THE MUSEUM OF BROKEN PROMISES
Paris, today. The Museum of Broken Promises is a place of wonder and sadness, hope and loss. Every object in the museum has been donated – a cake tin, a wedding veil, a baby’s shoe. And each represent a moment of grief or terrible betrayal. The museum is a place where people come to speak to the ghosts of the past and, sometimes, to lay them to rest. Laure, the owner and curator, has also hidden artefacts from her own painful youth amongst the objects on display.
Prague, 1985. Recovering from the sudden death of her father, Laure flees to Prague. But life behind the Iron Curtain is a complex thing: drab and grey yet charged with danger. Laure cannot begin to comprehend the dark, political currents that run beneath the surface of this communist city. Until, that is, she meets a young dissident musician. Her love for him will have terrible and unforeseen consequences.
It is only years later, having created the museum, that Laure can finally face up to her past and celebrate the passionate love which has directed her life.
Elizabeth Buchan began her career as a blurb writer at Penguin Books after graduating from the University of Kent with a double degree in English and History. She moved on to become a fiction editor at Random House before leaving to write full time. Her novels include the prizewinning Consider the Lily – reviewed in the Independent as ‘a gorgeously well written tale: funny, sad and sophisticated’.
A subsequent novel, Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman became an international bestseller and was made into a CBS Primetime Drama. She received letters from all over the world after it was published and people still come up at book events to say how much the novel affected them.
Later novels included The Second Wife, Separate Beds, Daughters. After talking to some amazing women who had been employed by SOE, she wrote the Danish wartime resistance story, I Can’t Begin to Tell You, which was reviewed as ‘nerve-jinglingly engrossing’ by the Sunday Times. The New Mrs Clifton is based on a situation that happened in her own family after the war – only in reverse. Her latest novel is The Museum of Broken Promises which Marion Keyes has called ‘a gem of a book’.
Elizabeth Buchan’s short stories are broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in magazines. She reviews for the Sunday Times and the Daily Mail, and has chaired the Betty Trask and Desmond Elliot literary prizes. She was a judge for the Whitbread First Novel Award and for the 2014 Costa Novel Award . She is a patron of the Guildford Book Festival and co-founder of The Clapham Book Festival.