I have always had a bit of a fascination with Czar Nicholas and his family and the overthrow of his regime. I have also had an interest in the imprisonment of the Jews during World War II. But neither one of these is actually the main focus of The Mirador: Dreamed Memories of Irene Nemirovsky by Her Daughter, but are merely a part. Irene Nemirovsky (most famously known for her book Suite Francaise) never wrote her memoir. Instead, as the title suggests, Elisabeth Gille, Irene's youngest daughter, wrote her mother's memoir from her own memories and, as she calls it, her dreamed memories. In the book, Έlisabeth is Babet, younger sister to Denise, and is perhaps her mother's favorite, although both children were greatly loved by Nemirovsky.' It is a strange thing to be writing a memoir in the role of someone else, but Gille does it wonderfully, probably due to the closeness between her and her mother. This was an enchanting, and at times, electrifying, book. She aptly describes the beauty and awe that surrounded the Czar and his family in a way I have never read before. Nemirovsky's interest in all things literary is prevalent at an early age, much to her mother's chagrin. In fact, her mother was not enamored with her child at all, seeing her as a hindrance to the social life she longed to adhere to. Gille's (or rather Nemirovsky's) insights into all that was happening, and her fear and desperate attempt to save herself, are a literary experience.
Submitted by Mary S. @ Bay View