The Mirador: Dreamed Memories of Irene Nemirovsky by her Daughter - Elisabeth Gille Elisabeth Gille was only five years old when her mother, Irene Nemirovsky, was taken away to Auschwitz. She never saw her mother again, and had almost no concrete memories of her. She wrote The Mirador in the first person, as if she were Irene telling her own life story. The result is a work that often reads more like a combination of autobiography and history book than a conventional novel. The book is divided into two parts, with Part I being the stronger of the two in terms of readability. Part I covers Irene's early life in Russia, the family's flight to France in the wake of the Revolution, and several years in France living among other Russian emigres. I've always been fascinated by the history of Russia in the early 1900s, so it was especially interesting for me to learn of the lifestyle and political leanings of her wealthy Russian Jewish family. I could see the parallels in the Nemirovsky family's plight with that of the family in Irene's short work of fiction, Snow in Autumn. Part II jumps forward in time to World War II, when Irene is a married mother of two daughters, living in rural France. The contrast between her previous life of privilege and her wartime reduced circumstances really stands out. She seems to have clung to the attitudes of the privileged, not believing she would ever be a victim of the Holocaust because of who she was. She had been encouraged by her father and others to go to America long before it was too late, but she was almost scornful of those admonishments. I felt there was a stylistic change between Parts I and II, making Part II a little weaker in narrative flow, although certainly not any less interesting in the particulars of Irene's life story.The most compelling writing in the book is in the snippets of memory tacked on to the end of each chapter, where we see Elisabeth first as a young girl and then a young woman, living a life overshadowed by the early loss of her mother and the subsequent trauma of the war. [4.5 stars]