66 pages 2 hours read

John Boyne

All the Broken Places

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2022

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Part 1, Chapters 1-11

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 1: “The Devil’s Daughter (London 2022 / Paris 1946)”

Part 1, Chapter 1 Summary

It’s 2022, and Gretel is 91 years old. She lives in affluent Mayfair, London. Her building is Winterville Court, and the “flats” (apartments) have views of Hyde Park. Her downstairs neighbor, Mr. Richardson, died, so his flat is for sale. The apartments in Gretel’s building have a value between $2.75-$3.75 million. Gretel can afford her flat because her late husband Edgar got a lot of money from his aunt when she died.

Edgar loved kids, but Gretel didn’t. They have one son, Caden, who’s around 60 years old. He’s married and divorced three women, and he’s about to marry a fourth woman. Caden wants Gretel to sell her apartment, but Gretel wants to stay put. She worries about her new neighbors. She hopes they’re a gay couple. She thinks gay people are kind neighbors and less likely to have kids.

Part 1, Chapter 2 Summary

Going back in time to 1946, Gretel is 15 years old, and she’s in Paris with her mother. They escaped Germany due to “true believers” who gave them false papers. They have a new last name, Guéymard, and Gretel’s mother has a new first name, Nathalie, but Gretel’s first name is the same.

Her father idolized the Führer (Hitler), and he worked in “the camps,” so Gretel’s father is synonymous with evil.