July 17, 2021

The Girl Behind The Wall

The Girl Behind The Wall

by Mandy Robotham

Published July 6, 2021
by Avon

Rating: 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Genre: Historical Fiction


From The Publisher:

A city divided.
When the Berlin Wall goes up, Karin is on the wrong side of the city. Overnight, she’s trapped under Soviet rule in unforgiving East Berlin and separated from her twin sister, Jutta.
Two sisters torn apart.
Karin and Jutta lead parallel lives for years, cut off by the Wall. But Karin finds one reason to keep going: Otto, the man who gives her hope, even amidst the brutal East German regime.
One impossible choice…
When Jutta finds a hidden way through the wall, the twins are reunited. But the Stasi have eyes everywhere, and soon Karin is faced with a terrible decision: to flee to the West and be with her sister, or sacrifice it all to follow her heart? 

My Thoughts:

“The Girl Behind The Wall” revolves around the building of the Berlin Wall and its aftermath, specifically its effect on families who wound up being separated by it. The story sucked me right in and (mostly) didn’t let me go. The most riveting parts for me were the descriptions of the chaos and shock on both sides when the wall went up, seemingly overnight, with no warning. Jutta and Karin are identical twins and it is Karin’s misfortune to be on the “wrong” side of Berlin when she collapses with a burst appendix and is rushed to the hospital. When she awakes after emergency surgery, the wall is up and she cannot get home or communicate with her family, who are – of course – frantic to find out where she is and what happened to her. Eventually Jutta happens upon a hidden way through the wall (it sounds very strange, and I had trouble visualizing it) and the rest of the book follows what happens after her discovery. I did find Jutta’s adventures a bit hard to believe, but I bet something like that actually did happen. Reading about the Stasi surveillance machine in East Germany was bone-chilling. It’s hard to imagine living like that, always afraid someone is watching or listening, and yet somehow East Germans found a way to get on with their lives.

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