"Les Rivages Heureux" ("Those Happy Shores") also deals with the loss of youth, contrasting a young woman's happiness in her love affair with the plight of an aging tart she meets in a café as she waits for her lover on New Year's Eve. Although, Christiane, the young lady in this story, seems much more worldly wise than Nadine, the naïve young lady of "Dimanche," the suggestion is fairly clear that age will be as unkind to her as it seems to be for everyone else, be they mothers or tarts.
In "Fraternite" ("Brotherhood"), an older Frenchman, paradoxically named Christian Rabinovitch, who has spent his life fleeing from his Jewish heritage, meets a poor old Jewish man at a train station. Christian is on his way to a weekend with gentile friends whose daughter his son would like to marry. Christian has some qualms about the marriage, both from his own pride and his fear that though friends they may well reject a Jewish suitor for their daughter. The old Jew at the station functions as a doppelganger, evoking in Christian the brotherhood of the title. This is quite an interesting story given the charge of self hating Jew sometimes leveled at Némirovsky.
"La Femme de don Juan" ("Don Juan's Wife") takes the form of a long letter written by a dying servant to the daughter of an old employer revealing her mother's dark secret. Le Sortilege ("The Spell") is the story set in Russia. It is a story about an adult relationship told through the eyes of a young girl who really doesn't understand what is happening. Liens du Sang ("Flesh and Blood"), the longest story in the volume, examines family relationships as a pride of older children gather together to deal with their elderly mother's sickness and their own hopes and fears, jealousies and pettiness. In Le Spectateur ("The Spectator"), an aging dilettante from a neutral country trying to leave France at the beginning of the war, discovers that neutrality is not necessarily going to keep one safe. Each story focuses like a laser beam on the vagaries of the human condition, and the ironies that abound in human relations.