66 pages 2 hours read

John Boyne

All the Broken Places

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2022

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Important Quotes

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Content Warning: This section of the guide discusses child and domestic abuse, gaslighting, suicidal ideation, self-harm, and grooming. It reproduces, via quotations, outdated language about race and sexuality.

“But I had been far less interested in studying the ideology of the party than in taking part in the regular sporting activities with my friends.”

(Part 1, Chapter 2, Page 16)

Like Alfons Heck, the virulent antisemitic ideology of the Nazis doesn’t captivate Gretel. What she liked about her compulsory participation in the Hitler Youth was doing things with her friends.

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“A single word—collaborator—now incited the same levels of terror in the populace as another—aristocrat—had done a century and a half earlier.”

(Part 1, Chapter 6, Page 40)

Gretel juxtaposes “collaborator” with “aristocrat,” connecting the French Revolution with her situation. Like the wealthy and the royalty during the Revolution, Gretel is a target in 1946 France.

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“I had my reasons.”

(Part 1, Chapter 7, Page 48)

Caden asks why Gretel pushed Edgar to buy a flat in Winterville Court, and Gretel’s response gives the reader a clue that Heidi is her daughter. Her “reasons” relate to being near her first child, who has lived in the building since the Hargraves adopted her as an infant.