I wanted to sit with this book for a bit before I wrote down my thoughts. I read a lot of historical fiction, but there is something about the Cold War, about the Berlin Wall, that is so utterly heartbreaking that I am compelled to read about it, even if it requires some breaks while reading.
In a fantastic piece of historical fiction, Moore has given us Bob’s story. The amount of research she put into this book is incredible. I enjoyed the alternating perspectives, from Bob to Luisa. Luisa seemed like such an ordinary character initially, but I was proud to see her step up for what was right. I enjoyed the way their lives intersected. Reading other reviews, I noticed that the news articles and such at the beginning of each chapter put some people off. But it helped to show how much turmoil the world was in at the time. Everyone was on edge, not just Berliners.
Bob’s struggle is memorable, and it hurts because of how much of a struggle it was. He is a man that will stay in my thoughts for a long while. His story is one that everyone should read, even if it takes them a while, as it did for me. Thank you, Shadow Mountain Publishing, for sending this along.
The Slow March of Light is available for preorder in hardcover on Amazon for $23.99, it releases September 7th.
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About the book:
Based on a true story. Inspired by real events.
A riveting and emotionally-gripping novel of an American soldier working as a spy in Soviet-occupied East Germany and a West German woman secretly helping her countrymen escape from behind the Berlin Wall.
In the summer of 1961, a wall of barbed wire goes up quickly in the dead of night, officially dividing Berlin. Luisa Voigt lives in West Berlin, but her grandmother lives across the border and is now trapped inside the newly- isolated communist country of East Germany. Desperate to rescue her grandmother and aware of the many others whose families have been divided, Luisa joins a secret spy network, risking her life to help bring others through a makeshift, underground tunnel to West Germany. Their work is dangerous and not everyone will successfully escape or live to see freedom.
Bob Inama was an outstanding university student, with plans to attend law school when he is drafted into the US Army. Stationed in West Germany, he is 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 does not get the chance to say goodbye.
With a fake identity, Bob’s special assignment is to be a spy embedded in East Germany. His undercover job will give him access to government sites to map out strategic military targets. But Soviet and East German spies, the secret police, and Stasi informants are everywhere, and eventually Bob is caught and sent to a brutal East German prison. Interrogated and tortured daily, Bob clings to any hope he can find from the sunlight that marches across the wall of his prison to the one guard who secretly treats him with kindness to the thought of one day seeing Luisa again.