The Optimists : When Clem Glass, an experienced photo-journalist, witnesses the grotesque aftermath of a genocidal massacre in central Africa, it is more than he can bear. He returns to London with his faith in humanity, his life derailed. Yet gradually his outlook is undermined by what he observes around him: the kindness of an elderly aunt, the perplexed sincerity of his father, the joyful love between his cousin and her fiancé. Even the irrepressible trickle of goodness in his own heart. Then news arrives that offers Clem the chance to confront the author of his nightmares. In a profoundly affecting, searching novel, Andrew Miller explores how we act in a world where monstrous cruelty co-exists with infinite compassion, and the line between optimism and self-delusion remains perilously thin.