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The Dogs and the Wolves by Irene Nemirovsky

(Random House, $38.99)

It may sound like an unlikely scenario, but this heartrending love story is the latest release from a writer who has been dead for 57 years. Nemirovsky was captured in France during World War II and sent to Auschwitz. There she died of typhus, aged just 39. Though she had been a successful author in her own lifetime, it wasn”s gift for storytelling was rediscovered and embraced by a new generation.

This came about via the posthumous publication of Suite Francaise, a novel was writing at the time of her death in the early 1940s. For 50 years, the manuscript was in the possession of Irene’s daughter Denise, who, assuming that it was her mother’s final journal, had always found it too painful to read. Eventually Denise discovered the true contents of the notebook and it has since become a worldwide bestseller.

The Dogs and the Wolves is another of Irene’s works. It was first published in 1940 but has now been released in English for the first time. This tale is primarily concerned with matters of the heart and, like any good romance, as well as tenderness and joy, it contains longing, bitterness and betrayal.

The story belongs to little Ada Sinner, a poor Jewish girl growing up in a Ukrainian ghetto at the turn of the century. As a child, Ada develops a fascination with the son of an estranged relative, who belongs to a world of wealth and privilege. Though she can only admire her beloved from afar, Ada’s youthful fantasy endures and eventually comes to define her life.

As a young woman, Ada – like the author – moves to France and there she settles for a loveless marriage to a relative of her own social class. Finally, through her only other great passion, painting, Ada’s path once again crosses with that of the man who haunts her dreams. But their worlds don’t collide without consequences.

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