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  • Writer's pictureShreelekha Shinde

Book Review: The unforgettable journey of Gerta Lowe, a testament to determination and courage

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

Book Title: A Night Divided
Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen

Book Review by Shreelekha Shinde

Reading. The process of losing yourself between the pages of beautiful paperback/ hardcover/ clothbound pieces of paper. At least that is what reading is in a very poetic, sentimental kind of way. Every story comes into being with careful notions, well thought out plots and impossible to understand characters.

However, even when it looks grim, a story comes into it’s own. No matter, how unaccomplished it may seem. Therefore, when it comes down to reviewing books and writing up extensive reports on their content, one must have a worldly perspective and an open mind as you never know when your mind has done away with a masterpiece and tossed it into the ’flimsy forgetting’ pile.

This month’s book review is based on a novel I read quite recently, written by the insightful American authoress, Jennifer A. Nielsen. Jennifer has written many beautiful books that encapsulate fantasy and fiction in a thoughtful and respectful manner. Therefore, from her vast collection, I have chosen to write about the heart-rendering novel, A Night Divided.

Book cover of "A Night Divided"
Book cover of "A Night Divided"

Book Introduction: This book revolves around Gerta Lowe, a spirited, energetic, outspoken young girl. Gerta lived in Germany in the 1960’s, about 2 decades after the end of WW2. Set during the separation of East and West Germany , her world is turned upside down when her father and older brother leave their home and family in East Germany to look for a better life for the family in the west. However, the day they left would be the last time the family would see each in a very long time. Just two days later, The Soviet Union officially separated East Germany from West Germany by beginning the construction of the horrific Berlin Wall. By then, The Soviets had then established a separate country of communism, where citizens were banned from leaving East Germany. This very incident sparked a kind of fervour in Gerta who was determined to leave the east with her mother and other older brother. Unfortunately, Gerta never gets a chance due to her mother’s unwillingness to cross the border.

Flash forward, 4 years and Gerta begins to receive secret signals from her father from the other side of the wall. Surprisingly, her father was urging her to dig a tunnel out of the wretched place! Soon enough, she manages to show true strength in the face of adversity and makes her way to East Germany with the help of her brother, Fritz. She managed to also evacuate many other miserable Berliners, who had grown tired of the constant threat of torture and death looming like a black cloud over their city.

Shreelekha Shinde reading the book "A Night Divided"
Shreelekha Shinde reading the book "A Night Divided"

My Thoughts: Personally, I believe this book is such a perfect start for people who wish to learn more about the repercussions of World War 2. During the course of the book, we see how it affected Germany and different parts of the world. The book drew so much attention to different cultural factors that the world including East and West Germany were influenced by during the sixties such as The Beatles, colourful graffiti and especially the dull Communist grey.

Stories, like these, whether fictional or true, leave a mark upon the reader, just as this book left a huge mark on me. It was after reading this book that I remembered that one saying, "You never know what you have, until it’s gone." Hence, the story of Gerta serves as a reminder that no matter the circumstances, if one has determination and courage, one can sail through the worst of times and find peace and prosperity, just by simply believing.

Book Review: The unforgettable journey of Gerta Lowe, a testament to determination and courage.


Blogger Enthusiast: Shreelekha Shinde

Profile picture of Shreelekha Shinde

Introducing Shreelekha Shinde, a Blogger Enthusiast under the enchanting banner of RidhzWorld Publishing. At just eighth-grade, Shreelekha embraces the precious gift of literacy, revelling in the power of reading and writing.

Embarking on a thrilling journey into the blogosphere, Shreelekha has partnered with RidhzWorld Publications to offer readers a captivating glimpse into her unique perspective on life, her literary preferences, and her talent for imaginative storytelling.

More about Shreelekha

A passionate lover of music, Shreelekha's musical tastes span a wide spectrum, from the enchanting melodies of Taylor Swift and Lana Del Rey, to the intricate rhythms of Indian Classical music. Not only does she appreciate the beauty of music, but she also possesses remarkable abilities in singing and dancing, finding true joy in every aspect of her life. Shreelekha attributes her happiness not only to her beloved family but also to the unwavering support she receives from her mother. With unwavering confidence, Shreelekha believes her blogging journey will be an unforgettable and immensely enjoyable adventure. She wholeheartedly invites you, dear reader, to join her on this exhilarating ride. Stay tuned for her upcoming blog posts and let's meet again in her next enthralling instalment!



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