Broken Places

by Lazio PetrovicsOfner. Atlantic, $19.95. The author was born in 1948, which makes his story of growing up in Hungary during the Second World War necessarily a novel. He simply was not there when his Christian mother’s Jewish relatives wore yellow stars and vanished into Nazi mists, nor when his father, an army doctor, risked his life to avoid going to the Eastern Front, but he forces the reader to believe that he was there and saw it all. The effect is odd but also poignant.