The Slow March of Light by Heather B. Moore
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: I purchase a kindle copy.
In the summer of 1961, a wall of barbed wire goes up quickly in the dead of night, officially dividing Berlin. Aware of the many whose families have been divided, Luisa joins a secret spy network, risking her life to help East Germans escape across the Berlin Wall and into the West.
Bob Inama, a soldier in the US Army, is stationed in West Germany. He’s glad to be fluent in German, especially after meeting Luisa Voigt at a church social. As they spend time together, they form a close connection. But when Bob receives classified orders to leave for undercover work immediately, he doesn’t get the chance to say goodbye.
With a fake identity, Bob’s special assignment is to be a spy embedded in East Germany, identifying possible targets for the US military. But Soviet and East German spies, the secret police, and Stasi informants are everywhere, and the danger of being caught and sent to a brutal East German prison lurks on every corner.
Best-selling author Heather B. Moore masterfully alternates the stories of Bob and Luisa, capturing the human drama unique to Cold War Germany was well as the courage and the resilience of the human spirit.
My thoughts: I haven't really thought about what the people of Germany went through when the Berlin Wall was built. This novel was an eye-opener for me.
The book is set after the end of WWII. Bob Inama is a young US soldier who was drafted after the war was over and stationed in Germany. The book explains the tensions between the two halves of Germany. I wasn't a fan of how the East German's were treated.
Bob is asked to go undercover and collect intelligence on East German military facilities. He simply takes a picture and mails the location to the US Government. In order to achieve this, he becomes a teacher's assistant to a professor who goes back and forth across the border. It is a good setup until his cover is blown. In so many ways my heart went out to him. He wasn't a made-up character, but a man who lived through the experiences.
The book also tells the story of Luisa, a young German woman who just finished her nursing program. She has a grandmother living in East Germany and she also goes across the border. The living conditions and the challenges of the East Germans are starkly portrayed.
The book is told from both of their viewpoints. Occasionally they meet in the middle, but it portrays two very unique perspectives. In many ways, the story blew me away. It is well written and very compelling. I feel like I learned a lot when I finished the book. The ending was far different than I thought it would be. It took me by surprise.
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