cover image Fire in the Blood

Fire in the Blood

Irene Nemirovsky, , read by Mark Bramhall. . Random House Audio, $27.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7393-5776-7

Silvio, the narrator of Némirovsky's brief, posthumously published novel, lives alone on his small farm in pre–WWII rural France, committed to his permanent bachelorhood. But as he watches the affairs of young people around him, he recalls his early love life and the dying embers in his spirit start to glow again. Bramhall reflects this well in his deep, harsh voice by building up from Silvio's tone of quiet disdain and aloofness into one of possessive fervor. The French-accented English he uses for all conversation helps listeners place the story on a cognitive map. His voice lulls listeners past noticing the novel's unfinished state. The dropped strands of the plot, the chapters consisting of just a few paragraphs and the scenes with rougher edges all fade thanks to his low but intense growl. Fans of Némirovsky's more polished Suite Française and romantics with a taste for passionately spoken French, will be swept up by this entrancing and evocative tale. Simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 3). (Oct.)