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.