Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Book Review: A Night Divided

The last book I reviewed, The Husband's Secret, began with a bang, with these sentences: "It was all because of the Berlin Wall. If it wasn't for the Berlin Wall, Cecelia would never have found the letter, and she wouldn't be sitting here, at the kitchen table, willing herself not to rip it open." Thus, my brain was already cogitating on the Berlin Wall before I went to pick up a held book someone else, I cannot remember, had recommended, called A Night Divided. This book is more directly about the Berlin Wall, specifically about a 12 year old girl whose family is separated by the sudden appearance of that wall.

Gerta's father had taken her middle brother, Dominic, to the western side of Berlin to look for work. Then, suddenly, the wall went up and Gerta was stuck on the Eastern side with her mother and oldest brother, Fritz. As the story unfolds, Gerta recounts their lot in life, held prisoner within the walls of their own city, her father suspected of crimes against the state, and her friendship with Anna crumbling because of suspicion and distrust. When Gerta sees her father on the other side pantomiming the act of digging, she is unsure what exactly it is that he wants her to do. Following his supposed recommendation might cost Gerta her life and the lives of those around her.

I couldn't help but skim through whole paragraphs because I was eager to know whether or not Gerta would succeed or fail. The pages fell away. I liked Gerta and her family and I felt sorry for her horrible predicament. If you have a tween who is interested in historical fiction, they would probably really enjoy this book. It follows an intriguing what-if of "what if you were living in East Berlin when the wall went up overnight and divided you from half of your immediate family?" What would you be willing to do to seek freedom and a reunion with your family?


Kate Unger said...

Sounds really good! I'm adding it to my list.

Wendy said...

Kate - Thanks for stopping by again. I spent some time perusing your blog as well and jotted down a few titles to add to my seemingly endless lists. Always great to find new recommendations.