Excerpt from Broken Glass Park by Alina Bronsky, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Broken Glass Park

by Alina Bronsky

Broken Glass Park
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Mar 2010, 366 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Elena Spagnolie

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


“That’s just an old system my cousin was getting rid of,” Melanie said. “It doesn’t have any of the features a stereo has to have these days.”

After lunch we went back into her spotless room. She turned on the stereo. I found a stack of old teen magazines and started reading them. Melanie spun herself around on her desk chair and chatted on the phone with another friend. Considering we didn’t have anything to say to each other, we made good use of the time. That evening Melanie’s mother drove me home. When we got there she looked around, unsettled, and insisted on taking me to the door to make sure I got home to my mother.

But my mother wasn’t home. I had a key.

“You should come over again,” said Melanie’s mother, patting my cheek.

“Thanks,” I said, thinking to myself, Not until there’s a new stack of magazines.

After that I looked at our apartment in a different light.I pictured spotless Melanie in her pressed jean jacket taking the elevator with me. I pictured the way she would look around, fidgeting, like her mother. The way the scent of her soap would fight with the smell of urine in the hallway—and lose. I pictured her coming through the door of our apartment, catching sight of the couch we’d found discarded by a dumpster and the little table in front of it that would collapse if you even looked at it too hard. Books on the floor. The little TV and stack of videocassettes—even back then nobody had VHS tapes anymore. The cabinet with no door. My stepfather’s socks drying on the radiator. My brother’s sweatpants draped over a chair. We had five chairs, each one different because we’d found them separately, each left out on the street the night before a heavy garbage pickup.

We always ate in the kitchen, except when we had guests over for a party—in which case we had to clear out the main room to be able to fit extra chairs borrowed from neighbors. Our kitchen table was usually covered with jars of jam, letters, postcards, half-empty bottles, and old newspapers. We had twenty plates; none matched any of the others. My mother had bought them all individually at the flea market.

We didn’t have a dishwasher back then, and sometimes all twenty plates would stack up in the sink before my mother washed them up. Sometimes I did it, but not very often. And never when Vadim told me to—the same Vadim who left the frying pan crusted with the remains of his fried eggs. Though when his foul mouth started muttering my mother’s name menacingly, I cleaned up real fast.


I hate men.

Anna says good men do exist. Nice, friendly men who cook and help clean up and who earn money. Men who want to have children and give gifts and plan vacations. Who wear clean clothes, don’t drink, and even look halfway decent. Where on earth are they, I ask. She says they’re out there—if not in our town then in Frankfurt. But she doesn’t know any personally, unless you count people she’s seen on TV.

That’s why I always repeat the words my mother used to say: I don’t need a man.

Of course, though she always said that, she never stuck to it. Ever since I decided to kill Vadim, I’ve felt a lot better. I also promised Anton, my nine-year-old little brother, that I’d do it. And I think he feels better now, too. When I told him, he opened his eyes wide and asked, breathless, “How are you going to do it?”

I acted as if I had everything under control. “There’s a thousand ways I could do it,” I told him. “I could poison him, suffocate him, strangle him, stab him, push him off a balcony, run him over in a car.”

“You don’t have a car,” said my brother Anton—and he was right.

Excerpted from Broken Glass Park by Alina Bronsky. Copyright © 2010 by Alina Bronsky. Excerpted by permission of Europa Editions. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: A Great Reckoning
    A Great Reckoning
    by Louise Penny
    Canadian author Louise Penny is back with her twelfth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...
  • Book Jacket: When Breath Becomes Air
    When Breath Becomes Air
    by Paul Kalanithi
    When Breath Becomes Air is the autobiography of Paul Kalanithi, written in the time period between ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.