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Purge

by Sofi Oksanen

When Aliide Truu discovers a bruised and bedraggled young girl asleep in her garden her natural suspicion gives way to her inclination for compassion. Hearing the voices of both Aliide and Zara we discover that the two are linked by a secret and shameful past. This book gives an uncomfortable glimpse into a world where suspicion and fear are everyday emotions - it's hard to believe this is the twentieth century.

Extract

... this girl's Estonian had a different flavour, something older, yellow and moth-eaten. There was a strange smell of death in it ...
'Who were you with?' Aliide finally asked.
The girl's lips trembled for a moment before she mumbled that she had been travelling with her husband.
Her husband? So she was married? Or was she a decoy for thieves? For a criminal decoy, she was rather incoherent. Or was that the idea, to rouse sympathy? That no one would close their door on a poor girl in the state she was in. Were the thieves after Aliide's belongings ...
Translated by Lola Rogers

Parallels

The Homestead by Rosanna Lippi
The Seige by Helen Dunmore
 

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