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LookatmyBooks: "The story of a marvelous reawakening"

Date: Apr 21 2010

The heroine of this engrossing and thoroughly contemporary novel is seventeen-year-old Sascha Naimann. Sascha was born in Moscow, but now lives in Berlin with her two younger siblings and, until recently, her mother. She is precocious, independent, street-wise, and, since her stepfather murdered her mother several months ago, an orphan. Unlike most of her companions, she doesn’t dream of escaping from the tough housing project where they live. Sascha’s dreams are different: she longs to write a novel about her beautiful but naïve mother and she wants to end the life of Vadim, the man who brutally murdered her. Sascha’s story, as touching as any in recent literature, is that of a young woman consumed by two competing impulses, one celebrative and redemptive, the other murderous. In a voice that is candid and self-confident, at times childlike and at others all too mature, Sascha relates the universal and timeless struggle between those forces that can destroy us, and those that lead us back from sorrow and pain to life itself. Germany’s Freundin Magazine called Broken Glass Park “a gripping portrayal of life on the margins of society.” But Sascha’s story does not remain on the margins; it goes straight to the heart of what it means to be young, alive, and conscious in these first decades of the new century.

"A prose that is self-assured, precise, and lean. Youthful, fast-paced, at times sad, never sugarcoated. Broken Glass Park tells the story of a marvelous reawakening." - Moderne Zeiten {from the back cover}

Before I can even discuss this book, I have to point out the quote above that is found on the back cover of this book. I could not have described this book any more perfectly!

I was so pleasantly surprised and moved by this book. I never imagined that I would sit down to read this book, and be so engrossed that I had to finish it in one sitting. Sascha is a great narrator, I don't want to say she's relatable but I really felt her need to kill her step-father and I actually wanted her to do it. That's how great Bronsky's writing and Tim Mohr's translation are.

The pace was fast, but it was easy to follow along with Sascha's adventures and her different moods. As Moderne Zeiten says, this story was never sugarcoated. At times, I was shocked by the raw honesty. I had a few moments of disbelief throughout my reading because some parts were so raw that I had a hard time reading them.

I would recommend this book to everyone! Honestly, that is how much I enjoyed this book. It's beautifully written and translated and I'm very excited to see what Alina Bronsky has in store for the future. This is one book that is going on my re-read shelf {a sacred location!}