I am very glad I have at last read some of her work, two set in Paris circa 1939 stories, both centering on affluent Parisian women. Both focus on the relationship of a woman in her mid forties and her early 20s daughter. Parents in these circumstances will see the reality behind these stories.
"Dimanche" ("Sunday") is a fascinating multilayered story centering on the relationship of a 45 year old woman to her 20 year old daughter. I was brought to mind the works of Colette as I read this for its very perceptive view of the mirrors in which we see each other. The daughter is having an affair with an older obviously married man and her mother sees heartbreak coming and her own past in the emotions of her daughter. The off stage father has been having casual affairs for years. The daughter sees her mother as beyond romantic feelings due to her age and jealous of her youth while the mother secretly yearns for passion and knows her daughter is being used and treated as a fool by her lover.
"Those Happy Shores" also centers on the dynamics of a mother - daughter relationship. The daughter is around 20, the mother in her mid-forties. It is much like "Dimanche" in that it centers on the pairs perceptions of each other. The daughter is preparing to go out for an evening with her friends and the mother is put off by their tawdry appearance and mode of attire while the daughter tells her she will be out late and not to worry.
If you want to read these stories, download a sample of Dimanche and Other Stories by Irene Nemirovsky from Amazon.
I really hope to read at least Suite Francaise one day.