purge - sofi oksanenI took a coach across Estonia a few years ago. Towns seemed few and far between, but I caught regular glimpses of cottages nestled in the endless forest, their steeply sloping roofs like wooly hats pulled down against the cold. The action in Purge takes place in what I imagine to be one of those homes. Set in the immediate aftermath of Estonian independence in the early ‘90s, with flashbacks to periods of Soviet and German occupation in the mid 20th Century, it gradually reveals the tragic interplay between geopolitics and the lives of just one affected family. A dark tale of resistance and abuse, of familial jealousy, lust and betrayal, it’s hard to put down.

Translated by Lola Rogers.

Set in a rural village not far from Tallinn, Estonia.

Recommended by @lewisalloyd.