The Berlin Crossing

Kevin Brophy. Trafalgar Sq. Books, $24.95 (358p) ISBN 978-0-7553-8084-8
In Brophy's debut novel (after the memoir Walking the Line), personal and national displacement weigh heavily on Michael Ritter, a communist schoolteacher raised in East Germany and struggling to come to terms with a world recently relieved of the Berlin Wall. His suspicion and distrust of the West is reciprocated by his West German boss, who soon fires Michael on account of his political loyalties. The newly unemployed 30 year old then dedicates himself to the care of his ailing mother, whose disdain for East Germany's communist regime is obvious, though the reasons for her animosity are initially unclear. A deathbed conversation sends Michael on a tormented journey through the past to discover the identity of his father and the source of his mother's isolation and pain; during his quest, Michael gets a glimpse of the dark realities of Cold War-era Germany, where his family's history and the country's political currents dramatically interweave. Though the tale of Michael's father's past strains credibility and dampens the thrills, Brophy's sympathy for the oppressed is perceptive and nuanced, and Michael's personal development will keep readers engaged. (June)
Reviewed on: 08/13/2012
Release date: 05/01/2012
Show other formats
Paperback - 366 pages - 978-0-7553-8086-2
Open Ebook - 275 pages - 978-0-7553-8087-9
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