Sunday, June 13, 2010

Broken Glass Park

By Alina Bronsky
Translated from the German by Tim Mohr
Europa Editions
Original in German printed in 2008
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-933372-96-9
221 pages

Sascha is not your normal teenager. Having been born in Russia but now living in Berlin, Germany
required learning a new language, culture, and trying to assimilate into the everyday life. Sascha
is additional blessed, or cursed, with an exceptional intelligence that separates her from others.
Another issue for the immigrants is the poverty that they experienced while living in the Russian Ghetto
in Berlin is quite similar to life in the inner cities in this country.

When her stepfather murders her mother, Sascha is horrified by the crime, the loss, and the fear of also
losing her half-brother and half-sister to social workers. Fortunately, her step-father’s cousin, Maria,
comes to take over the position of parenting. Unfortunately, Sascha is too intelligent, detached, and
obsessed with killing her step-father to allow anyone to have any influence over her.

Feeling frustrated about a news story regarding how her step-father is changing and has regrets, Sascha
approaches the news’ source. Volker Trebur is an editor who had met Sascha’s mother and wants to
help. Volker invites her to spend the night and Sascha quickly enjoys the advantages and wealth that
she had never experienced before. Added to Volker is also his teenaged -son who is magnetically
attracked to her.

BROKEN GLASS PARK is an excellent photograph into the life of this brilliant teen who wants to cared for
and valued. Sascha’s knack for survival and always landing on her feet makes her a wonderful, but
realistic heroine. Her courage in living everyday life is the hope and the encouragement which is the
motivation for the novel. The characterization is outstanding and the pacing is fast.

My only complaint is that the author uses a pen-name. With such a wonderful debut novel, why
hide? I definitely want to read more by this author, whoever they may be.

With any book that is translated, there needs to be consideration about the original story and the skills
of the translator. BROKEN GLASS PARK is an exceptional novel that literally haunts your thoughts

Teri Davis June 13, 2010

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