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Irretrievably Broken Paperback – October 30, 2008
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Everything We Keep: A Novel
On the day of her wedding, she buried her fiancé—and unearthed shocking secrets. Learn More
--Lorraine M. Weston, jewwishes.wordpress.com
The author seamlessly weaves past and present, folding scenes into each other with such ease that, like the character, I felt like I was living in both present and past simultaneously.
--Dennis Fleming, Writer, avant-garde Filmmaker
This family's journey across the United States, and the retelling of their history had me curious about their lives to the last page. --Alyce Reese, At Home With Books
From the Author
While I'm working on a novel, my brain seems to sift what I hear and see around me. It discards this and that experience, perhaps chooses one for a starring role, another for a mere cameo. This is not a conscious process as I often don't even remember the event as it sneaks into my work. Later, when I recall the moment, the feeling, the look, and see it fleshed out on paper, it's a surprise to me.
I'm on a bus and see a man who has cut himself shaving. Next, I meet him again in my novel as Joe, a programmer living in Seattle, angry, still smarting over his divorce, acutely aware of the younger generation pushing him aside, perhaps making his existence irrelevant. I'm amazed at the miracle that caused this completely formed character spring to life in my writing from a man on the bus with a small nick on his chin.
While sitting in a sidewalk cafe in Seattle, I overhear a girl on her cell phone. She gets a cameo appearance during a sweltering L.A. afternoon in an edgy street scene of Watts. It was her spark of anger that brought her into the scene once I sat down to write.
I read a newspaper article about a mikvah being discovered when a neighboring property in my German hometown is torn down. An interesting event, soon dismissed from conscious memory, surprisingly hijacks my tale of travel and adventure to take a center role in Irretrievably Broken.
Where does inspiration come from? I certainly don't know. It's a miracle.
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Top Customer Reviews
Ms. Fritz's character development is flawless - her characters come alive and we want to know them. This is especially true of Nora and Ruth, the two main characters, but the entire cast is compelling. Since they all are exceedingly different in both background and personality, I am duly impressed by the author's skill.
I believe this is an important book with a great deal to say about loss, remembrance, forgiveness, and self-realization. I think it would be a great selection for Reading Groups. Due to its multicultural, cross-generational perspectives, there would be much to discuss.
Ms. Fritz does a masterful job of interweaving the stories of the three main characters, and through Ruth's childhood memories, we witness a very personal and haunting view of Adolf Hitler's anti-Semitic policy in Germany.
I recommend this book.
Nora carries us into the story through a series of flashbacks to her life with her unfaithful husband Max, a failed actor. The author seamlessly weaves past and present, folding scenes into each other with such ease that, like the character, I felt like I was living in both present and past simultaneously--as if I was having the flashback. I really appreciate having that experience and envy the author's skill at rendering it.
Also, the writer's attention to detail creates credible scenes and puts me right in the moment. The main character Nora, a computer programmer who named her cats Dotcom and Dotorg, has an encyclopedic knowledge of botanical terms that boggles the mind.
As for characters, once you've met them and spent a little time with them, you can read the dialogue without attribution and know who is talking. This is not easy to achieve and Ms. Fritz accomplishes it skillfully.Read more ›
I did not get caught-up in the different cultural clashes most reviewers have alluded to. I was following the story and very interested in how everything would come together with the past, present and future for Ruth, Nora, and Bettina.
The author does a brilliant job in meshing multiple characters and their interactions from Nazi Germany to present and how the past keeps guiding them on a trip across the US and onto to Germany in an attempt to let the past be fully embraced and accepted, whether it was good or bad.
The story lost me in Book IV, chapter 4. Up until then, the pace was well planned and one could feel the story coming together, but then it disappeared. This is where the descriptions became too overbearing and overshadowed the various stories we were following. The end became very anti-climatic.
As I stated earlier, this a book for readers who love being enmeshed with feelings and descritptions.
I like a book I can sink my teeth into, and Irretrievably Broken didn't disappoint. I definitely recommend this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fritz masterfully weaves an intricate tale of family with her endless cast of characters. As Nora embarks on a cross-country road trip with her mother and niece, the reader is... Read morePublished on May 5, 2013 by Megan Denby, Author of A Thistle in the Mist
I am so glad I read this novel. There are a few stories within the story, each as captivating as the next. Irma is a very intelligent writer and has an excellent way with words. Read morePublished on August 24, 2012 by lacey85
Irretrievably Broken: By Irma Fritz
A circle has no beginning and no end and yet this story comes full circle in its entirety. Read more
"Irretrievably Broken" sheds new light on the plight of Holocaust survivors and victims, as well as their loved ones, even fifty years later. Read morePublished on January 24, 2011 by Lori
I loved this book. The relationships were interesting and evolving; the people were real. Nora's experiences of being in college in the 70's, dealing with race, religion, and... Read morePublished on September 16, 2009 by Amazon Customer
By Irma Fritz
Irma Fritz has taken all the frailties of the human spirit and woven them into a story that pulls the... Read more
Of all the books I've read over the years, Irretrievably Broken is one of the few that has made me really stop and think about my life, both past and present. Read morePublished on March 24, 2009 by Martha A. Cheves