66 pages 2 hours read

John Boyne

All the Broken Places

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2022

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Part 3, Chapters 1-9Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 3: “The Final Solution (London 2022, London 1953)”

Part 3, Chapter 1 Summary

Marie Antoinette is dead, and for a change, Gretel reads a novel about older people solving a murder. She’s in Winterville Court’s garden area, and Alex comes to talk to her.

Gretel thinks Madelyn tried to kill herself by overdosing on sleeping pills, but Alex claims she didn’t mean to take so many. Gretel notes that Madelyn seems scared. Alex calls out Gretel’s privilege. His father abused his mother, and after they died from consuming too much alcohol, he lived in terrible foster homes. Gretel replies that she’s seen terror Alex can’t imagine. Alex wants to know more and asks about her birth name. Gretel is silent. Alex calls her dishonest and promises to find out her birth name.

Alex tells Gretel to leave his family alone. Gretel says his family’s drama forced her involvement, and she’ll keep letting Henry in her flat. Alex grabs her wrist and tells her he hates women who don’t stay quiet. She pulls away and tells him that people don’t belong to one another.

Part 3, Chapter 2 Summary

Arriving in London during Christmas in 1953, Gretel runs into the Queen (Queen Elizabeth II, who occupied the position from 1952 to 2022) on the train platform.