The Museum Of Broken Promises by Elizabeth Buchan – Book Review


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.



Laure lives in Paris and is the curator of The Museum Of Broken Promises. People arrive to donate items, a baby shoe, a biscuit tin and more, each of which have stories behind them.

Stories of betrayals, lost loves, lies and upsets in their lives and by donating these treasures and their memorIes they find a peace, a letting go of the past. Laure has donated her own item, a train ticket.

Told in two timelines, the present and 1986, it tells of the political turmoil in Prague in the 80’s, the harshness of the communist regime and the people who lived it.

It’s also a love story with romance, fear, loss and heartbreak.

Beautifully written with a real sense of time and place. I found this to be haunting and unforgettable. A must read.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.




Elizabeth Buchan was a fiction editor at Random House before leaving to write full time. Her novels include the prizewinning Consider The Lily, international bestseller, Revenge Of The Middle Aged Woman and The New Mrs Clifton. Buchan’s short stories are broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in magazines. She reviews for The Sunday Times and Daily Mail and has chaired the Betty Trask and Desmond Elliot Literary prizes.


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