If you only read one book in 2012, read this. It’s seldom that I think to myself ‘This is going straight into my top 20 list’, but this one has. It’s a beautifully written historical novel that effortlessly uses France in 1785 as a background, and still manages to paint real characters on top. The basic premise of the story – the emptying of a giant burial ground and destruction of its associated church – is a bit gruesome in places, but no more so than the depiction of normal life in those days.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found myself admiring the way it flowed evenly over difficult times and difficult decisions. I confess I hadn’t heard of Andrew Miller before, but I shall have to search out his other novels to see if they are anywhere as good as this one.