All the Broken Places

All the Broken Places by John Boyne

Everyone has heard of the The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, be it the book or the film and it is mind blowing and horrific. This sequel which is set 70 years after that time is equally as horrific and heartbreaking, but at the same time amazing.

Gretel Fernsby is now in her early 90’s and leads a quiet secluded life in the apartment block in London she has lived in for many decades of her life. She never talks about her escape from Germany or her time living on the Nazi concentration camp, a lifetime of fear about people discovering who she is, who her father was and what part they feel she played in it all. But truthfully, how much can you hold a 12-year-old child responsible for what happened during that time!

Many people did hold her accountable, and we get to see that in the parts of the story that go back in time. Life was never easy for Gretel, but should we feel as sorry for her as she would have us believe!

A young family move into the apartment below her and surprisingly Gretel forms a bond with the young boy Henry, he reminds her in many ways of the brother whose name she hasn’t spoken in 70 years. Young Henry and his mum are living in fear of his father who is controlling and abusive. Gretel wants to help, but in doing so she may end up revealing her secrets to the world.

An amazing heartfelt read with many fantastic strong led characters.

Submitted by Steph