Was Nemirovsky, then, the disciple and descendent of Flaubert, Chekhov and Mansfield she’s said to be, or an opportunistic writer of purple sagas? What makes us Anglophones prefer her to other Parisian writers of her time, émigrés or otherwise, such as – let’s say – her exact contemporary, the stunning Berberova, who only wrote in Russian; or the patrician, flippant, and very imaginative Louise de Vilmorin? The truth is that even some of the most sophisticated readers today are drawn to Nemirovsky’s heady combination of storytelling dexterity, subject matter (Wartime France! High finance! Russian émigrés in gay Paris!) along with the author’s heartrending biography. […] Once the definitive Nemirovsky canon has been established, this novel should be included in that list, not least because it gathers together the many strands of her expatriate fictions: in the words of one of her French appraisers, it is her “Dickensian autobiography”.