Elena recommends: Broken Glass Park by Alina Bronsky

This debut novel, set in modern-day Berlin, is the story of Sascha Naimann, a seventeen-year-old Russian immigrant who is orphaned after her stepfather kills her mother in a fit of jealousy. After her mother’s death, Sascha’s takes on the responsibility of protecting her younger brother and sister and vows to do two things: kill her stepfather and write the story of her mother’s life.

Bronsky’s writing is carefully crafted, and absolutely no words are wasted. I enjoyed reading this novel throughout: in the dark spaces where Bronsky explores the effects of violence and loss on a family, in the tender moments between siblings and in the dream-like haze that surrounds Sascha’s developing life. Recently translated by Tim Mohr, I am delighted that this novel is now available to English-speaking audiences. I highly recommend it.

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