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Puhdistus by Sofi Oksanen
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Puhdistus (original 2008; edition 2003)

by Sofi Oksanen

Series: Quartet (2)

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1,091927,626 (4)86
Member:Manteli
Title:Puhdistus
Authors:Sofi Oksanen
Info:Werner Soderstrom Os (2003), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
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Purge by Sofi Oksanen (2008)

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» See also 86 mentions

English (45)  Finnish (10)  Spanish (7)  French (7)  Swedish (6)  German (5)  Catalan (4)  Dutch (3)  Danish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Galician (1)  Lithuanian (1)  All languages (92)
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
One night in 1992, Aliide Truu finds what at first glance seems to be a pile of rags in her front yard in Estonia. A closer look reveals that it’s a young woman, bruised and battered. Against all instincts, she goes out and brings the girl in. Zara tells the first of her stories to Aliide; that she’s had a fight with her rich husband. In reality, Zara is running from her pimp, who lied to her in her Vladivostok home, telling her she could go to Germany for job training. He brought her to Germany and made her into a sex slave, controlling her with emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. The shame she feels over this makes her lie to Aliide, sure that she is so disgusting no one would ever help her if they knew. And she wants- needs- Aliide to take her in. They have a connection that Aliide doesn’t know about.

Aliide has secrets of her own. Flashbacks show her living in Estonia as it’s invaded and controlled first by the Fascists and then by the Stalinists. She is ashamed that she was brutally raped as part of an interrogation. She also married a Communist, making the townspeople she grew up with call her a collaborator and shun her. Then there is the matter of what ultimately happened to her brother-in-law, a man she wanted to take from her sister- the sister she had deported via her husband’s contacts. Both women are deeply ashamed to what has been done *to* them.

The ending surprised me. I suppose it shouldn’t have, as Aliide had already shown herself to be a survivor. I thought it was be best ending possible, despite being violent.

It’s a hard book to read. Not because of the writing; the writing flows quickly and fluidly. It’s because the things that happen to the characters are so awful. Oksanen describes the rapes and abuse quite graphically, yet so matter-of-factly that it’s almost surreal; just, well, that happened; let’s keep going. And I think this is because that’s how the people in their situations- and there were and are many- have to deal with it. Just keep going. No time for a screaming fit. These are horrors unimaginable to most of us in the USA, and so many people- whole countries- have endured them. In my opinion, this is a book that should be required reading at some level. There is too much sex and violence for schools in the USA to accept, but it should at least be required in college. ( )
  dark_phoenix54 | May 24, 2015 |
This book was a gift from my SantaThing secret santa, and i have finally got around to reading it. It was Sofi Oksanen's first book that was translated into the English language from Finnish. This is a book that is not easy to read. it is visceral, tragic, and gut-wrenching. The book is set around the second world war, and during the narrative it skips ahead to 1992 and then back to 1944. It is set Estonia, and it tells the tale of how Estonia suffered during and after the second world war. During the war, the Germans occupied this country, and it was very difficult for the native peoples to try to live under their tyrannical rule. After the war it became a Russian country and the Russians brought more pain and misery to the mostly rural population in this country. The Estonians gained their independence from Russia in 1991. The story is told from the perspective of Aliide who lived through both occupations. When we first see her in 1992, she is an old woman who carries around a tremendous burden of secrets from her long life. She discovers a bruised and battered young girl at the gate to her property, and in a moment of weakness, she takes her in and cleans her up and feeds her. We see that Aliide and the young girl called Zara share a past and a history, and how and why becomes brutally clear to us. Both have been through hell and both used terribly by brutish men. This is where the reading gets difficult as we find out what each of these women have suffered. The book is gut-wrenching and forces us as readers to think about how far we would go to save ourselves and our loved ones if faced with the realities that each of these women have experienced. Can we judge their choices harshly when we realize that very difficult decisions have to be made in order to survive? No one in this book is unscathed by the harsh realities and horrors of war. The book is extremely well-written, and I'm sure we have not heard the end of Sofi Oksanen. ( )
  Romonko | Mar 7, 2015 |
Umfang: 6 CD, 456 Minuten.
Beeindruckend wie Sofi Oksanen die Geschichte der beiden Frauen - der alten estnischen Bäuerin Aliida und der jungen russischen Zwangsprostituierten Zara - mit der Geschichte Estlands zwischen 1939 und 1992 verbindet. Immer tiefer wird man in die Lebenswelten der beiden Frauen hineingezogen, erfährt von ihren Erfahrungen männlicher Gewalt und den Motiven für ihre Handlungen, die keineswegs uneigennützig, mitunter sogar sehr berechnend sind.
Die Inszenierung im Hörbuch, die den beiden Frauen und dem Briefeschreiber Hans je eine eigene Stimme geben, erhöht das Einfühlungsvermögen in diese komplexen Wirklichkeiten.
  libsum | Apr 16, 2014 |
Beautifully written but dark and disturbing. It reminded me in style a lot of the 'Dragon Tattoo' series. I finished not quite understanding what had happened though - which left me thinking I need to go back and read it more closely - especially the chapters about Aliide's experiences the Soviet occupation. ( )
  stevedore | Dec 9, 2013 |
With a title like "Purge," I expected the book to end with some big emotional catharsis. Instead, it just ends, and you're left to wonder how the two main characters dealt with the turn of events. I don't expect everything to have a happy ending, but this doesn't even feel like it has an ending. The characters tiptoe around the main topic for most of the book, and then instead of showing you how they behave when everything comes out into the light of day, the author just says, basically, "And then Zara left." Disappointing to say the least. ( )
  akswede | Oct 14, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
”Utrensning” är en helt igenom mörk roman, men med en konstnärlig lyskraft som förbluffar.
added by Jannes | editDn, Jonas Thente (Feb 2, 2010)
 
added by annek49 | editSvD, Elise Karlsson (Jan 29, 2010)
 
added by annek49 | editNRK, Marta Norheim (Jan 28, 2010)
 
added by annek49 | editDagsavisen, Turid Larsen (Jan 27, 2010)
 

» Add other authors (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sofi Oksanenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Orlov, JaninaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
seinillä on korvat ja korvissa kauniit korvarenkaat

Paul-Eerik Rummo
Dedication
First words
Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
toukokuu 1949

Vapaan Viron puolesta!

On yritettävä kirjoittaa muutama sananen, jotta järki pysyisi päässä eikä mieli murtuisi.
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Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please do not combine the novel and theatrical/play versions of Puhdistus/Puhastus/Purge/Utrenskning/Zuivering. These are separate and distinct works.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
An international sensation, Sofi Oksanen’s award-winning novel Purge is a breathtakingly suspenseful tale of two women dogged by their own shameful pasts and the dark, unspoken history that binds them.

When Aliide Truu, an older woman living alone in the Estonian countryside, finds a disheveled girl huddled in her front yard, she suppresses her misgivings and offers her shelter. Zara is a young sex-trafficking victim on the run from her captors, but a photo she carries with her soon makes it clear that her arrival at Aliide’s home is no coincidence. Survivors both, Aliide and Zara engage in a complex arithmetic of suspicion and revelation to distill each other’s motives; gradually, their stories emerge, the culmination of a tragic family drama of rivalry, lust, and loss that played out during the worst years of Estonia’s Soviet occupation.

Sofi Oksanen establishes herself as one the most important voices of her generation with this intricately woven tale, whose stakes are almost unbearably high from the first page to the last. Purge is a fiercely compelling and damning novel about the corrosive effects of shame, and of life in a time and place where to survive is to be implicated.
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Aliide Truu, an older woman guilty of crimes during the Soviet occupation of Estonia, takes in a young woman, Zara, who is trying to escape a sex-trafficking ring, and as they work through their suspicion, the two rediscover a tragic family history from the past.… (more)

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