A Novel Source: "A truly powerful book."
Date: Apr 26 2010
I have to admit Broken Glass Park was not an easy read. It was gritty, raw and real. There were moments when I just had to set the book aside and go do something else ~ why? Sascha is the storyteller and the one I wanted to just take in my arms and rock her like a little baby although she was a 17 year old girl. She had been left to deal with the aftermath of her mother's murder by her step-father in front of her younger brother and sister and herself in an apartment very similar to what she compared to Eminem's 8 mile trailer.
Sascha's voice - she was a REAL teenager; what I remember being like when I was a teenager
the quotes! I love quotes anyways and Sascha had some that blew me away with her wisdom!
The realism. Rarely do I read a book about child abuse or spousal abuse that is written with honesty, grit, and blunt reality like this one. As I've said before, I worked for 15 years with child abuse victims, reading all kinds of books about the subject, and this is one I will recommend.
i'm not sure if it was a translation problem or if this was just how the book was but there's transition issues; sometimes i was not sure who was speaking, who the new person in the picture was. For example she meets a college guy named Volker who has the same name as the newspaper editor who she sees as her savior. With the college Volker he just suddenly appears and I didn't know who he was. Perhaps it was to show how messed up Sascha was in her mental state at the moment but as a reader I had trouble catching up.
Some things were left hanging ~ will there be a sequel? will I find out what happened to everybody? both Volkers? Felix? Sascha? Ack! I want to know!
I did look up this one drink that is mentioned in the book. Let me also say Alina Bronsky was born in Russia and grew up in Germany from the time she was 13 until she was an adult. Broken Glass Park was first published in Germany. With that said, there is a drink mentioned in the book that is forced down the college Volker's throat in a tough scene IN broken glass park. The drink is called "sailor's tea." I've included a bit below from what I found on a website that was not written in Russian or German! Everything I read warned strongly how this drink can KILL. Very scary! I knew those Russians had strong stomachs and the ability to drink anyone under the table but tea that kills?!? by the way, this tea is often mixed with VODKA! Geez can it get any stronger!?!
I liked this book overall. I think it reflects how children and youth have to cope when there is not a support system around and their lives fall apart, literally. This book is definitely not for younger teens as it contains strong sexual content and physical violence. I WILL and DO recommend this book to my child abuse victims assistance workers and the older teenagers. I also recommend this book to anyone who wants to know what it's like to live in the Russian Ghetto of Germany. A truly powerful book. 4.25 Quills!