Today I’m excerpting from a memoir that I received for review: Walled-In: A West Berlin Girl’s Journey to Freedom, by J. Elke Ertle.
Intro: I lie motionless under my soft, warm comforter. My head nestles into the thick, square eiderdown pillow and my back and shoulders melt into the mattress like butter on toast. Tapsi, my four-year-old dachshund, lies curled up between my feet. Cradling the covers with my legs, I take a deep, long breath. I feel content from head to toe. Today is a big day. Today is my twenty-first birthday. Today, unfettered life will begin.
The hypnotic tick-tock, tick-tock of the alarm clock on the small laminated table cuts through the silence. I sit up, forcing Tapsi to adjust her position. Inky darkness. Shivering in the sudden cold I strain to read the time: 5:45 a.m. Through the small bedroom window, I gaze outside. No stars. Droplets hit the windowpane. A typical November day in Berlin. I glance at the clock a second time. Only a few more minutes before I’ll have to get ready for work.
Teaser: After the War
When my mother stepped into my aunt and uncle’s pub, Zum Kuhlen Grund, holding me, a newborn, in her arms, she consoled herself by saying, “I’ve lost almost everything in the war. This little bundle is mine. I won’t let anyone take her away from me.” p. 3
Amazon Blurb: In this true story, two obstacles threaten the freedom and autonomy of a young girl born and raised in postwar West Berlin: The Berlin Wall and the harsh rules her uncompromising parents impose. J. Elke Ertle recounts the mounting East-West tension that leads to the Berlin Blockade, the Berlin Airlift, and the construction of the Berlin Wall. But the brick-and-mortar monstrosity is not the only insurmountable barrier Elke comes to know intimately. As the only child of uncompromising parents, she is brought up to unquestioning obedience. When she rebels against their unrelenting rules, the ensuing parent-daughter conflict parallels in intensity the Cold War between East and West. Elke finds herself incarcerated behind walls as impenetrable as the one that divides her city. On her 21st birthday, a startling and unexpected revelation strengthens her determination to opt for freedom and to immigrate to the United States. Interweaving history with her personal experiences, Elke takes the reader on a remarkable journey into her closely supervised, yet happy childhood, her youthful disillusionment, and her deliberate, albeit difficult decision to choose freedom.
What do you think? Would you keep reading?
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