Monday, February 7, 2011

Sofi Oksanen: Purge

PurgeThis very dark novel about Estonian life from the 1930s to the 1990s, especially from the female point of view.

The story pictures two sister, envy that leads to betrayal and the Gulag, failure to communicate that leads to more suffering and ultimate loneliness.

It is interesting to read how the Russian occupation was perceived, and how the communists, both Russian and Estonian, took control of the people.

The connection is then made from the communist oppression machine to the modern day Russian mafia, with many players just changing roles, especially viewing women then and now as disposable. The forced prostitution part is quit graphic,hard to read, it is that painful.

Interesting also the description of Estonian lifestyle in the 1990s: The countryside population is so very poor compared to the Western standard of living, but don't see it that way. Foraging of mushrooms and herbs (for medicinal purposes) is a way of life, a boiled pig ear a nutritious dinner.

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