Through hot summers in a fictionalised Kiev (Nemirovsky's own birthplace) and the cruel winters of St Petersburg, the would-be writer Helene blossoms, despite her mother's neglect, into a clear-eyed observer of the life around her. "The Wine of Solitude" is a powerful tale not of a less of the end of innocence, than disillusionment; the story of an upbringing that produces a young woman as hard as a diamond, prepared to wreak a shattering revenge on her mother.

About Irene Nemirovsky

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Published November 14, 2011 by Chatto & Windus. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Wine of Solitude

The Guardian

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Its publishers describe The Wine of Solitude as Irène Némirovsky's most autobiographical novel, and the protagonist, Hélène Karol, shares much of Némirovsky's early history.

Oct 14 2011 | Read Full Review of The Wine of Solitude

The Bookbag

I recently read a biography of Nemirovsky and there could be little doubt that Bella Karol, Helene's mother, is based on Nemirovsky's mother and the moves around Europe and Russia much the same as Nemirovsky's family was forced to take.

Aug 18 2012 | Read Full Review of The Wine of Solitude

Herald Scotland

First published in France in 1935, seven years before the author died in Auschwitz, this is said to be the most autobiographical of Irene Nemirovsky’s novels.

Oct 31 2011 | Read Full Review of The Wine of Solitude

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