Review Blog

Feb 12 2009

Broken Glass by Adrian Stirling

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Penguin, 2008. ISBN: 9780143007982
(Age 15+) Broken Glass is a typical, small country town with a wheat silo, a pub and an abattoir where most people work. Fifteen-year-old Danny Clarke is dying to get out of town and find some excitement in his life. When Nile Monahan moves in from the city with his Mum and an attitude, Danny sees him as an alternative to the boredom he experiences. Nile likes to test the limits and Danny is attracted to his anti-social behaviour that contains elements of danger and thrills. Things, however, get rapidly out of control; Nile goes too far and ends up in a correctional centre. Danny is left in Broken Glass and, as Nile's best friend and supposed partner in crime, has to bear the contempt and hatred of the townsfolk. Danny is starting to get his life back on track when Nile is released and returns to Broken Glass. Danny tries to keep his distance, but when he sees his younger sister Leanne being attracted to Nile, he decides to take matters into his own hands, with chilling results.

Comment: this is a grim story about evil and the possibility, or otherwise, of redemption. It poses the question of whether everyone is capable of committing evil, given the right circumstances. It contains themes of rape, suicide and murder and contains strong language. It would be suitable for senior fiction.
Marilyn Coleman

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