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The Optimists by Andrew Miller

In The Optimists, Clem Glass is a photojournalist who falls apart after taking photos of the aftermath of a Rwandan massacre in a church. He goes back to London and tries to blunt his pain with debauchery, and then seeks out others who have suffered similar trauma. His sister, an art historian, suffers a relapse into mental illness, so he rescues her from the hospital and takes her to his aunt's cottage in Somerset. There he finds distance, time, and family begin to heal his wounds, but when he discovers that the mastermind behind the massacre is in Brussels, he feels he must go there to confront him. In confronting him, though, he finds the tables turned on himself. Andrew Miller's novel has received mixed reviews with the Observer saying, "This is a profound novel, meditative, not conclusive, offering no simplistic answers to what Miller calls 'the vertigo of self-knowledge'. Yet despite the absence of an easy happy ending, it leaves the reader with a feeling of courage and, in the face of so much evidence to the contrary, hope."
Buy The Optimists by Andrew Miller
The Observer review by Stephanie Merritt

The Telegraph review by Theo Tait

London Times review by Russell Celyn Jones

The Telegraph review by Kate Chisholm

Seattle Times review by Michael Upchurch

The Guardian review by James Buchan

Andrew Miller
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