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All the Broken Places


All the Broken Places by John Boyne is a sequel to his acclaimed novel “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” but can also be read as a standalone novel.

The story centers around Gretel Fernsby, a 91-year-old woman living a quiet life in a London apartment block. Gretel harbors a dark secret: her father was the commandant of a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. She has spent decades burying this truth, fearing the consequences if it ever comes to light.

When a young family moves into the apartment below her, Gretel develops an unlikely friendship with their son, Henry. Henry reminds her of Bruno, the young boy she befriended in “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” a friendship that ended tragically. Witnessing a violent incident between Henry’s parents, Gretel is forced to confront her past. Torn between protecting Henry and keeping her secret, she must decide whether to intervene and risk exposing her true identity to the world.

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