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WINNER OF THE COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD (2011)
A year of bones, of grave-dirt, relentless work. Of mummified corpses and chanting priests. A year of rape, suicide, sudden death. Of friendship too. Of desire. Of love . . . A year unlike any other he has lived.
Deep in the heart of Paris, its oldest cemetery is, by 1785, overflowing, tainting the very breath of those who live nearby. Into their midst comes Jean-Baptiste Baratte, a young, provincial engineer charged by the king with demolishing it. At first Baratte sees this as a chance to clear the burden of history, a fitting task for a modern man of reason. But before long, he begins to suspect that the destruction of the cemetery might be a prelude to his own.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
One of the finest books I have read in many years.
The French Revolution channelled through an engineer charged with clearing a cemetery in Paris.
Sentences and descriptions at once obvious, brilliant and new in a book of perfect pace and interest.