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Puhdistus by Sofi Oksanen

Puhdistus (original 2008; edition 2003)

by Sofi Oksanen

Series: Quartet (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,224966,513 (3.97)94
Authors:Sofi Oksanen
Info:Werner Soderstrom Os (2003), Paperback
Collections:Your library

Work details

Purge by Sofi Oksanen (2008)

  1. 20
    Stalinin lehmät by Sofi Oksanen (2810michael)
  2. 10
    Kätilö by Katja Kettu (interference)
    interference: Another northern country, another tragic love. Though a story how war and occupation affects the life of a strong woman.
  3. 00
    Baltische zielen lotgevallen in Estland, Letland en Litouwen by Jan Brokken (marieke54)

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» See also 94 mentions

English (47)  Finnish (10)  Spanish (7)  French (7)  Swedish (7)  German (5)  Catalan (4)  Dutch (3)  Danish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Galician (1)  Lithuanian (1)  All (95)
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
I read this on the recommendation of my local bookshop when I was going to spend a long weekend in Estonia. It's a gripping read, but I did get slightly confused by it all by the end and felt that it kind of petered out. However it was really great to bring to life the 20th century history of Estonia whilst i was there. I visited the Museum of the Occupations and KGB museum and other places connected to the Soviet presence in Estonia, but reading this book alongside gave it a narrative and made it all easier to place in context. So, a good read anyway but definitely recommended if you're planning to visit Estonia. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Nov 27, 2016 |
2.5 stars

I don't remember when I've hated the main character as much as Aliide! And I don't think we need 3-4 pages to read about killing a fly. I can't say what exactly annoyed me about the writing but I just wasn't fan of it.

It started really slow and I almost fell asleep but it got better. I don't think I would have been this disappointed if it wasn't so overhyped. ( )
  Elysianfield | Nov 16, 2016 |
I found this book extremely slow which was compounded by the large amounts of unnecessary detail throughout. I didn't engage with the characters, in fact Aliide was totally unlikeable. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jan 23, 2016 |
A thought provoking insight into the effects of brutality on the lives of two Estonian women. Aliide herself is subtly and convincingly portrayed, other characters are much more lightly sketched. 15 July 2015. ( )
  alanca | Jul 16, 2015 |
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. ( )
1 vote lauriebrown54 | May 24, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (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)
Renselse er rystende, uafrystelig og vanvittigt god. Men den tager tid at komme sig over. Hvis man overhovedet kan.
added by 2810michael | editBerlingske Tidende

» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Oksanen, Sofiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Orlov, JaninaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rainò, NicolaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The walls have ears, and the ears have beautiful earrings.

- Paul-Eerik Rummo
First words
MAY 1949

Free Estonia!

I have to try to write a few words to keep some sense in my head and not let my mind break down.
Last words
(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)

(summary from another edition)

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