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Saturday, July 21, 2012

A City of Broken Glass - Rebecca Cantrell



Released July 2012

Rebecca Cantrell
Tor/Forge

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Hannah Vogel is in Poland with Anton, her adopted son, covering the St. Martin festival. Her stories have put her in trouble before, but she's honest and determined to share news of all that goes on in the 1930s. She soon learns that thousands of Jews were shipped to Poland from Germany, and she heads to the stables where these thousands are being held. There she finds a familiar face, the woman, the wife of Hannah's friend Paul, is about to give birth and tells Hannah that she had to leave her two-year-old daughter locked in a closet. When the woman and infant die, Hannah keeps her promise and starts searching for someone in Germany who can get to their house and rescue the child.

Meanwhile, Hannah's former lover returns after two years. Lars is back and he saves Hannah when she's taken by two SS officers and driven across the border. Now that she's in Germany, Hannah and Lars must save the child and get back out of Germany without getting caught.

I'd never read any of the previous Hannah Vogel novels, so I think that was a serious disadvantage. While the story flowed smoothly, I had this niggling feeling that I'd missed things along the way. Once I learned this is the fourth book in a series, it finally made sense. Many of Hannah's relationships seemed well established already, and that's where I was confused. I'd missed the other books and therefore had missed the beginnings of those relationships.

Given that, I really need to go back and read the books in order. A City of Broken Glass didn't work for me as a stand alone. It's powerful writing and certainly kept me on the edge of my seat, but I really wished I'd learned how Lars and Hannah first met, how Anton came into her life, and how she knew Paul.

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