WINNER: Costa Book of the Year 2011
WINNER: 2011 Costa Novel Award
Deep in the heart of Paris its oldest cemetery is, by 1785, overflowing. Its stench hangs in the air, tainting the very breath of those who live nearby. The over-filled graves pop and burst, filling peoples basements with bones and spreading disease across the capital. But the cemeterys roots are embedded deep in the hearts and minds of the people, for whom the graveyard has long provided a backdrop to their daily lives.
Into their midst comes Jean-Baptiste Baratte, a young, provincial engineer charged by the king with demolishing it. At first Baratte sees this as a chance to clear the burden of history. But before long, he begins to suspect that the destruction of the cemetery might be a prelude to his own.
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