Megan's Reviews > Purge

Purge by Sofi Oksanen
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's review
Mar 20, 11

bookshelves: 5-stars, fiction, historical-fiction
Read from March 11 to 14, 2011

This book is bigger and stronger than it looks. I'm not sure how to do it justice, or even how to describe its place in the genre spectrum: feminist, literary, historical crime fiction, maybe, although that's still all over the spectrum. Purge most poignantly draws attention to the very clear thread between sexual violence and military occupation. It connects big picture violence (war and occupation) with more personal conflict and interpersonal tragedy (who betrays whom, and how, and why; how it becomes so easy for people to use one another). The inhumanity, the dehumanization, present in this book is very, very crushing. And it's additionally difficult, thinking about current world affairs and knowing that things like this are happening now, still.

It's a very dark read, but not exploitative, despite the exploitation the major characters suffer. The main character, Aliide, is complicated, and not knowing what to think of her, not being able to place her in just one box of victim, villain, selfless, selfish, is partly what kept me turning the pages.
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