Sunday, August 24, 2008

SF-DQ ~ Dolce (Occupation), Ch 1-22

6. Suite Française is a unique pair of novels. Which of the two parts of Suite Française do you prefer? Which structural organization did you find more effective: the short chapters and multiple focus of "Storm in June" or the more restricted approach of "Dolce"?

7. The aristocratic Mme de Montmort believed: “What separates or unites people is not their language, their laws, their customs, but the way they hold their knife and fork.” How do the rich, poor, and the middle classes view one another? How do they help or hinder one another? Do the characters identify themselves by class or nationality?

8. Coexisting uneasily with the soldiers billeted among them, the villagers — from aristocrats to shopkeepers to peasants — cope as best they can. Some choose resistance, others collaboration. Each relationship is distorted by the allegiances of war. What happens during a war when someone who might have been your friend is now declared your enemy?

9. The lovers in "Dolce" (the occupation) question whether the needs of the individual or the community should take priority. Lucille imagines that “in five, or ten, or twenty years” this problem will have been replaced by others. To what extent, if at all, has this proved the case?

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