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From the New York Times bestselling author of Leaving the World comes a tragic love story set in Cold War Berlin.
Thomas Nesbitt is a divorced writer in the midst of a rueful middle age. Living a very private life in Maine, in touch only with his daughter and still trying to recover from the end of a long marriage, his solitude is disrupted one wintry morning by the arrival of a box that is postmarked Berlin. The name on the box—Dussmann—unsettles him completely, for it belongs to the woman with whom he had an intense love affair twenty-six years ago in Berlin at a time when the city was cleaved in two and personal and political allegiances were frequently haunted by the deep shadows of the Cold War.
Refusing initially to confront what he might find in that box, Thomas nevertheless is forced to grapple with a past he has never discussed with any living person and in the process relive those months in Berlin when he discovered, for the first and only time in his life, the full, extraordinary force of true love. But Petra Dussmann, the woman to whom he lost his heart, was not just a refugee from a police state, but also someone who lived with an ongoing sorrow that gradually rewrote both their destinies.
A love story of great epic sweep and immense emotional power, The Moment explores why and how we fall in love—and the way we project on to others that which our hearts so desperately seek.
About the Author
Douglas Kennedy is the author of nine previous novels, including the international bestseller Leaving the World. Born in Manhattan, he divides his time among London, Paris, Berlin, and Maine, and has two children.
Praise for The Moment…
“An observant, compassionate, and romantic portrait of emotional turmoil in troubled times.”
“Is The Moment a literate page-turner? Or a breathlessly fast-paced novel of ideas? No matter, it’s utterly engrossing... Kennedy is astonishing at communicating his characters’ emotional turmoil, the complexity of their situation, and the coldness of the Cold War, and he tosses tough ethical questions our way as he ponders that 'moment' that could change everything—and the very nature of love. Highly recommended for all types of fiction readers.” —Library Journal (starred)
“Kennedy’s evocative prose makes the eventual spellbinding finish worth the trip.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Readers are bound to fall under the sway of this richly romantic novel set against the melancholy backdrop of a divided city.” —Booklist
“The revelation in the middle of Douglas Kennedy’s 10th novel, The Moment, is the kind of gut-punch that subverts everything its naïve young narrator has found out so far—without destabilizing the rich, dark novel in progress. West and East Berlin provide the subtly creepy setting for The Moment’s romance with a sudden twist.... The unearthing of the love story pairs perfectly with the counter-narrative of an American being inducted into a culture of suspicion he arrogantly assumes can’t touch him.” —The Onion/A.V. Club
“The Moment is a must if, like me, you are a sucker for a gripping yarn: nearly 500 pages of superbly written love and heartbreak, betrayal and redemption...This is a spectacular piece of work, creating an irresistible world and life of its own, a novel in its purest form.”
“A passionate love-story-cum-spy-thriller set amid the secrets and shadows of Cold War–era West Berlin.”