Saturday, December 20, 2014

Pure (Andrew Miller)

Andrew Miller's Pure isn't about the most pleasant subject matter in the world, so if you have a weak stomach, stay away. In fact, last week we discussed it in a club at the local bookstore, and we got some pretty confused glances from the people shopping around us.

A few years before the deadly French Revolution, Jean-Baptiste Baratte is summoned to the Palace of Versailles with a strange request. He is asked by the minister to oversee the destruction of Paris's oldest cemetery, with the bones to be brought elsewhere. A motley cast of characters adds much to Baratte's story, and Miller's prose is wonderfully descriptive as he transports you to Paris during this dangerous time period.

Why the 2 rating then? I felt extremely let down by the unanswered questions (there are quite a lot). Delving into them would give away too much of the story, but there are so many subplots beyond the cemetery that leave you hanging with questions. This was not a quick read for me, and after spending so much time on it, I was left very unsatisfied.