Elegantly restored, the house becomes the Museum of Broken Promises. Its cabinets display an extraordinary range of objects, some funny, some tragic or disturbing. Among them is her train ticket from Prague to Vienna, which inspired the collection.
In 1986, when Laure bought the ticket, she was a young au pair in Communist Prague, in love with Tomas, the lead singer of a dissident rock group. But their relationship was overshadowed by the secrets and lies of political tyranny.
Passion, betrayal and a mysterious marionette show combine to enthralling effect in this darkly compelling love story.
In present-day Paris is The Museum of Broken Promises, whose artefacts represents betrayals and lies. Found and curator Laure has been inspired and scarred by her own broken promises (as a young girl she fell in love with Tomas, a dissident musician in communist, mid-1980s Prague). Can she reconcile her past in this riveting read?
Buchan writes of young love with a gorgeous tenderness. Laure watches Tomas play the guitar and becomes “intensely alive . . . stripped of fear and shyness”. We know that their affair will end with a broken promise, but we do not know how. Laure’s employers — Communist Party members called Petr and Eva — become ever more sinister. There are traitors among Tomas’s friends, and state goons watch Laure and Tomas as they kiss in doorways.
In modern Paris a young journalist arrives to write a feature on the museum. She probes into Laure’s past and the events of that hot, lust-filled summer slowly emerge. The Museum of Broken Promises is enthralling and beautifully written.