How can one 91 year old women, have so many dark hidden secrets? John Boyne’s All the Broken Places introduces us to a women whose childhood in Nazi Germany and her invented history will be a lifetime skeleton in her closet. Here is my book review All the Broken Places by John Boyne.
A young girl and her mother escape from Nazi Germany as the Allied Forces arrive. The young girl’s father is one of he highest ranking officers in the Reich and the commandant of the most notorious extermination camp.
A New Identity
Now known as Gretel, she has spent 80 years pretending, while living quietly in a mansion in London. She has never told anyone about her secret. When a new family moves into the apartment below hers, she finds herself drawn to the little boy Henry, who reminds her of her brother. But when it becomes clear that Henry and his movie star mother are being physically and verbally abused by Henry’s prominent movie producer father, Gretel can’t find her way to stay away.
Back and Forth
Like so many novels, All the Broken Places waffles between Nazi Germany past and Gretel’s complacency during the most hideous of human atrocities, and present day London and Gretel’s nagging guilt. As she realizes the producer father will likely eventually kill the child and his mother with his violence, Gretel confronts him and her secrets are revealed. She sees no alternative but to take matters into her own hands and end the situation once and for all.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
I have not read Boyne’s book The Boy in the Striped Pajamas but I did see the movie. And All the Broken Places is a continuation of that story in the years beyond the concentration camps. I liked that link very much. And I liked the character of Gretel and the character development of all the books players. However I found the ending far-fetched and unrealistic. Thank you for reading my book review All the Broken Places by John Boyne
****Four stars for All The Broken Places by John Boyne
Read last week’s book review The Armour of Light by Ken Follett
My current read Do Tell by Lindsay Lynch
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