Bronsky, Alina. Scherbenpark (Broken Glass Park). Kiepenheuer & Witsch GmbH, 2008. ISBN 978-3462040302 268 pp. $
This revenge novel opens with a Russian girl who wants to murder her step-father, who killed her mother and her mother’s boyfriend two years ago. Many details of European life for a Russian immigrant living in Germany are translatable to an American audience, and this becomes a fast-paced coming-of-age story.
One of the things I really liked about Broken Glass Park was the voice of 17-year-old Sascha, who is tough and vulnerable and funny and passionate and insightful and moody, within short time frames. Sascha has had a lot of turmoil and upheaval in her life. The story is engaging, and I found the book easy to read in one sitting, perhaps because there are no chapter breaks. I wasn’t wowed by the structure and I sometimes found the stream of consciousness style unfocused. There was a lot of information delivered the first 20 pages or so and at times the narrative felt overwhelming–too much going on, too many characters introduced, characters dropped in favor of advancing other characters–BUT this style felt right for the book.
Recommended for larger collections.