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Not The New York Times: "Definitely worth reading. "

Date: May 11 2010

I just finished reading Alina Bronsky's Broken Glass Park on my co-worker's recommendation.

While I didn't like it quite as much as he did, this book was well done and a very good read.

Seventeen year old Sascha is the narrator. A Russian immigrant living in Germany, Sascha starts out by telling us that she wants to kill Vadim, the man who murdered her mother. She contemplates ways to kill him, imagining his suffering. She worries about her young siblings, and navigates the rough Russian projects they live in, while trying to make sense of her own life.

After seeing an article in the newspaper about Vadim, she heads down to the newspaper offices to have it out with the writer of the article. During that encounter, she meets Volker, and sees him as a potential way to escape the pain of her life.

Sascha doesn't always make the best choices - occasionally ending up in Broken Glass Park, an aptly named area of town known for drug use, violence and sexual encounters. Sascha is a fighter, and a compelling protagonist. I was rooting for her all the way through the book.

There are no chapters in the book, and almost no line breaks. It almost reads like a novella. At first I was a little put off by not having any chapters, but I think it keeps the story moving and adds to the feel of the book, a little bit urgent and struggle-y.
Definitely worth reading.

Read the review on NotTheNewYorkTimes