Saturday, January 4, 2014
And so the gift was a call from dear Tamra, an utterly unexpected review, and a reviewer who wholly understood what I sought to do with this Berlin book. The gift was that sense of being heard.
I am grateful and relieved.
“A stark reminder of the power of hope, courage, and love.”—Booklist, starred review
In the divided Berlin of the early 1980s, 16-year-old Ada waits for her lover, Stefan, to escape across the wall from East to West. But the odds are against Stefan making it over alive, and against graffiti-rebel Ada evading the notice of the authorities and the brutal punkers hiding in the alleyways. National Book Award Finalist Kephart has recreated the inexorable fear and tension, as well as the difficult living conditions, of Berliners on both sides of the wall, especially those suffering under the ruthless oppression of the dreaded East German Secret police, the Stassi. Ada and Stefan are representative of the families, friends, and lovers separated and destroyed by the wall; their grandmothers serve as poignant reminders of the toll World War II took on the European population. Subplots about the Turks recruited to help rebuild Berlin and the ignored danger to women in all parts of the city add complexity to an already difficult, seldom written about time in the world’s history. Going Over is a stark reminder of the power of hope, courage, and love to overcome the most taxing of human struggles: war, its aftermath, and captivity.