I had to keep reminding myself while reading this book that it was written right at that time
, i.e., during the first two years of the German occupation of France. Nemirovsky had planned three more sections in addition to "Storm in June" (during and immediately following the German invasion, as most Parisians evacuated the city) and "Dolce" (focused on one small town's occupation.) Sadly, in mid-1942 she was arrested and sent to a concentration camp, where she was put to death in August of that year.
For me, the most moving parts were the appendices, which consist of her notes on the book and correspondence from 1939 to the mid-1940s, regarding the increasing constraints under which she and her family were living, her husband's attempts to find her after her arrest and get her released from the camp, and briefly following the woman who cared for their two children after Nemirovsky's husband Michael Epstein was himself transported and executed.