Sunday, February 19, 2023

All the Broken Places

Gretel Fernsby mostly keeps to herself. A widow, she is 91 and lives a quiet, simple life in the London apartment she has resided in for more than 60 years. Her neighbor Heidi is a lovely woman, slightly younger suffering from dementia and her son Caden’s visits are mostly to announce the status of his multitude of marriages with number four approaching. When a new family moves into the grand apartment building Gretel becomes surprisingly curious of the 9 year old boy who reminds her of the name she will not mention. Gretel has spent all her life in hiding. The many surnames she has taken and places she has lived while silently suffering from memories of the place she will not name. Haunted by her lost father, a high ranking Nazi officer that did unspeakable things during one of the most terrifying times the world has ever witnessed, Gretel has lived and tried in vain to find an ending she deserved. Consumed with shame and always fearing consequences of being discovered - at this late stage in life she is simply exhausted and outrun by her own ghosts. When the little boy downstairs named Henry threads his way into her heart she learns he is in danger and can no longer be a bystander. Narrated by Gretel’s past and present, this sequel to The Boy in the Striped Pajamas explores guilt, punishment and the possibility of living with extraordinary grief. This Dublin born, Irish author challenges the reader through the very last chapter to decide for themselves. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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