Book review: The Museum of Broken Promises

By Elizabeth Buchan
Published by Corvus

Synopsis: Paris, today. The Museum of Broken Promises is a place of wonder and sadness, hope and loss. Every object in the museum has been donated - a cake tin, a wedding veil, a baby's shoe. And each represent a moment of grief or terrible betrayal. The museum is a place where people come to speak to the ghosts of the past and, sometimes, to lay them to rest. Laure, the owner and curator, has also hidden artefacts from her own painful youth amongst the objects on display. 

Prague, 1985. Recovering from the sudden death of her father, Laure flees to Prague. But life behind the Iron Curtain is a complex thing: drab and grey yet charged with danger. Laure cannot begin to comprehend the dark, political currents that run beneath the surface of this communist city. Until, that is, she meets a young dissident musician. Her love for him will have terrible and unforeseen consequences. 

It is only years later, having created the museum, that Laure can finally face up to her past and celebrate the passionate love which has directed her life.

How did this book end up in my hands? I read a serialisation of this novel via The Pigeonhole app.

Was it a page-turner? It took me two months to read this novel due to a newborn baby who I just couldn’t stop staring at! Under different circumstances, the book wouldn’t have lasted very long.

Did the book meet my expectations? I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was intrigued by the title and I am so happy I chose to read it despite the lack of time and the sleep deprivation! The beauty of the language made people and places come to life. I can’t wait to go to Berlin and Prague to feel further connected to the story of Laure and all the other characters in the book. 

Three words to describe it. Poignant. Beautiful. Delicate.

Do I like the cover? Love it! So simple and yet so evocative and elegant.

Have I read any other books by the same author? I haven’t but for some strange reason I keep thinking I have. Perhaps it’s because I felt instantly familiar with the author’s writing style. Very strange!


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