Summary and book reviews of Broken Glass Park by Alina Bronsky

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

Book Summary

An engrossing and thoroughly contemporary novel on what it means to be young, alive, and conscious in these first decades of the new century.

The heroine of this engrossing and thoroughly contemporary novel is seventeen-year-old Sascha Naimann. Sascha was born in Moscow, but now lives in Berlin with her two younger siblings and, until recently, her mother. She is precocious, independent, street-wise, and, since her stepfather murdered her mother several months ago, an orphan.

Unlike most of her companions, she doesn’t dream of escaping from the tough housing project where they live. Sascha’s dreams are different: she longs to write a novel about her beautiful but naïve mother and she wants to end the life of Vadim, the man who brutally murdered her.

Sascha’s story, as touching as any in recent literature, is that of a young woman consumed by two competing impulses, one celebrative and redemptive, the other murderous. In a voice that is candid and self-confident, at times childlike and at others all too mature, Sascha relates the universal and timeless struggle between those forces that can destroy us, and those that lead us back from sorrow and pain to life itself.

Germany’s Freundin Magazine called Broken Glass Park “a gripping portrayal of life on the margins of society.” But Sascha’s story does not remain on the margins; it goes straight to the heart of what it means to be young, alive, and conscious in these first decades of the new century.

Excerpt
Broken Glass Park

Sometimes I think I’m the only one in our neighborhood with any worthwhile dreams. I have two, and there’s no reason to be ashamed of either one. I want to kill Vadim. And I want to write a book about my mother. I already have a title: The Story of an Idiotic Redheaded Woman Who Would Still Be Alive If Only She Had Listened to Her Smart Oldest Daughter. Or maybe that’s more of a subtitle. But I have plenty of time to figure it out because I haven’t started writing yet. Most of the people who live around here don’t have any dreams at all. I’ve asked. And the dreams of the ones who do have them are so pathetic that if I were in their shoes I’d rather not have any.

Anna’s dream, for instance, is to marry rich. Her dream man would be a judge in his mid-thirties, and, fingers crossed, not too terribly ugly.

Anna is seventeen, same as I am, and she says she’d get married immediately if a guy ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
About the Book

Sascha Naimann was born in Moscow, but now lives in Berlin with her two younger siblings and, until recently, her mother. She is precocious, independent, street-wise, and, since her stepfather murdered her mother several months ago, an orphan. Unlike most of her companions, she doesn't dream of escaping from the tough housing project where they live. Sascha's dreams are different: she longs to write a novel about her beautiful but naïve mother and she wants to end the life of Vadim, the man who brutally murdered her.

Sascha's story is that of a young woman consumed by two competing impulses, one celebrative and redemptive, the other murderous. In a voice that is candid and self-confident, at...
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!
  • award image

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Alina Bronsky's Broken Glass Park is one of the most thought-provoking works of literature I've read in a long time, and with her remarkable ability to communicate emotion with precision and intent, Bronsky creates just that - literature... Throughout the entire novel, there are no wasted words in Bronsky's writing and her dialogue is both poignant and raw. I am so delighted that this book was translated into English (from the German) and with such a strong debut, I'm looking forward to what Alina Bronsky comes up with next.   (Reviewed by Elena Spagnolie).

Full Review Members Only (618 words).

Media Reviews

Emma Magazine

An explosive debut.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Crisp writing, Sascha's smart and believable voice, and a fabulous translation all make the book vibrant... I highly recommend Broken Glass Park.

Kirkus Reviews

A lively debut novel with a cheerfully cynical narrator...a touching story, both tough and tender.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. [A] riveting debut ... a stark, moving tale of resiliency and survival.

Library Journal

Starred Review. This is the kind of book one expects to see on high school reading lists. It faces difficult issues head-on, and its edginess will appeal to teens.

K├Âlner Stadtrevue

Surprising, poetic, extremely well-crafted ... recalls the narrative art of Zadie Smith.

Der Spiegel

The most exciting new arrival of the season.

Modern Zeiten

Youthful, fast-paced, at times sad, never sugarcoated. Broken Glass Park tells the story of a marvelous reawakening.

Focus (Germany)

The literature industry has a new prodigy! Bronsky is an immense talent

Reader Reviews

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!

Beyond the Book

The Ingeborg Bachmann Prize
Alina Bronsky's debut novel Broken Glass Park was originally published in 2008 by Kiepenheuer & Witsch under the German title Scherbenpark. It was immediately well received and nominated for one of Europe's most prestigious literary awards, the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize.

The Ingeborg Bachmann Prize is named after the beloved Austrian poet and author, Ingeborg Bachmann (1926-1973) who is known internationally for her works Der gute Gott von Manhattan, a radio play, and Malina, a novel. She is recognized as a "woman of letters" as she studied philosophy, German language & literature and psychology, and was a member of the Gruppe 47 a literary association that included Heinrich Böll, Paul Celan, ...

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!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Broken Glass Park, try these:

  • All Tomorrow's Parties jacket

    All Tomorrow's Parties

    by Rob Spillman

    Published 2016

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    In his intimate, entertaining, and heartfelt memoir, Spillman narrates a colorful, music-filled coming-of-age portrait of an artist's life that is also a cultural exploration of a shifting Berlin.

  • It's Fine By Me jacket

    It's Fine By Me

    by Per Petterson

    Published 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Sometimes tender, sometimes brutal, It's Fine By Me is a brilliant novel from the acclaimed author of Out Stealing Horses and I Curse the River of Time.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
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!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Stalin's Daughter
    by Rosemary Sullivan
    "There is something fatal about my life. You can't regret your fate, though I do regret my ...
  • Book Jacket: A Certain Age
    A Certain Age
    by Beatriz Williams
    Lovers of high-society gossip, there's a new set of players in town. A good 20 out of 23 of our...
  • Book Jacket: The Romanovs
    The Romanovs
    by Simon Sebag Montefiore
    The Romanovs chronicles the reigns of the 20 individuals who were considered members of that dynasty...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    All Is Not Forgotten
    by Wendy Walker

    This is fast-paced psychological suspense/thriller at it's very best.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Miss Jane
    by Brad Watson

    "Starred Review. Sensitive, beautifully precise prose. Highly recommended." - PW

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Sweet Caress
by William Boyd

William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably within its pages. It captivates.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W M T N, W C F All

and be entered to win..

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.

 
X

BookBrowse Summer Giveaway

We're giving away
5 books every
week in July!