> Skip to content

From award-winning English novelist Jonathan Coe comes a fable for all ages about a broken mirror that shows us how it is our imaginations that really shape our lives.

Can desire really transform reality?

From award-winning novelist Jonathan Coe and distinguished Italian artist Chiara Coccorese comes The Broken Mirror, a political parable for children, a contemporary fairy tale for adults, and a fable for all ages.

One day Claire, to escape her quarrelsome parents, takes refuge in the dump behind her house. There she finds a broken mirror, a nasty piece of sharp glass… yet she is strangely drawn to it. She soon discovers it has the power to transform even the most drab reality into a fairy-tale world: the grey sky is reflected blue, and Claire’s modest, suburban house is transformed into the most beautiful castle.

As Claire grows older, always accompanied by her magic mirror, she can see her face without her teenage acne, and her town before it fell victim to thieving property developers. But, in reality, libraries are being turned into luxury flats wherever she looks, and the boy Claire loves is instead her worst enemy.

Frustrated and angry with the mirror’s illusions, Claire is about to destroy it when the mysterious Peter steps in: he has also found a shard of broken mirror, and so begins their journey to piece together the larger puzzle…

Previously published in Italian, French, Greek and Dutch, The Broken Mirror comes to life in English for the first time, to be read with equal pleasure by children and adults.


This modern fable has more than a touch of Lewis Carroll to it . . . While targeted towards children, Coe’s coming-of-age fairy tale is a charming, relevant read that has much to offer all generations.

Financial Times

A tiny, poignant crystalline fable . . . the ending is especially potent and engaging.

The Arts Desk

A beautiful fable . . . there is no way your chin won’t wobble when you read the final page. This book is for all who dare to dream differently.

Emerald Street

Coe’s fable will resonate with adults . . . but with its ingenious illustrations by Chiara Coccorese it’s more likely to appeal to politically aware teens.

Best New Fiction, Mail on Sunday

Read More

Formats & editions

  • EBook


    November 2, 2017

    Unbound Digital

    96 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle NZ
    • iBooks NZ
    • Google Play EBook NZ
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia NZ