Tag Archives: West Berlin

Move over Eleanor and Park

15 May

My sister likes to walk into bookstores and ask the clerk in the children’s/YA section for the titles of the best books he or she has read lately. A title recommended to her recently was Going Over by Beth Kephart.

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It is a story told in two voices. Ada lives in squatters’ slum in West Berlin. Her story is narrated in the first person. Stefan lives in Communist East Berlin. His story is told in the second person. An unusual choice, and yet, it works.  really though, the whole books works because Beth Kephart is such fantastic writer.

“There is a line between us, a wall. It is wide as a river; it has teeth. It is barbed and trenched and lit and piped and mesed and bricked–155 kilometers of wrong. There are dogs, there are watchtowers, there are men, there are guns, there are blares, but this is West Berlin, the Kreuzberg Kiez, Post Office Sudost 3, and we’re free.”

The book is set in 1980’s Berlin, before the wall came down in 1989. Ada Is a graffiti artist who sends messages of hope and escape to Stefan, with whom she is in love. I remember when the wall cam down, but had forgotten about the graffiti.

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Stefan dreams of going over to West Berlin. Their grandmothers are best friends and so they meet as children. Eventually, they fall in love and the  dream of Stefan’s escape to the West begins.

I highly recommend this book. This is one you really should read.

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