Written by Traci L. Slatton
Review by Stephen Shaw

“A fallen angel is trapped in the web of German occupation. The deadly noose of Nazi control grows ever tighter, ensnaring her and two of her lovers, a bullfighter and a musician working in the fledgling Resistance. Can she save them and the Jewish widow and her child that she has come to love, or will betrayal take them all?”

As the Nazis move into Paris and begin their iron lockdown, a fallen angel moves among the literati and historic counterculture movement. Alia, having previously lost a twin sister Ariel, takes on human form and revels in the decadent joys of the flesh. We get a whirlwind tour of the ‘who’s who’ of the era: Camus, Sartre, Picasso, Pilaf, Dali and others co-mingle in Bohemian gatherings, despite the growing fears in the streets. Her genuine compassion, however, for a mother and her young child forces her to submit to place and time and German authority. In so doing, she makes a discovery in the ultimate paragraph.

Broken is a wonderful tale. More of Alia’s backstory would have helped to round out the character; there are occasional contradictions – if Alia is able to seduce and control people, why does she find herself helpless and trapped? By deducing that she is in a sense practicing “kenosis,” it becomes clear, but this is not immediately evident. Adult themes, dialogue and scenes, well worth the read!