Irene Nemirovsky, Part II: Descriptions with the Power of Hallucinations

On pp. 138 – 139 of Suite Francaise:  a priest is leading a flock of boys away from the invading German forces, when they stumble across an abandoned village:

This village abandoned by its people, where no footsteps, no voices could be heard and where all the sounds of the countryside were absent  —  the creaking of wheelbarrows, the cooing of pigeons, the clucking from the poultry yards  —  this village had become the kingdom of the birds, the bees and the hornets.  Philippe thought he had never heard so many vibrant, joyous songs nor seen so many swarms all around him.  Hay, strawberries, blackcurrants, the little sweet-smelling flowers in the borders, each flower bed, each lawn, each blade of grass gave off a soft buzzing sound, like a spinnng wheel.

Because, of course, the Germans invaded in June . . .   a month for gardening, for exulting in summer warmth.

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