The Dogs and the Wolves, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (2 ratings)


From the author of the bestselling Suite Francaise. Ada grows up motherless in the Jewish pogroms of a Ukrainian city in the early years of the twentieth century.

In the same city, Harry Sinner, the cosseted son of a city financier, belongs to a very different world.

Eventually, in search of a brighter future, Ada moves to Paris and makes a living painting scenes from the world she has left behind.

Harry Sinner also comes to Paris to mingle in exclusive circles, until one day he buys two paintings which remind him of his past and the course of Ada's life changes once more...


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The summary of the author’s life and untimely death that precedes the text was written with a sort of brutal matter-of-factness. It was a considerable jolt, and rightly or wrongly I find it hard to set down my honest thoughts on this novel. Essentially, I guess I just didn’t get on with it.The novel starts among the impoverished Jewish population of a Ukrainian town a hundred or so years ago. The relationships between different social classes within the Jewish community are examined. The central character, Ada, discovers she has rich relations living not far away and develops a minor obsession with her pampered cousin, Harry.Later, as the storyline moves to Paris the two characters meet up again. The story is supposed to be a romance of sorts, but I was never able to buy into it. There was nothing likeable about Harry, and I found Ada’s fascination with him difficult to comprehend. The plot moves too quickly through sections I felt needed more filling out, and consequently I felt little or no emotional investment in any of the characters. Some, like Israel, are swept away with scarcely a backward glance. I was glad to finally reach the end. In fairness, it may just not be my type of literature.

Review by

"With all their racing stables and famous art collections, they had fathers who were kids like me: starving, beaten,humiliated", November 2, 2014This review is from: The Dogs and the Wolves (Paperback)A compulsive read, following two scions of the Jewish Sinner family: in the ghetto of their Ukrainian city lives Ada, with her widowed father and aunt. Up in the wealthy area is young Harry Sinner, living a totally different life. They do not mix socially, but Ada falls in love with him from afar.Following the Jewish pogroms, both families end up in Paris...but despite their differences in station, they have a shared cultural heritage...I really enjoyed this, although I found Harry's character somewhat weak in contrast to that of Ben. Have read three of Ms Nemirovsky's works and they've all been exquisite.

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