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Library Journal: "A strong voice that’s simultaneously biting and accessible"

Date: Mar 17 2010

This debut novel, which was nominated for the prestigious Ingeborg Bachmann Prize, reveals a strong voice that’s simultaneously biting and accessible. Its narrator, precocious 17-year-old Sacha, lives in a housing project in Berlin populated by Russian immigrants. She’s at the top of the class in her exclusive private school and has two goals in life: to kill her stepfather and to write a book about her mother tentatively titled “The Story of an Idiotic, Redheaded Woman Who Would Still Be Alive if Only She Had Listened to Her Smart, Oldest Daughter.” This modern coming-of-age story follows Sacha as she ventures further afield. It is unfortunate that Bronsky’s depiction of the immigrant community veers into stereotype because, as an émigré herself, she is uniquely situated to critique her fellow travelers. Additionally, while translator Mohr’s prose is pitch-perfect, the way his notes are inserted in the text distracts from the flow of the narrative. VERDICT This is the kind of book one expects to see on high school reading lists. It faces difficult issues head-on, and its edginess will appeal to teens.

By Karen Walton Morse

Note: this review refers to the uncorrected galley of Broken Glass Park. There are no distracting translator's notes in the finished copy. Library Journal will print a correction in the next weeks.