All the Broken Places

This is a remarkable story about a 91 year old woman who comes to grips with her horrific memories of the past.  She learns the true meaning of courage and bravery, regardless of age.

Gretl Fernsby lives a quiet secluded life in London in a flat that she has lived in for seventy years.  She does not talk about her early life in Germany or her brief older life in France with her mother or even her brief life in New Zealand.  And most importantly, she does not talk about her father who was a commandant in one of the brutal concentration camps, as she refers to “that other place”.  A young family moves into the flat downstairs and Gretl witnesses abuse in a way that makes her come to grips with her own guilt, grief and remorse.  Will she act differently at 91 than when she was 12????

This is an extremely well written book, translated in various languages.   It is a hard one to put down.  I did not realize that it is a sequel to The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.  It is not necessary to read that one first in order to understand this one.