" Our story started when one war ended and another began"
Every now and then a book comes along that ticks all the boxes for me and Forty Autumns was everything I love in a book. A beautifully written memoir that is historically informative and a moving story of courage and estrangement.
Nina Willner seamlessly weaves a narrative history of her family torn apart by a divided Germany and Berlin, separated by the Iron Curtain for forty years we learn of their struggles, trials and reunions.
The author is a former U.S Army Intelligence officer who served in Berlin during the cold War. She became the first female U.S Army intelligence officer to lead sensitive intelligence.
She shares her family story in Forty Autumns and manages to convey a vivid and real account or what life was life for more than 40 years as a result of living on opposite sides of the Berlin Wall.
This for me was an excellent read as the author starts her story with the handover of East Germany by the Americans to the Soviets and she recounts the overwhelming courage of three strong women and a family torn apart. She takes us on a journey through her family history and if you are not familiar or need a little refreshing on the history of East Germany then this book may interest you. The Red Army descended on the eastern territory with a plan to reshape the face of the East. The first challenge the soviets faced was to change the mind-set of the almost 19 million German citizens who, long before World War II, had been led to believe that communism was the greatest threat to the Western World. Stalin demanded the transition be swift and the approach uncompromising
(excerpt from Forty Autums)
This is an extremely well written memoir and an excellent historical account for readers who like their non fiction to read like fiction and readers who enjoy memoirs and history.
I was able to obtain this book in whispersync and while the narration is excellent by Cassandra Cambell, the book does have extra and important material like, maps, photos, family historical chronology, Glossary and Biblioghraphy, all which I felt added greatly to the reading experience.