Les Innocents

Pure by Andrew Miller won the 2011 Costa Best Novel Award.  After reading it, I know why.

This is fictional novel set in Paris in 1785.  The main character Jean-Baptiste is an engineer with a grim mission.  Instead of building the bridges he dreams of, he has been commissioned by the Parisian government the gruesome task of excavating a cemetery filled with years of stacked human remains which are poisoning the city’s water and earth.

At first I did not know if I would be able to even read this book.  The thought alone sickened me, but once I got into it, I found it difficult to put down.  The novel is so well-written that I ended-up enjoying it.  The characters are very clearly defined and believable.  Vivid descriptions of life and people living in Paris in 1785 are beautifully orchestrated.  This is a novel I highly recommend.

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About dianeledet

Professional Writing Consultant, Graduate of DePaul University School for New Learning 2008
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2 Responses to Les Innocents

  1. Erin Harris says:

    Great blog–I’ll definitely be checking this book out.

    • dianeledet says:

      I was watching a PBS show about Paris recently and realized how much I learned from this book about Paris history. I think it is a great novel! Let me know if you do as well after reading it.

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