The Museum of Broken Promises

by Elizabeth Buchan

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Featured image for The Museum of Broken Promises

Not an author that I’d come across before but I totally judged a book by it’s title (and a bit by it’s cover) and liked it.

It’s mostly Laure’s story, she’s half French, half English and, in 1986, goes to work as an au-pair with a family in Paris who then relocate back to Prague where she starts a relationship with a Czech musician. The book is mostly split between what happened then in Prague, and modern day Paris where Laure lives now and runs the titular museum, with a few parts taking place in between in 1990s Berlin.

It uses the mechanic of telling you the ending (of one part of the story at least) in the beginning, which means it’s not about what’s going to happen but how and why, and I mostly liked that since those are the more interesting questions. And the tangled up timeline in the book means that you learn why some things are significant after they’ve happened which is also fun to read.

I enjoyed the book on the whole but found it too long on uninteresting details in some places, and yet there were odd corners of it that were delightful and I wanted to know more about. I didn’t feel I ever figured out what was really important in the book but I prefer not quite figuring everything out to having things explicitly explained so that’s ok with me.