The Slow March of Light
by Heather B. Moore
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Pub Date 07 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 31 Oct 2021
Shadow Mountain Publishing, Shadow Mountain
Based on a true story. Inspired by real events.
A riveting and emotionally-gripping novel of an American soldier working as a spy in Soviet-occupied East Germany and a West German woman secretly helping her countrymen escape from behind the Berlin Wall.
In the summer of 1961, a wall of barbed wire goes up quickly in the dead of night, officially dividing Berlin. Aware of the many whose families have been divided, Luisa joins a secret spy network, risking her life to help East Germans escape across the Berlin Wall and into the West.
Bob Inama, a soldier in the US Army, is stationed in West Germany. He’s glad to be fluent in German, especially after meeting Luisa Voigt at a church social. As they spend time together, they form a close connection. But when Bob receives classified orders to leave for undercover work immediately, he doesn’t get the chance to say goodbye.
With a fake identity, Bob’s special assignment is to be a spy embedded in East Germany, identifying possible targets for the US military. But Soviet and East German spies, the secret police, and Stasi informants are everywhere and the danger of being caught and sent to a brutal East German prison lurks on every corner.
Best-selling author Heather B. Moore masterfully alternates the stories of Bob and Luisa, capturing the human drama unique to Cold War Germany as well as the courage and resilience of the human spirit.
"Moore conveys extensive historical knowledge without sacrificing the emotional impact of the stories of two protagonists whose Christian faith helps them survive and make a difference in the face of epic adversity."
"Outstanding novel is a harrowing account based around actual events. The author chillingly and graphically captures daily existence where the controlling political party, national security apparatus, and media work together to crush all dissent. A timely and cautionary tale. My highest recommendation."
—Historical Novel Society
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 150 members
Bob Inama's plans for life are suddenly derailed in 1960 when he is drafted. Bob ends up in Germany where he crosses path with Luisa Voigt, a hospital nurse. Their budding relationship is derailed when Luisa moves to West Berlin with her father to be closer to her Oma, who lives in East Berlin, and Bob is sent on a secret mission as a spy to record locations of Soviet targets. Meanwhile, Luisa gets wrapped up in helping an underground organization assisting East Berlin citizens in their escape to the West.
Bob and Luisa's stories are inspiring. The realities of Germany during the Cold War are heartbreaking and reading the stories of two people who bravely are fighting against the Soviets was eye opening. I loved the two characters, especially Bob's never-ending gratitude and kindness to everyone, no matter which side they are on. I walked away wanting to be more like him. Reading a historical fiction novel that takes place sometime other than WWII was great as I was able to learn about something I did not know as much about.
My thanks to NetGalley for this advance copy.
“Come what may, and love it”.
The author’s introductory note and the Timeline are essential reading before embarking on this true story about Bob Inama. The Chapter Notes also give clarity to the historical facts. The Cold War is a particularly difficult period during history, some parts still very much alive to those affected by it, but the author through thorough research and interviews has captured the very essence of the subject.
With a previously very limited knowledge of the Cold War, this novel brings to light an insight into the lives of those Inhabitants of living in Berlin, their fear and treatment by the Stasi and the East German border guards, and the part America played in their commitment to seek peace.
Nicely set up with Bob’s departure from the US after enlistment into the forces, and his arrival in Germany when his future takes a sharp turn. The inclusion of the fictional character of Luisa adds flavour and depth to the story, displaying the bravery and nerve of the underground. Bob Inama is a truly remarkable man who commands great respect.
For anyone with an interest in history, combined with a romantic element, this is a great read.
This book is very clean and well written. I really liked the history and I also liked that it is partially based on a true story. I would say the story is character driven and spends a lot of time letting you settle in.
I would recommend this not only to people who enjoy war history, but also those who enjoy a really slow burn.
*Thank you so much to Shadow Mountain Publishing, the author and NetGalley, for granting me access to an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.
The Slow March of Light by Heathet B. Moore is a stunning historical fiction novel that takes place in the aftermath of WWII in Berlin during the time of the Cold War and the infamous Berlin Wall.
This book is just truly amazing. It was fascinating to read even more about what life was like for the people in Berlin and surrounding areas after the Berlin Wall was placed. The separation of friends, loved ones, and families that ended up on opposite sides of the Wall were so close to one another, but yet worlds apart.
I loved the alternate stories of Luisa and Bob. Luisa ends up being separated from her grandmother whom is now on the East side of Berlin. This trauma, and the awareness that there are so many more affected, leads Luisa to join the underground groups that help rescue individuals that want to escape the atrocities of communist East Berlin and make it to West Berlin.
Bob is an American that has been enlisted and placed into covert and secret operations within the communist regime...however ends up being caught, imprisoned, and at times tortured.
Both end up meeting before their harrowing paths take them on separate missions, and find that they have feelings for one another. Both end up going through their own acts of heroism and selflessness in hopes of trying to help others.
The reader ends up being able to follow along both characters as their paths cross, separate, and hopefully cross again. This book was fascinating, gripping, suspenseful, and heart wrenching. But, through it all we see hope, love, life, and the possibilities of a better tomorrow with the help of good people such as the two main characters.
I truly loved this book, and enjoyed it even more-so when reading the Author’s note at the beginning informing us that the story of Bob Inama was true and that with the Chapter notes at the end of the book just took my breath away.
What an amazing story of a brave and honorable man. It is a privilege to be able to read his experience amd I thank him for his service.
Thank you NG and Shadow Mountain Publishing for this stunning arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.
I am posting this review to my GR, Instagram, and Bookbub accounts immediately (as of 4/5/21 no BB listing has yet been created) and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 9/7/21.
"He wanted to excel, to make a mark in the world...see how far he could go...a remarkable man, a humble man who served his country, looked beyond himself, and changed lives around him...serving in the epicenter of the Cold War...going undercover in East Berlin and sending nuclear target information back to the United States Army."
In the early 1960's, Bob Inama, having worked as a missionary for his church, was bound and determined to become a government lawyer. The draft intervened. Now he would be trained for field artillery, his education on hold. Bob was ever hopeful and resilient, a man of faith. His resolve would be tested above and beyond human endurance. He was still ever thankful. Just ask Adolf. Adolf's life was forever blessed by their time together.
"The Slow March of Light" by Heather B. Moore is a well crafted tome of historical fiction. The Author's Note and Historical Timeline preceding the novel created the context for the unfolding events. The Character Chart denoting historical as well as fictional figures was quite helpful. I had to constantly remind myself of the reality of the role Luisa Voigt as well as that of Adel and Mrs. Herrmann played. Author Moore's writing seamlessly blended fact and fiction. Overall, I was blown away by the courage and humility of Bob Inama, an inspiration, a man whose awe inspiring story will resonate with me for a long time. Highly recommended.
Thank you Callie Hansen of Shadow Mountain Publishing and Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This is a very heart wrenching yet inspiring story. I was caught by the ‘curiosity’ bug when I saw this book on NetGally and delved right into it. It is a very gripping story about a man named Bob during his service in the army and as an undercover operative in East Berlin during the time following WWII and during the building of the Berlin Wall. It was his time of service in Germany where he met Luisa who grew up in Germany with her father who was a policeman there. There were some very tense moments for Luisa as she helped many people in the oppressive East Berlin to secretly cross over to West Berlin to freedom. She struggled to keep her secret life from her father who was a very devout West German policeman. There was enough tension you could cut with a knife as she struggled to keep her secret activities from being discovered by her father. But this was not the most tense of moments in this story. The situations that Bob lived through were even more dreadful. Bob was caught while undercover in East Berlin and sent to prison. His experiences there, that were captured by Ms Moore, were horrific. Knowing that he lived through them was even more astonishing. My heart went out to him. I don’t think we readers could ever understand the emotional pain and turmoil that these men and women have lived through. Bob’s career choice before being drafted was to go through law school and become a lawyer, however, his sufferings in prison changed all that. He eventually did find happiness in a career and family life with a continued gratitude and faith in God. Luisa also was able to find happiness in marriage and family life. She and Bob exchange cards every Christmas season keeping in touch. There is another side story to this novel about one of the prison guards that Bob interacted with daily. He was so inspired by Bob that he eventually found his own faith in God along with his family. This part choked me up and brought tears to my eyes while reading it. What an inspiration! I salute Heather B. Moore for all the research, time, interviews, and writing that went into producing this novel. It is extremely well written and I would expect nothing less from her. I have become familiar with her writing having read many of her historical and contemporary romance novels and have enjoyed each one. This novel ‘The Slow March of Light’ is a little bit heavier but most of it is Bob’s true story. Ms Moore explains which parts were fiction and how she went through the process of writing it. This is a novel that has impressed me so much I think it will be one I won’t soon forget.
If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be 'Inspiring'.
This story is set in Germany post-WWII, during the Cold War, and follows Bob Inama, an American soldier, and Luisa Voigt, a West German nurse.
These two main characters were strong, fearless, inspiring and an absolute joy to get to know.
Through their actions, I got to experience the risk people took to help others escape to West Germany, the work of a spy in Soviet-occupied Germany, and the story of the barbed wire wall in Berlin that was built overnight and ran eighty-seven miles straight through the city of Berlin.
I loved following both characters and jumping between their lives.
The author beautifully touched on subjects like friendship, love, family, loyalty, humility, and hope.
The romantic subplot was just right and, in my opinion, enhanced the story!
I only had some issues with the writing itself. Parts of the book were written very well, while others felt a bit flat. There were scenes I would love to explore more, and others that seemed unnecessary.
After finishing the book I found myself researching and reading other people's stories from that period.
This book is based on a true story.
Bob, a university student, is drafted into the US Army and is stationed in Germany for his training. There, he meets a West German woman- Luisa. Even though their connection is immediate and undeniable, they soon separate when Luisa moves to West Berlin and Bob beings to work as a spy in Soviet-occupied East Germany.
While living in Berlin, Luisa, who is a nurse, begins to work at an undercover organization to help East German's escape through the Berlin Wall.
Bob's and Luisa's paths meet only a few times, but they always find strength from thinking of one another.
Thank you very much to Heather B. Moore, NetGalley, and Shadow Mountain Publishing for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
If I could give this book six stars I would. The true story if Bob Inama was a heroic tale of faith, bravery, endurance and love. Bob is a truly remarkable man. Heather takes us along with him as his life goes from a promising future in law to serving in Germany during the cold war, undercover spy work, life in a German prison, and back home. Along with the true story of Bob Inama Heather tells the fictional story of Lusia Voigt, a nurse who helps people escape from East Germany. Heather weaves Luisa's life through actual events that happened in Berlin at the same time Bob was there. My favorite part about this book is that Heather included the history behind the story both with quotes at the beginning of each chapter and with a historical breakdown of each chapter included in the end of the book. This book was both entertaining and informative. I learned so much. I loved it.
A fascinating read - part fiction, part non-fiction, the story revolved around the time of the Cold War, which is not a war that I have read much about. I've read a ton of WWII fiction, but not so much the aftermath with the Soviets. I learned a lot, and found myself attached to the characters. I appreciated that Bob let the author interview him and that he was willing to share so much about his past.
Excellent! Inspired by actual events!
When I'm constantly updating my husband about how a book progresses, its a 5 star read. Some people are disappointed when they read this type of book, that "based on a true story" aren't very exciting; but I thought that this book was exceptionally well done.
The beginning of the book includes
- a Historical Timeline that interweaves major historical milestones with Bob Inama's life events
- a Character Chart that indicates Historical (actual) characters vs Fictional characters
- Map of Allied-Occupied Germany 1945-1989
The end of the book includes an Afterword (that answers what is fictional vs real) a really comprehensive "Chapter Notes" (about 27 pages) that includes several internet links that provide additional information.
I do plan to purchase this book once it is released; there is someone that I think who would really enjoy this one.
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher (Shadow Mountain) and the author Heather B. Moore for the opportunity to review this advance read copy in exchange for an honest review. Publication date is 7 Sept 2021.
This is the touching story of Bob Inama, a man who persevered through trials when drafted during the cold war. There are many moments in the book that are true treasures, and it is a gift that his story had been made to a book that will last forever. I learned about a time in history that I knew very little of before and am grateful to have expanded my knowledge! Very well written with descriptive characters.
Wow...where do I even begin. This was a fabulous read. I laughed and cried, mother and cheered through the parallel stories of two young adults during the beginning of the Cold War. I learned quite a few things I didn't know about that timeframe of history.
The amazing true story of Bob Inama is equally balanced by a fictionalized women Luisa-giving an all encompassing look at the effect of Soviet rule in Germany. You feel like you are there I'm the moment with these characters and there are intense moments.
H.B. Moore has delivered a thought provoking, persception altering novel that I know I will read again and recommend!
This story took me a little while to get into (more likely a reflection of things going on in my life than the author’s intro). I really enjoyed reading Bob’s story and knowing that it was a true story and that he had such great faith at such a time. I’m so glad he went on to live a happy life and I loved the letter from Adolph.
I thought the fictional activities of Louisa were a good glimpse into things likely happening at the time with people trying to help people on the other side of the wall.
I disliked how most of the book was set up to make Bob and Louisa seem like their lives would either eventually combine, or they would be lovers torn apart by their circumstances.
I think Heather did a marvelous job overall. I imagine it would be challenging to write someone’s true story, while that person is still living and will read the story; especially if said story is basically being told for the first time through your telling of it (amazing it was a secret for so long). I am very curious as to how his family members may have reacted to the finished book and Bob’s story (aside from his wife, who knew vaguely what had happened).
A sensational historical novel focusing on true events that transpired in Germany during the Cold War. The chapters alternate between the two protagonists that both struggle with the difficult and at times almost unbearable circumstances, while their feelings for each other remain their guiding light.
This book wasn’t what I thought it was - it was even better. Two lives woven together but split as separate strands. Really enjoyed it. So authentic. Am going also purchase for a friend to read which is high praise indeed!
Touching historical fiction!
The story was engaging and educational. I loved the example of Bob Inama. Throughout his experiences he looked for things to be grateful for, even while in prison. The story was well written and gave ‘faces and voices’ to people who lived in Berlin during the 60s and experienced the political tightrope first hand. It gives me greater understanding and appreciation for what they had to endure. I can’t imagine living in those circumstances! My heart was touched by the humanity and kindness of people, even when life seemed grey.
I’ve noticed lately there seems to be two types of historical fiction- the first kind is where the history/ setting takes center stage and is the main character, and the other kind where the MC is our focus, and we get bits and pieces of history that swirl around the MC. I prefer the latter, while this is the former. It’s history heavy, good for those who like to know historical who’s, why’s and where’s.
The Slow March of Light tells the story of Bob Inama, a recent US army recruit who is thrust into spying for his country in Cold War Germany. It’s in Germany, he meets and befriends Luisa Voigt, a young nurse who just wants to help her people.
Although I enjoyed the overall story, I found the main character, wasn’t Bob or Luisa, (whose stories are parallel) but Berlin. That isn’t a bad thing (it’s my favorite city, which is the main reason I wanted to read this) but the interaction between Bob/ Luisa and Berlin, at times, felt separate. And I think it was that reason, the story didn’t 100% “grab” me- it wasn’t what some would call a “page turner”, but it is a solid, well told story that deserves to be told.
Oh, my goodness, this was a good book! I sort of felt like I was back in college with everything I learned, but I never had a World History class anywhere near this interesting! Thank you Net Galley and Heather B. Moore for the further education and enlightenment! Heather embellished (just enough to make it "un-put-downable") the true story of Bob Inawa and his experiences in East and West Berlin during the time that the wall was erected. This man was truly a hero, and there's no embellishment there!
To my somewhat amazement, I didn't quit learning when the story was over. Wow, the research this prolific author did and added (pages worth) at the end! So many new things we didn't know, hadn't heard. I am, indeed, grateful to live when and where I do and for servicemen like Mr. Inawa who have helped to make this a possibility.
This is pretty interesting, particularly since it's based on actual events. It's also emotional, engaging, and very well written. This one will stick with me a long time. Recommended.
I really appreciate the ARC for review!!
I have been a fan of Heather B Moore since the first book of hers I read. This book is no exception. Moore takes a daunting period in time and brings it to life. I was drawn in from the very beginning. I highly recommend this emotionally riveting book!!!
I just admired this book on so many levels. It is a historical fiction novel that takes place in the aftermath of WWII in Berlin during the time of the Cold War and the infamous Berlin Wall. This a war story of countrymen vs fellow countrymen based on the true story of Bob Inama. He was drafted and went under cover in East Berlin just before the "Wall" went up. The research for this novel must have been fascinating to unearth. Moore's writing was concise and beautiful done. It will allowed the reader to feel the emotions and the stressful of everyday people. Although it included a love story it was tastefully done and never trivialized the story line. I would like to thank Net Galley, the publisher and the author for the ARC of this gem.
While the book was at times a bit slow moving, especially in the beginning, the overall story was memorable and moving. Bob had such character and faith in God that helped him to endure the disappointment of a forced career change, courage in a precarious undercover work in a violent and oppressive communist country/city, and hope and gratitude in a depraved and damaging captivity in a Soviet prison.
It is amazing how Bob was able to keep an attitude of grace, thankfulness, strength, and love despite how much oppression, harm and awful environment he endured. It was the epitome of “love your neighbor” in action. I am completely sure that that level of finding something to be thankful for and loving others is what got him thru that without being completely hopeless or give in to the horrible treatment. And even more so, that he was able to show one of his captors, who should have been his enemy, that kind of love and gratitude in the midst of that, which brought him to the Lord in the end. Man... what an example.
As for the writing itself, it was just slower, a bit dry and more drawn out than I’d prefer. I probably would have given it 3 stars if not for the great content of Bob’s experience and how much I admire him from it. The first quarter I got pretty bored but the rest picked up more. I could have done without the intro details at the beginning of the chapters also. They really weren’t very relevant to the story and didn’t really lend all that much to the theme in general. Often I struggled to figure out what they had to do with anything, and or what they were trying to convey being out of context like that.
Also, at the beginning of the book, the author listed a “chart of characters” for both real and fictional characters. But the list was so arbitrary it was odd. At first I thought it was important but then characters that were barely mentioned once or twice made it to the list, and major characters - even Luisa, one of the main ones, Murdock, etc - weren’t even mentioned at all. I would think it’d have just been better to omit it if it was going to be that random, because I kept going back to it trying to figure out what I was missing before realizing I wasn’t.
Thanks to Netgalley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The Slow March of Light by Heather B. Moore is a historical fiction novel set in Germany during the early 1960's. WWll was over but political tensions were high in Germany due to the Cold War and the Berlin wall being built. War interrupts lives causing future plans and dreams to change or be abandoned. Bob Inama was studying to be a government lawyer when his plans changed due to be drafted into the army and stationed in Germany. He meets Luisa, a German nurse, during a church social. This is a moving story of how life was during the Cold War. Thanks to the author, publisher Shadow Mountain Publishing, and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book for a honest review.
This book has sent me through a whirlwind!! I love history and feel like this book filled in a huge gap for me after WWII! I learned so much about the German people and the US Army. I definitely need to study more about those years of the COLD war! Ms. Moore has done an incredible job letting us view that world through the eyes of Bob Inama! What a story of courage, faith and diligence! I loved this story! You won’t regret reading it! I couldn’t put it down!
Set in the divided Germanys of the early 1960s, Heather B. Moore’s The Slow March of Light offers a fascinating look at tense and chilling events that took place along the Cold War’s ‘front lines.’ Through the perspective of Bob Inama, an actual American soldier who was caught and imprisoned while spying in the East, readers get a vicarious glimpse into the horror of life in an East German prison. Another character, the fictional Luisa Voigt, brings to life the dangers faced by regular Germans from both sides of the Wall — caring people who risked life and liberty to help their brothers and sisters escape an oppressive regime. The Slow March of Light is a story of courage, perseverance, and finding faith in seemingly hopeless situations. It’s a story that will inspire readers to search for light in their own moments of darkness.
Author of "The Paper Dolls of Chinatown," Heather B. Moore has done it again! "The Slow March of Light" drops the reader into the summer of 1961, when the Berlin Wall was built to separate Berlin. Luisa, who tries to rescue her grandmother from East Berlin, joins a secret spy network to rescue loved ones and bring them to West Germany through a small, makeshift tunnel.
What a heartbreaking novel! I knew it was sad going into it yet I always go for this books. It was amazing and the writing was so good. I would recommend this to any reader looking for a well developed historical fiction that will stay with them long after the finish the last page.
The Slow March of Light marches to a different tune, and in that, I mean it no disrespect but even though it is based on true events, it has a stiffness to it that think resembles the main character Bob Inama who stood upright trying to do what is right and just even under the possibly worst situation that one could be in. First, his plans on becoming a government lawyer are put on pause when he is drafted into the US Army, and then during being undercover, and consequently spending six months in an East German(and communist) prison under terrible conditions during the Cold War. I couldn't help but continue reading and finding out what happened to Bob, he is a very likable character and person.
The Slow March of Light appealed to me because it spoke about a time in history that affected many people of which we don't hear a lot about. It may be hard to read or hear about but it is important that these stories are told and heard so that they aren't repeated ever again. This was an engaging read for me, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who is interested in this period of time and its richness despite the suffering. My gratitude to Shadow Mountain and NetGalley. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Excellent historical book, based on true events and inspired by the life of Bob Inama, an LDS man drafted into the army in the 1960s and then sent into Berlin as a spy, trying to gather intelligence on the Russians for the US military, along with his capture, torture, and release, as well as the stories of the fictional Luisa, whom Moore created to tell the real experiences of other people whom she researched but combined their stories and experiences all into one for Luisa's character.
I was in high school when the Berlin Wall came down and I remember hearing the stories of German/Berlin citizens trying to escape from the Russian-occupied East to their families who were in the West or to simply a better life in West Berlin. My brother-in-law served his LDS mission to Germany and was actually in Berlin when the Wall came down. He has related his experiences of traveling into Berlin and the checkpoints they went through and how many Russian soldiers he encountered on the train checking his papers, as well as his experiences in Berlin itself before and after the Wall came down. Many things he has shared with us (that happened to him in 1989) are things that were happening to Bob, Luisa, and the other characters in Berin in 1961.
Moore's extensive research is very apparent in the chapter notes at the back of the book. As I read a digital ARC of the book, I didn't realize they were there until I had finished reading the book, so I feel like that helped me keep the flow of the story better, because I am one who would have read the notes as I went along, but Moore's details in the chapter notes are enough that I was able to recall where the history and information she explained there fit into the story line. The reason behind the title and cover don't come into play until later in the book, but they are explained and while it's a heavy detail, the cover and title are beautiful and help with the message of Bob's story and how he was able to survive his imprisonment. There are excellent characters throughout the book, not just Bob but all the characters (some real, some fictional, some whose names have been changed); and their development and how Moore tells Bob's story of being a spy and the story of that tragic time in Germany's history and the Cold War is engaging and drew me in. What is even more impressive is that Moore wrote this book through the pandemic, when she was unable to really have in-person contact with Bob Inama for her interviews.
That the effects of WWII were still so prominent in the daily lives of German citizens in the early 1960s (and then on until the Wall finally came down in 1989) is proof of the lasting effects of our actions, so books like this one are so important to tell the stories of our past so we are reminded of what happened so we can strive to not make those same mistakes in society. Moore once again proves that she is able to tell true stories of real people and also to write excellent fiction with the variety of books that she writes and for both her fiction and non-fiction to be engaging and enjoyable reads. The descriptions of beatings that Bob goes through during his imprisonment are not graphic, but Moore still portrays the intensity and tragedy of that time in Bob's military service and the lasting effects he suffered as a result, but there is still a very positive message in Bob's example of how he handled his service, his imprisonment, and his life after returning home, and how he befriended people and the forgiveness he had for what happened to him. Also, the efforts of so many people in trying to help their fellow citizens escape the East and how they put their lives on the line in doing so, told through Luisa's story, are only a few examples of the many experiences and escape attempts and the ways people tried to escape in their hope for freedom.
Content: No strong language; mentions of beatings but nothing graphic in description
It’s hard to describe how I feel about this novel. I enjoy historical fiction and am fascinated by the people who lived in Berlin at the time the Berlin Wall was erected. Getting the chance to learn about Bob Inama was also fascinating, especially because we have some things in common (the same religion and he taught at a college I attended).
Fascination aside, it was a pretty slow read for me. I could read a chapter or a few pages and then put the book down for quite awhile. It did hold my attention better in the latter half of the book though.
I wanted there to be more of a connection between the main characters’ stories. I guess that’s difficult when you’re trying to stay true to actual events (Bob’s story) and adding in a fictitious character and events (Luisa’s story).
Rating: 5 stars
My thoughts about this book:
• The author did an amazing job of imparting to the reader the emotions of this book's characters. I could feel the anxiety of Bob and Luisa as they crossed from West to East Berlin, or as they performed other various acts of espionage.
• As the world of Cold War East and West Germany was enfolded to me, I became immersed into the world of not being able to trust anyone and neighbors spying on neighbors.
• I enjoyed this novel so much, because I learned a lot about East Germany during the Cold War Era.
• I liked that this story was written from the viewpoints of Bob and Luisa.
• I found The Author's Note and Historical Timeline preceding the novel created the context for the unfolding events. The Character Chart helped me know which characters were real and which were not.
• This was a wonderful and inspiring story and I highly recommend it.
I received an advance copy of this book from Net Galley. My review was voluntary and my opinions were my own. I'm looking forward to reading more books by this author.
Wow, wow, wow ..... If I could give this more then a 5 star I would!
I haven't read such a great book since The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. This one will be on my mind for Awhile.
First off I want to thank Netgalley, Shadow Mountain Publishing and the Author Heather B. Moore for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This book had me captivated from the start. I only read a few chapters a day because I didn't want it to end. It was fascinating, traumatizing, emotional, heartbreaking .... and much more! Once the book is published I will definetly be buying it for my collection. I usually don't collect books. I've so far only loved and kept The Nightingale, Beneath A Scarlet Sky, and The Great Alone, Where the Crawdads Sing, this will be my 5th.
This is a true story, based on real events of the courage and faith of an American soldier Bob Inama and nurse Luisa Voigt and what they endured in the war. Bob became a spy in East German while Luisa helped people escape when they built the Berlin Wall in 1961.
I don't believe I need to describe the whole book. Why ruin it for you when your just going to read it yourself right! And don't forget to read the chapter notes at the end ... it's quite interesting and gives you some links you can read and watch.
I highly recommend this book, you won't be disappointed! Publication date is September 7, 2021.
I would probably give this book a 4 1/2 star review because the story was fascinating!
The only drawback was that it seemed more like a non-fiction read to me- although extremely well written. It held my interest the whole time I’m just used to books with more “fluff” in them.
I loved that I learned so much about this time period since the author tried hard to stick to true facts.
The author was able to tell a story about heavy subjects and events without being too detailed and graphic. It was told in a very respectful manner.
I also enjoyed reading the historical notes at the end of the book. I’m glad the author added that in.
Such an inspiring, emotional, journey that this book takes you on! To experience first hand what prisoners of war go through and the strength and the light that they have to draw from when they’re in the depths of despair. Heather B. Moore has truly captured a magnificent story!
This was such an interesting book! It was fascinating to read about Germany during the cold War especially since my parents lived in west Germany before the wall came down and for a few years after. This book made me want to learn more about it. I liked how Moore added the character Luisa to show the underground operations at that time. Bob is very inspiring and I am grateful we have his story. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction!
"Based on a true story. Inspired by real events". These stories always rivet me, more so if they are historical and include acts of great courage - which it took real courage to spy against the Stasi in East Berlin. I loved this book. I couldn't put it down. The characters were so real to me, and the story telling is fantastic. You feel you are right there with them. It was riveting! I highly recommend this and you will learn so much of how life was under communist rule.
Heather B. Moore has written a beautifully inspiring story of faith and hope through extremely difficult times. Bob Inama had his future mapped out until the fateful day a letter arrived from the US Government. He had been drafted. He served during the Cold War in Germany. Bob's religious beliefs, positive outlook and mental toughness helped him survive. I loved the gratitude shown by him, even to his enemies. The relationship he forged with one of his prison guards was truly touching. A friendship that formed in the hardest of circumstances and changed the lives of many. I also loved Louisa's courage and faith in helping others regardless of the danger. This is a book that I would highly recommend. For me it is right up there with inspiring books like The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. With God we can do hard things.
Historical fiction is my favorite genre as I always learn so much from these novels. The Slow March of Light does not disappoint in providing a well researched history lesson on the Cold War between Russia and the US, and about construction of the Berlin Wall. Although I was aware that an active resistance movement existed at the time, I hadn’t heard of the tunnel system used to aid in escapes. The main resistance characters may be fictitious but the details of this operation were accurate and made for fascinating reading.
The first third of the book seemed slow to me; it felt like I was reading a biography of Bob Inman’s life, not a novel based on his life story. I had no real world knowledge of just how hard life in a Soviet prison could be for a person captured during the Cold War and Heather B. Moore’s excellent, descriptive writing of Bob’s months spent in prison left little the imagination. I admired and respected Bob’s deep belief in his religion but, as a non-religious person, the religious references and prayers were a bit too much.
Sharing Bob's return to “normal” life after his rescue was a good ending for this novel. Heather B. Moore nicely wrapped up the stories of all the main characters, so readers are not left wondering what happened to people they’ve come to know through the pages of a good book.
I appreciated the author’s notes and character chart (both real and fictional people) at the beginning of the book and the discussion questions and chapter notes at the end. The discussion questions are great for book club meetings.
Thank you to Net Galley and Shadow Mountain Publishers for the advanced copy of The Slow March of Light. This is my first review for Net Galley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.
I will not be able to give this story the review it deserves because I can’t repeat AWESOME one hundred times. If you feel the book starts out a bit lame, and the romance thing is a bit over the top, well let me tell ya, hang onto your hat because once you get past that, you will be on a roller coaster of feelings. This is a tear jerker in several places and is by far the best book I have read this year, I have read/listened to over 100.
If you ever wanted to know about the Cold War, this story will clearly give you a broad understanding of what the Cold War was, between East and West Germany. Not only does Ms. Moore justify and document all the hours/days/months/years of research but she goes on to tell us about several people in the story and the true facts or fictions she created. I was so impressed. I also suggest you don’t stop reading until you get to the very last page because the Afterword and Chapter Notes documenting actual interviews she did with each person was just the icing on the cake.
I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to learn about Bob Inama and his courage, faith, integrity, decency, and his goodness, along with his fellow Army crew. So many people think WWII was the end of atrocity’s, it continued on, they even used the same internment camps. Also hearing again of the sacrifices and courageous risks the German people did to save their family or people they didn’t even know from certain hardships or death was remarkable.
I received an ARC from Shadow Mountain Publishing along with NetGalley for my unbiased review. I highly recommend, if I could rate above 5***** it would easily come in with 10. This was an absolutely remarkable story.
Ms. Heather B. Moore - “Thank you,” “You are excellent at your job.” “I love you, my brother.”
The Slow March of Light by Heather B. Moore is an engrossing historical fiction book which highlights life during the Cold War in West and East Berlin during the 1960s. It is based on a real life hero, Bob Inama. The author provides impeccable notes to bring his legacy to life.
Bob served as a missionary for his church and then was on the path to become an attorney when he was drafted. He is sent to West Berlin where his language skills and leadership is an asset. He meets a native woman, Luisa, at a church social. Luisa and Bob develop a tenuous connection and then circumstances conspire to pull them apart.
Their personal journeys are the makings of true and lasting heroism. Luisa finds herself helping in the German underground in East Berlin and Bob goes undercover to map out secret locations in Germany. The dual timelines provided by Moore gives detailed and thoughtful characterization. We learn the backstories of both Bob and Luisa. The conflict they have with order vs. justice is made real. Their differing views lead them into what we hope will be a romance, but it is not a certainty. What is a certainty is the faith both have in God to lead them into making hard decisions.
The very real terror of this time period was made apparent. Bob and Luisa are forced to make choices to survive the Cold War that fight against their intrinsic beliefs. Their private personas are admirable. The bravery exhibited with the secret activities to combat the political regime is full of peril.
The minor characters are also expertly woven throughout. We learn more about the Germans who slowly lost their jobs and freedoms to this regime. We also get glimpses into how this regime gained power by providing a restoration of order, safety, and prosperity when most of the world was experiencing great hardships due to financial uncertainty.
The mission of helping others and struggles to give back at all costs was made real. These characters will become real to you, too. Despite their many challenges they found ways to defy the societal bounds and face their tormentors with courage. They were not looking for glory, just a chance to do something that was decent and worthwhile. What a legacy they left, you will be better after reading it. Their strength and determination should not be forgotten. Thank you Heather B. Moore for writing this amazing book, I have already examined your backlist and will be reading more of your work.
I was provided a free advance reader copy from Shadow Mountain Publishing in exchange for my honest review from Net Galley. The opinions shared in this review are my own.
4.5* Heather B. Moore deftly integrates the real life story of a man I quickly came to admire, Bob Inama, with the history of the Berlin Wall and the surrounding Cold War and a fictionalized amalgamation of underground rescuers. I learned a lot from her research, detailed in chapter notes, and appreciated the focus on light and strength gained from prayer. Bob Inama's personal commitment to his religion and to loving and forgiving those who wronged him stands out among the themes of sacrifice and serving one's fellow man that make this book so powerful.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are completely my own.
I will be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect with this book. I have read a lot of WWII books, but not many about the cold war. This book takes you beyond the wall, and into a side we would like to forget. The story is amazing, the man behind the story inspiring. I don't imagine that I would have been able to be as strong as he was.
This was a great read, one that I will share with others.
I was so moved by this book. It was an engaging story and one that will stay with me for a long time. I loved it!
A fascinating read! I think I was as much impressed by the research, as the story. Which is about a young man from Idaho that wanted to become a lawyer. Went to college in Utah and was preparing to go to law school when I received a letter that he was being drafted into the US Army. This story is based on the real life experiences of Bob Inama. Through basic training to the dead center of the Cold War in East Berlin. The research and history was excellent. The story was a slow build to intriguing. What he endured and yet was kind and forgiving, lingered with me. What an honorable man he is! I didn’t know the history of this time period, as well as WWII. I thought is was interesting and the author had information and quotes at the beginning of each chapter. At the end of the book she has “Authors notes” that tell in more detail her research and interviews. I really appreciated that. It is a book of hope, faith and a steadfast resolution.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
‘Bob could have never predicted the journey that was in store for him, but looking back, he saw the Lord’s hand in every detail. Every frustrating, painful, bewildering, and joyful detail.’
The Slow March of Light- Heather B. Moore
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Unforgettable Stars!
Based on a true story, Bob Inama is a man that I will never forget. This is a meticulously researched novel about the Berlin Wall. With compassion and a deep faith, Bob, traverses through the chaos of being drafted into the US Army and ending up being sent to Berlin and the epicenter of the of The Cold War.
Moore’s writing is flawless as she conveys the horrors that Germans in both East & West Berlin endured under communist Russian rule. It’s truly hard to believe that the Berlin Wall came down only 32 yrs ago…
It seems that there are a barrage of WWII novels being written right now and I really wish more could be written about this time period. So many unsung heroes that deserve to have their stories told. I think it’s so important to have stories like these right now to not only remind us of how fortunate we are but, also, so that history doesn’t repeat itself.
Lastly, I can’t not mention the brilliant cover & title… not until finishing can you truly appreciate its significance. Highly, highly recommend to all WWII historical fiction readers.
“There are many people in the world who really don’t understand, or say they don’t, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin. And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. Lass’ sie nach Berlin kommen. Let them come to Berlin.” —John F. Kennedy, remarks at the Rudolph Wilde Platz, West Berlin, June 26, 1963
Publication dated- 9/7/21
ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Every now and then you'll find a book that is really special and that will stay with you and even change you. This is one of those books. Bob Inama's story is inspiring and uplifting. It is a story of light and hope amidst darkness and despair. I am inspired by Bob's faith and courage. Luisa's tale is a also a tale of courage. I often wonder when reading stories such as this if I would have made the same choices and taken the same risks to help those in need. Luisa is a beautiful reminder of the many men and women who risked their own freedom and lives to help people escape the clutches of East Germany during the Cold War.
Heather B. Moore is a masterful author. Her ability to write well in a variety of genres has me searching out more of her works.
Thank you Netgalley for the advanced copy. All opinions are my own.
I've been really enjoying the last few novels I've read about the Berlin Wall lately, and The Slow March of Light is no exception. I feel like the time period is really overlooked in literature, so it's nice to see historical fiction giving it its due.
Luisa is a German girl, living in West Berlin when the Wall goes up. Her beloved grandmother is trapped in the East and Luisa begins working with others to free those trapped away from their families. Bob is an American soldier who meets and falls for Luisa, before being selected for a spy mission within the East where he is taken prisoner.
The dual storylines are well done, especially Bob's, highlighting the dangers within the communist East for anyone. Moore has done her reasearch and the absolute terror that Stasi and the Eastern government held over common citizens is illustrated here. Definitely a must-read, especially if you are interested in the time period.
Thanks to Netgalley and author for the arc in exchange for my unbiased opinion on the book. Love the book. Would love to read more from the author.
1959-1975 Idaho and Germany
Lovely introduction to a new to me author.
The Slow March of Light is based upon the life of Bob Inama that served in the U.S. Army in Germany during the Cold War. He was drafted into the Army just before he was able to begin law school. Clearly, this was a life curve. Bob initially served in a regular military capacity, but then went undercover in East Germany. The strongest part of the novel was Bob's time in prison.
There was a secondary story line of a young nurse with the fictional name of Luisa that befriended Bob while they both lived in Hamburg. There was a lot of suspense that occurred in the pages in relation to Luisa and her efforts to help East Germans.
This novel is faith building and well written. I love when a book title has a focused meaning. When the phrase "slow march of light" was used, this reader smiled and sighed with happiness. The author does a wonderful job of bringing the Cold War to life.
Wow, this is such a powerful book and I enjoyed it so much. Bob Inama is all set to start law school in 1960 when he receives a draft notice. He puts his law career on hold and joins the Army. He is sent to Germany and is settling into Army life when he meets a recent graduate nurse named Luisa Voigt. There is an immediate attraction there but Luisa's father is a policeman and he wants her to have nothing to do with American Army men. Luisa's dad is transferred to West Berlin to work and Luisa moves with him in order to be closer to her oma who lives in East Berlin. Bob is then selected to do a secret spy mission. The story follows a dual timeline with Bob on his spy mission and Luisa joining the underground to help people escape from East Berlin.
I was just starting high school when the Cold War began so I remember it well. I have read a lot of books dealing with WWI and II but never one that dealt with the Cold War so I found this extremely fascinating. The story line about Bob Inama was based on a true story while the story line about Luisa was fiction. I think Heather B. Moore did have fantastic job writing this book.
Thank you NetGalley and Shadow Mountain publishing for the ARC of this very interesting book.
Bright and intelligent lawyer hopeful American Bob Inama's life changed with the receipt of a pivotal letter. In 1959 the US Army drafted him and he was to immediately begin basic training and then sent to West Germany. It was there he met Luisa Voigt, a compassionate nurse who was different than other girls. Bob wasn't the only one who was involved in danger every day. Based on a true story from Bob Inama himself, the author wrote about Bob's life and job as a spy during a time of turmoil. He learned the language which was useful but he could trust no one when betrayal was common. Anyone could be a double agent.
Even before the wall was built in August of 1961 dividing the west from the east there was a great deal of unrest. The wall which literally went up one night had the power to ostracize and destroy. I cannot fathom living in Berlin during this time, instantly separated from family and work. People were desperate to reunite but couldn't or they would be shot on the spot. Before the double wires were strung across the wall some managed to escape but an extra layer of defense was added in the form of spikes. Many were driven to becoming informants. There were prisoner exchanges and torture. I have read many books about Germany during this time and this one adds that personal anecdotal touch.
The quotes at the beginning of each chapter add background information and history. The timeline is helpful as well. What I admire most is Bob's spirit, forgiveness and unshakeable faith. The Adolf story is particularly moving. Another striking thing is Bob's unbiased views. He chose to take the high road. His love for the country to which he felt a certain kinship wasn't marred by hardship.
History and Historical Fiction lovers, do read this powerful book of courage and honour.
My sincere thank you to Shadow Mountain and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this inspiring book.
What a beautiful story! Heather B Moore has taken the true story of Bob Inama's experience in Germany during the Cold War and blended it with the story of fictitious Luisa Voigt to create a story that honors the heroism of so many, many people.
I can't help but wonder when I read these types of stories what kind of person I would have been if I had found myself in this situation. Would I have sat back in silence? Fought back? Been consumed by bitterness and hatred? Bob's story of friendship with "Adolf" was amazing and I wish so very much that he is the kind of person I would have been.
Luisa's story only represents the many people who fought courageously to help free people from East Berlin but it was done very well. I was completely enthralled with her story line.
Bob, I hope you enjoyed seeing your story in print. Thank you for sharing it with the world.
THE SLOW MARCH OF LIGHT by HEATHER B MOORE is the beautifully written and well balanced story of Bob Inama's time as a spy for the US army in East Berlin during the Cold War and after the erection of the Berlin Wall. The author has given a true account of his life, but includes Luisa Voigt, a fictitious character who shows the bravery of those who helped people escape the tyranny of East Berlin. It is a book that will really stay with you as you go on this journey with them. Their sacrificial love and strong faith in God are an inspiration. I particularly like the way the author shows how Bob's terrible hardships lead to great spiritual growth
I highly recommend The Slow March of Light as an excellent read.
I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Shadow Mountain Publishing, The opinions in this review are completely my own.
If you have ever felt a pull to learn more about historical events, this book should be calling your name. One of my favorite aspects of Heather B. Moore’s writing is her ability to let the history shine through her words in the most captivating way. I was completely absorbed in the details while reading this book. I felt so much appreciation for these characters that embodied hope and pushed through great fears to make the world a better place, even if only for one person. This book is a difference maker. It will help you find hope, when you only feel dark. It will help you feel like you’re not alone and that hard experiences are worth pushing through.
I highly recommend this book, even if this isn’t your usual genre. It is eye opening, awe-inspiring and all around incredible. Thanks to the author, publisher and netgalley for the copy. All thoughts in this review are my own.
The Slow March of Light by Heather B Moore has a different spin on a novel with news flashes in between chapters and leading into the next portion of the book. This is the first book I have read by Heather B. Moore. Her writing style is original, and, as the reader, I was drawn in from the very first page to the last This storyline is truly amazing. It was fascinating to read even more about what life was like for the people in Berlin and surrounding areas after the Berlin Wall was placed. The separation of friends, loved ones, and families that ended up on opposite sides of the Wall were so close to one another, but yet worlds apart. Bob is an American that has been enlisted and placed into covert and secret operations within the communist regime...however ends up being caught, imprisoned, and at times tortured. Luisa ends up being separated from her grandmother whom is now on the East side of Berlin. This trauma, and the awareness that there are so many more affected, leads Luisa to join the underground groups that help rescue individuals that want to escape the atrocities of communist East Berlin and make it to West Berlin. I was taken with the willingness of the West people to put forth a risk in order to provide for those in the East to be able to get out and have a chance at a different life. The Slow March of Light is a story of courage, perseverance, and finding faith in seemingly hopeless situations.
Thank you so much to Shadow Mountain Publishing for the ARC of this book
Faith will carry you through
This emotionally charged story, which is based on a true story, will renew your faith in God and in the human spirit. Bob a young U.S. soldier is entrusted will a dangerous mission for his country in East Germany. He never thought he would become a spy when he became a soldier, he only knew he needed to do his patriotic duty for his country. He never realized how his faith would be tested and his life changed in so many ways. This is his story.
A German nurse in West Germany Luisa had no inkling of things to come as she helped an elderly lady deliver a message to her daughter from the hospital bed. She never dreamed she would become part of an organized group helping the east German people escape to the west her grandmother among those saved.
Bob and Luisa meet at a church social and they continue to become good friends. They interact in the story as supporting friends. Two young people caught in a tight situation in the cold war.
The story takes place just as the wall is being erected between East and West Germany in Berlin. The story goes on in telling to describe the differences in the atmosphere and the feel between the two part of Berlin in contrast with each other. It is a riveting story and will keep you holding our breath throughout the book. You won't want to stop reading until you have read the last page.
I enjoyed reading this book and learning more about the story of the Berlin wall, how it came to be and the changes it made in lives of citizens on both sides of the wall. What a tense time in history. I think you will enjoy reading the book as much as I did. I recommend this book.
Thanks to Heather B. Moore, Shadow Mountain Publishing and NetGalley for allowing me to read a complimentary copy for my honest review.
The Slow March of Light is a compelling book about a fascinating time in history—the Cold War and the construction of the Berlin Wall. Based on the true story of Bob Inama, who was drafted by the Army in 1859, it is an insightful look into turbulent times in a changing world. I visited Berlin in 1982, and it has left a lasting impression on me, decades later. This novel brought many emotions back to me: the fear, the oppression, the desperation, and the inhumanity of a divided city. The author did an excellent job of telling Bob’s story, shedding light on no only what he went through, but also the lives of the ordinary citizens of both East and West Berlin.
I wanted to sit with this book for a bit before I wrote down my thoughts. I read a lot of historical fiction, but there is something about the Cold War, about the Berlin Wall, that is so utterly heartbreaking that I am compelled to read about it, even if it requires some breaks while reading.
In a fantastic piece of historical fiction, Moore has given us Bob’s story. The amount of research she put into this book is incredible. I enjoyed the alternating perspectives, from Bob to Luisa. Luisa seemed like such an ordinary character initially, but I was proud to see her step up for what was right. I enjoyed the way their lives intersected. Reading other reviews, I noticed that the news articles and such at the beginning of each chapter put some people off. But it helped to show how much turmoil the world was in at the time. Everyone was on edge, not just Berliners.
Bob’s struggle is memorable, and it hurts because of how much of a struggle it was. He is a man that will stay in my thoughts for a long while. His story is one that everyone should read, even if it takes them a while, as it did for me. Thank you, Shadow Mountain Publishing, for sending this along.
I'm a fan of historical fiction and had taken a break from them for a bit during quarantine. This book drew me in with its beautiful cover and description and brought me back into the world of historical fiction. The pretense for the book takes us to the Cold War in 1961, when the wall is being put up in Berlin between East and West Germany. I haven't read a ton of books based during this time frame, so I was excited to see how it was depicted.
Moore tells the story of real life American soldier, Bob Inama, and his journey in Germany where he is eventually tasked as a spy. This story is intertwined into the world of Luisa Voigt, who lives in West Berlin. Luisa and Bob form a bond after meeting but are torn apart in the ways people always are during tumultuous war times. Bob is eventually taken as a POW in East Germany and it is a heartwrenching experience to live the horrors of the camp on the page.
I was blown away by the amount of research the author had done for this book surrounding the Cold War. If you look into how she conducted her research for the book and talked with Bob Inama about it, it is utterly fascinating. I can see this book easily made into a movie one day. It carries with it the same hope and faith that you saw in Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken.
The first half of the book is, as another reviewer so accurately put it, a slow march. I enjoyed the final half of the book and found it to go by a lot faster. A lot of other reviewers did not enjoy the in-between material that is between the chapters. I found I quite liked it since I am not as enlightened about events surrounding the Cold War.
Thank you to Netgalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All of the opinions in the above review are of my own.
Do you know what’s spooky? When you are sitting in your Berlin flat on 13 August 2021 and reading the exact chapter in this book set in Berlin on 13 August 1961. The day the Berlin Wall was erected.
This is a historical fiction based on real events and true experiences of an American soldier. Not a traditional spy story though. The author starts the book with a short introduction to the post-WWII political situation in Germany, and then also adds to each chapter a news clipping, a quote from the Marshall plan, Khrushchev’s speech or some other document of the time. This didn’t work for me at all, I didn’t feel them relevant to the story line, but it would be great for someone who is really into history and politics.
The first half of the book was a bit slow and dry to me but I really enjoyed the second half, especially Bob’s time spent in prison was well-written and gave the book real human touch. I liked the outcome of the romantic subplot too.
I am thankful for NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for an Advance Reading Copy.
You know when you read a book and the story and characters move you and make you want to be a better person? This book, based on the life of Bob Inama, did that for me. Such an incredible story during an incredibly hard moment in history. Hard for those living in the middle of the Soviet controlled portion of East Berlin in Germany.
Heather B. Moore captured the essence of Bob Inama's personality so beautifully. His goodness and gentleness, as well as his outlook of hope. Wow. At the beginning of the book, the author references a quote from Joseph B. Worthlin. "Come what may and love it!" Many years ago, I heard Joseph B. Worthlin say this phrase as he was quoting it from his mother who constantly encouraged him to live his life this way. It must have been a phrase that was said frequently several generations ago. I have loved this quote and thought of it often since initially hearing it. The author referenced this quote in regards to how Bob Inama truly lived his life, especially during this point in time. He was a U.S. soldier serving in Germany during the Cold War and was sent to be a spy in East Berlin, due to his education background and his ability to speak the German language. Bob was captured and imprisoned. He was beaten and lived in deplorable conditions for many, many months. My heart ached as I read about these months. His faith and hope carried him through what many others did not survive.
Along with seeing Bob's treatment in prison, there is another story woven throughout about the underground groups who worked to help those living in East Berlin escape. Oh my heart. While reading I pondered about the struggles and hardships in my life. Compared to what these German's lived through, my frustrations and struggles seem like nothing. Not being able to see your family or friends, being separated from them by the Berlin wall that was up for 28 years. It went up as just barbed wire to begin with on August 13, 1961 and didn't come down until 1989. I remember watching on the news the build up to the wall coming down. Then hearing those powerful words, "Mr. Gorbachav, tear down this wall," in 1987 to when the wall finally came down November 9, 1989. I watched as so many people pulled at that wall and knocked it down. I was young and didn't fully understand everything but I felt that it was an extremely important and poignant moment. As I am older I understand how important it was.
This book is one that I wish I could encourage everyone to read. There are some hard aspects to the book which will make it one that will be too hard for some to read, understandably so. But if you are not one of those people, I highly recommend that you take the time to read this story of one man and his effort to help during this time. And think of the many others who are being thought of and portrayed as putting for many efforts and sacrificing and risking everything for the freedom of others. Amazing story. I hope that I can live my life as Bob Inama did, "Come what may and love it." I'll have struggles but I can look for the good and embrace it.
Bob Inama passed away a week before I wrote this review. I'm grateful for Heather B. Moore for taking the time to get to know Bob and his wife and sharing her talents in writing his story so that many others may read it and learn of the amazing man he is. I hope we can all find ways to be like Bob and allow for "The Slow March of Light" to encircle us, our families and our communities through our actions and sacrifices.
Content: Clean. This book deals with the aftermath of war, soldier, the Cold War, fighting, death, imprisonment and other aspects connected to war. There are some intense moments, but all of it was written in a very sensitive manner. There is talk of faith and religion, though no denomination is given other than Christianity.
I received a copy from the publisher, Shadow Mountain Publishing, via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions in the review are my own.
Amazing book. I have no words but I’m going to try anyway.
This book made me cry. It was slow going at first but I was hooked into the story and the real people and the events represented in it. It really is a book you have to finish to the end because everything ties together in such an incredible way.
I love historical fiction novels, but especially ones that are well-written and researched and based on a true story. This book is both. What made my experience even more emotional was learning that the hero of the book, Bob Inama, had passed away recentlyand his funeral was held on the very day that I was reading the book. I felt so connected to the main character by then and it made the book even more meaningful.
Over everything else, this is a book about hope. The resiliency of the human spirit is astounding, and it’s especially in unsettling times like this that we need to be reminded of that.
I was provided with a free copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is an excellent read! It's well written and stays with you long after you turn the last page. This book is full of emotions and I loved the interview with Bob Inama at the end of the story. The author did an excellent job of weaving fact with fiction in this story. I received a complimentary copy from Shadow Mountain Publishing via NetGalley and was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
In strife, a heart warming story. Based on a real character, this book was well researched and very readable. I enjoyed the historical perspective and learning more about life in both East and West Germany during the Cold War The blending of fictional characters with the life experiences of Bob Inama worked well.
Often what the reader brings to a book makes it either better or worse in the reading. I expected this to be the case when I requested a Net Galley advance reading copy of The Slow March of Light by Heather B. Moore, to be published on September 7. Her story is based on a true happening of an American soldier who worked as a spy during 1961 as tensions escalated between the East and West and ultimately culminated in the overnight erection of the Berlin Wall. My husband’s draft notice that began a military career was instigated by an increased need for soldiers when the Berlin Wall went up, and we had visited East Berlin, traveling as a military family during the time he was stationed in West Germany. I knew I would be picky about details in the book.
Heather bases about half of her story on interviews with the protagonist Bob Inama. His plans to enter the university law school are interrupted by a draft notice. With enough German language lessons behind him to be fairly fluent, he becomes an ideal person to train by polishing his pronunciation and understanding so that he can attach himself to a professor who travels between East and West. The pictures he takes of possible East German military sites are invaluable.
The other half of Heather’s story is largely fiction, based on a girl, Luisa Voight, who gets a small mention as Bob tells the social side of his story. Heather weaves a tale around her grandmother in the East side of Berlin who refuses to leave to come to the West until it appears to be too late. Meanwhile, Luisa joins a risky spy network herself to help those who want to cross into freedom.
Bob gets caught and sent to prison where he forms an odd relationship with one of the guards. The wall goes up before Luisa can convince her grandmother to come to the West side. Tension for both the factual tale and the fictional one keep the reader in high suspense. Both rang true all the way through to this reader who passed through Checkpoint Charlie while the Berlin Wall was still in place which means that what I brought to the book made it all the better. I will not spoil the ending, but will say that the truth in the ending is even stranger than fiction. Which means you need to be sure to read the author’s note.
The Slow March of Light is one of those epic stories that will stay with you long after reading it. “Come what may and love it,” is a quote by Joseph B. Wirthlin used near the end of the story and perfectly encapsulates the message and life of Bob Inama. He was an incredible man and his story is a must read. I went into this book only knowing that it was about the Cold War and a young man from Idaho who was drafted and sent to Germany. It is so much more than that.
The beginning of the book briefly shares Bob’s early history and his experience in being drafted into the military. Bob’s observations about Germany, his meeting of a local girl Luisa, and his assignment to spy for America all lead up to the core experience that changes Bob’s life forever. It is a little over the halfway mark where the story takes a surprising twist. Bob is betrayed and sent to prison in East Germany. The beatings, fear, and loneliness are palpable as Bob’s prison experience unfolds. He’s aided by a guard he names “Adolf” whom he develops a friendship with. His resilience in the face of evil and his desire to endure his treatment well are a testament to the power of prayer, fasting, and the human spirit. How he copes with this ordeal is inspiring.
While Bob’s story is a fairly accurate portrayal, Heather B. Moore cleverly uses the fictionalized character of Luisa to represent real people and their experiences in West and East Germany. Luisa is based mostly off of a woman Bob met in Germany at church functions. In the book, as she witnesses the increasing control and brutality of East Germany, she finds herself in a position to help. She joins an underground organization dedicated to rescuing as many East Germans as possible and bringing them to the West. She experiences several heart pounding situations as she willingly puts herself in danger. Luisa’s and Bob’s stories intersect from time to time, but it is near the end when Luisa embodies what every reader will wish they could do for Bob.
This is a well researched, well crafted, emotionally powerful tribute to a man who is the epitome of bravery, kindness, and quiet strength. The author uses quotes and stories from the 1960’s at the beginning of each chapter to give the reader a brief understanding of the time period. She also gives a detailed explanation at the end of what is real and where she has taken artistic liberties. It’s definitely a top read for 2021 and I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction based on real experiences. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.
I don't know a lot about the Berlin Wall or what Germany, and specifically Berlin, looked like in the early '60's. In the Slow March of Light, we are given a glimpse into what it looked like from the perspective of a US soldier as well as some of the citizens of the different zones.
Bob Inama is in the US Army. Drafted to serve, he was sent to West Germany. He meets a young woman, Luisa, at church functions and they form a friendship. When given the opportunity for an undercover mission, Bob accepts and is thrown into academia and espionage. He crosses into East Germany along with a professor and covertly takes pictures of Soviet military sites. Bob's cover is blown and is sent to prison where he comes to know God, himself, and find happiness in the hardest places. Meanwhile, Luisa has been recruited to help the underground, smuggling East Germans across the barrier.
This is based on the real life of Bob Inama and that makes it all the more fascinating to me. The perspective he was able to keep through long months of inhuman treatment is inspiring. I enjoyed getting to know Bob through this story. I kinda wish we learned a little more about his wife and family, but I understand that wasn't the purpose of this story. I ended the story wanting more! The endnotes were helpful and did fill in some blanks, which was nice,
Thanks to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Heather B. Moore is one of the biggest reasons I love historical fiction. With all of her research, dedication, and beautiful writing, the stories come to life for me, and I get to learn something in the process.
Reading about the Berlin Wall from the perspective of Bob Inama was truly eye-opening for me — as was his incredible faith. My favorite line: "Sometimes we can only have faith. We can only pray in our helplessness. And as we share our burdens with others, we can make it through together." This is from someone who had every reason to be so angry at having everything taken away from him, yet he never lost sight of his blessings and was kind to everyone he met.
I loved this book, and would truly recommend it to anyone.
Two main characters make up this story - Bob Inama, a true person who gave the author hours of interviews in order to create his story and then gave the inspiration for Louis Voigt the other main character who had a little more fiction involved in her story. Bob was a solider with the US Army stationed in West Germany during the very hard time as the Berlin Wall was being constructed and the borders were affecting the people of both Berlin and Germany. Louisa was a German resident, a daughter of a police officer and a recent graduate of nursing school who was watching her home country fall apart.
Switching back and forth between Bob and Louisa's point of view, this book focused on a time and place that isn't often represented in books - post World War II as countries are occupying Germany and the country is trying to heal from a war that split the population into several pieces. Before reading this book, I was more familiar with the news of the Berlin wall coming down, while I was young when it happened, I have been more aware of the anniversaries and the news of those events, so to read about the people before it went up and the months after it was built was educational.
While the events were interesting to me while reading this book, the characters were built a way that it was hard to put this down as you follow both of them through the ups and downs of the volatile events of the day. Louisa's parts were my favorite, maybe because I am married to a police officer or maybe because I hope I would react like she did and step up and risk my life to help people, but her parts were riveting. I appreciated that Bob's story was so close to fact, but that also made reading his part of the story hard because I knew that his story wasn't far from fiction and there were moments where his story was hard to read.
This was my second book I have read by Heather B Moore and I have loved both, so I want to dive into her backlist and anticipate what she has coming next.
The Slow March of Light is truly an inspirational tale about Bob Inama, an American soldier in Germany in the early 1960’s whose experiences included the overnight building of the Berlin Wall and the Cold War. Never knowing much about the Berlin Wall I was fascinated to read of it through the eyes of Germans living on both sides of the wall. I cannot imagine the fear and frustration encountered by those in East Berlin, struggling to get food, heat, and most importantly visits with their own families. Bob’s fortitude and perseverance helped him survive a horrific experience in a German prison camp.
Louisa, a young fictitious German nurse met Bob and they instantly had a connection. Thoughts of her helped him survive the torture he endured. She was brave, working to help those left behind in East Berlin.
Even though Bob would never live the life he dreamed about nor experience the career he aspired to he approached life with a positive attitude. I thank him and many others for their service.
Although I was a young child during this time frame and was vaguely aware of the events, this book opened my eyes to their importance. I remember having drills in school, hiding under small desks, but never understanding why. I so appreciated the quotes included, especially those by President Kennedy.
Many thanks to Heather Moore, Shadow Mountain, and NetGalley for affording me the pleasure of reading an arc of this book, to be published on September 7th. Four and a half stars.
When you read a book that is “based on a true story”, reviewing and rating it becomes a tricky business. Do you rate the book for its writing? Do you rate the person for his/her heroics? (And heroics would obviously be present in the story. Who would write a book about a dull life?!?) More often than not, I find reviewers rating the person and his/her experiences than the book/writing quality. And that leads to hyped-up ratings and a distorted expectation level. But I’m jumping the gun. Let me begin with the story first.
This book brings to us the story of a US soldier named Bob Inama and his experiences in Berlin during 1960-1962, the period just before and at the start of the Berlin Wall coming up. The content covers Bob’s life from when he receives his draft order, his training at the military academy, his posting to West Germany, and his secret appointment as a spy reporting on Soviet-controlled East Germany and what happens as a result thereafter.
We also meet Luisa Voight, a young nurse living with her father in West Germany but worried about her grandmother in East Germany. Her policeman father’s posting to Berlin, the epicentre of the East-West standoff, soon brings unforeseen changes in her life and she finds herself going beyond the law to help fellow citizens.
As I said, the book is based on a true story. Bob Inama was 85 when Shadow Publishing proposed the idea of penning his inspiring life story to author Heather Moore. The result was many meetings and a lot of conversations between Inama and Moore, their rapport clearly coming out in this book. It is sad that Inama passed away just a few weeks before this book is due to be out. (He expired on August 9th 2021.) But I am glad he got to read it and gave it his seal of approval.
From the book, Inama comes out to be an intelligent and brave officer with a strong faith in God. His life story is indeed inspiring to read. The way he faced his difficulties with calm, how he never allowed anything to shatter his faith, his dedicated approach towards learning German to perform better at his spying work,… All indicate a man who had a great mind and a greater heart. Luisa’s character is also interestingly written and you will feel her sense of hopelessness and determination through her experiences in Berlin. So in terms of characters and story, this book gets a big thumbs up from me. (Though of course it broke my heart to see that Luisa is a fictional character and not a real one. This isn’t a spoiler; it is revealed right at the start of the book through a detailed character chart. Of course she is an amalgamation of many true characters, so that helps.)
Another strong positive of the book is how it covers the historical details and weaves them within the main fabric of the story. At the start of the book, there is a detailed timeline starting from WWII and ending with the demolition of the Berlin Wall. There is a map of Germany showing the occupation of the three Allied Forces and the Soviets. Towards the end of the book is a detailed section providing chapter notes for every single chapter and how far they are true. Every chapter in the book begins with an actual historical quote that correlates to the events in that particular chapter. I have read a couple of fictional books on the Berlin Wall and the events around it. This is the only book that told me why things happened/did not happen instead of only stopping at the whats.
Now for the other side of the story. Sometimes the writing tends to get a bit too ‘fangirlish’. Heather Moore tries very hard to make Inama sound like a hero but she needn’t have. His story is inspiring enough and didn’t need buttressing with extra descriptions or justifications. Another thing is that the story gets too dragged because of this. Both of these are relatively minor issues but they spoil my reading experience by slowing me down too much.
Regardless of this slow pace, the book is definitely an interesting and insightful read and it celebrates a common soldier who went beyond his duty to his motherland.
3.75 stars from me.
Thank you to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for the ARC of the book in exchange for an honest review.
I didn't even read the synopsis before requesting this one. All I knew was 1. Heather B Moore was writing it and 2. If its HF based on true events I know she's going to go all out on her research to make sure its done well. Spoiler Alert: It was.
The Slow March of Light is a historical fiction retelling of true events. It is the story of Bob Inama's time serving in the Cold War during the rising of the Berlin Wall. I honestly haven't read many books during this time period so it was very enlightening for me to become more educated about this time. My husbands Grandmother is full German so all the German cultural references were so nostalgic for me and it felt like I was getting a little bit of her history as well.
Bob is an extraordinary man. He survives the unspeakable but has the utmost trust and faith in God while he does it. Bob puts his trust in God from the moment his draft papers came in to the moment he was released. If any of us had half the mindset of this heroic man, the world would be a better place. It was incredible that he has this story and lived to tell it.
There was a fictional character thrown in to help the readers understand the dangers that people went through to help East Germans escape under the wall. It was inspiring to read about and these moments had me on the edge of my seat BECAUSE they were based on true heroical events orchestrated by regular every day people.
A wonderful, faith filled read of friendship, history, endurance, hardship and love. If you are even a tiny bit interested in reading it, I highly recommend it.
Drafted into the army during the Cold War, not long before the erection of the Berlin Wall, Bob excels at his work - so much that he gets asked to spy for his country in East Germany. Based on a true story, this story provides a glimpse of life in Berlin around the Berlin Wall was built, from the perspectives of both an undercover American soldier and a West German girl who got involved in efforts to help East Germans escape to West Berlin.
This would have been a poignant story anyway, but knowing that it's based on a true story (with a note at the end as to what what true and what poetic license) made it even more so. I did find bits of the story a little slow, but I found Bob's expressions of gratitude in the face of suffering inspiring, and I really loved the ending - it was just perfect. It was also interesting from a historical perspective, because it's not a period that I know much about at all. All in all, a good read, interesting and thought-provoking. Recommended.
Note that I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review and this is my considered opinion of the book.
This story is set in Germany post WWll, and follows a real American soldier, Bob Inama, and fictional character Louisa Voight, a West German nurse. Bob’s story is as inspiring as it is riveting, and was quite emotional for me.
It’s remarkable that I’ve never read a historical novel portraying these fact-detailed bits of Germany’s history before. It’s an incredible book, inspired by real events, that I feel all readers of historical fiction should read.
A special thanks to Shadow Mountain Publishing via NetGalley for the ARC of this beautiful story!
The Slow March of Light is a historical novel based on the experiences of Bob Inama as a soldier and spy and prisoner during the Cold War. Heather B. Moore does an excellent job of telling Bob’s story and experiences and crafting it into fine historical fiction. Several lessons emerge about hope and the resilience of the human spirit. We see the good and bad of humanity, no matter which side of the Berlin Wall one finds oneself. Fans of Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken will find similar Christian messages in this story. While I found The Slow March of Light powerful and with good messages and insightful glimpses into a formidable slice of history, the rising action built up to a mediocre climax and resolution. I was also surprised at the final love interest. The potential of the story could have been even greater with what the author was building up to, so I was a bit let down when the story came to an end. But overall, Heather paid respectful tribute to Bob’s ordeal and contributions
I always love a story that is set in a period of history that I am not as familiar with and this definitely fit that bill. This book is set in Berlin in 1960-61. We follow Bob, an American soldier, and Luisa, a German nurse, during the cold war as the tensions between east and west rise. This story was an enjoyable, quick read, but also a bit predictable. My biggest complaint is that it ended way too quickly. I honestly did not even realize I was at the end when I got there. I wanted more follow up and more details about what comes after.
This was another job well done by Heather Moore. She has a talent for retelling true stories, and bringing them to life for the reader. Such a story of heroism, and history.
Wow! This story was so engrossing! I haven't read much Cold War fiction, so it was fascinating to see things both from the perspective of an American soldier/spy through Bob's character and from a West German citizen who gets involved in helping East Germans escape through Luisa's character. Both perspectives were so well written, drawing me right into the characters' thoughts and emotions. Bob's character was made all the more captivating with the knowledge that he was a real person and his experiences really happened. Although this book covers dark situations, it was also hopeful, as we get to see Bob persevering through an extremely nerve-wracking military assignment and the fallout of that assignment. Bob is just so inspiring!
This book was thoroughly enjoyable and one I highly recommend to anyone looking for a great historical novel.
I read an ARC provided by the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.
The story takes place post WWII, during the cold war.
I've read quite a few fictional books on WWII, but not one during the cold war.
The author did a good job explaining what life was like in West Germany. People still had to watch what they said, there were many spies.
Bob is given an assignment to go into East Germany, to take pictures of military bases and government buildings. While there in East Germany, he is turned in and sent to prison.
Luisa Voigt, is a nurse, residing in West Germany, she gets caught up in smuggling people into West Germany.
At times this novel was a little slow, but the story, which is based on a true account, held my interest.
The Slow March of Light is a very informative story about something I didn't know a whole lot about. Focusing on the time that the wall went up in Berlin, we learn about that time from the point of view of a US serviceman called upon to do some espionage work and the women he befriends in Germany.
Both Bob and Luisa are put in danger as they try to get though life and fulfill their missions. What a scary time that was and I admire what the people did and sacrificed for others. I learned so much about this time period and am in awe of the stamina and determination that they had.
Heather had done an amazing job of taking such a hard, disturbing time in history and personalizing it so that we can understand and empathize with what people went though. The fact that this story is based on true events and a real person, Bob Inama, makes it even more astonishing.
I highly recommend The Slow March of Light if you are at all interested in German history and the fall-out from the war on the country and it's people.
Thank you to the author, Shadow Mountain Publishing and NetGalley, for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This is classified as historical fiction, but is based on real life events and is a re-telling of the personal (true) story of a young US serviceman who served in Germany after WWII and was recruited to work undercover in Eastern Germany after the Berlin wall went up. He is caught, imprisoned and brutally interrogated over months, and is finally freed in a prisoner exchange. The story is compelling, and I loved the juxtaposition of the POVs of the US serviceman and a young German woman he meets, who separately begins to help Eastern Germans escape to the West. As their paths have separated, neither knows what the other is doing, and as usual the author's meticulous research helps ground the story in lived history. I found it a fascinatingly personal read about these early years of the Cold War.
This was a wonderful story about a period of history that I’m sad to admit I don’t know much about. But Luisa’s and Bob’s experiences opened up my eyes and my heart to the pain and suffering endured by both the military and civilians during the Cold War in Germany.
Luisa is a newly graduated nurse with a penchant for helping others. When an East German patient asks Luisa to deliver a note to a family member, she has no idea that she will soon be joining a secret network that illegally helps East Germans escape into West Germany. She risks her life to get them safely across the Berlin Wall, but at what cost to her and her family?
During that time, she meets an American soldier named Bob who is stationed in West Germany. Bob is fluent in German and quickly develops a friendship with Luisa. It’s not long before he receives orders for a secret mission in East Germany where he must identify possible targets for the US military. It’s a dangerous assignment, and if his true identity is revealed, the entire mission will be compromised or worse…he could be held captive and killed.
This story was the perfect mix of heart-wrenching and heart-warming. I thought Luisa and Bob were equally fantastic characters, and I enjoyed getting to know them, despite the circumstances and time period under which they met. This story definitely threw my emotions through a loop, but it also filled me with hope. Despite everything these characters went through, they never gave up. They continued to fight and look for the good even in the darkest of time.
Highly recommending this book!
I haven’t read many accounts of Cold War Germany, and this was a great book to get introduced to that subject matter. I cannot imagine waking up and half your family/city/country etc. is unreachable on the other side of a wall.
Bob is an American soldier stationed in West Germany, given an assignment to go to the other side as a spy. Leaving behind his new love, he is constantly in danger. Very interesting story on the workings of a Cold War communist country.
Heather B. Moore's historical novel is based on the life of Bob Inama, an American soldier sent into East Germany undercover to spy on military installations during the Cold War period of the 1960s. Through interviews with Bob, she has described his actual experiences in the US army and undercover in East Germany. Intertwined with Bob's story is that of Luisa, a fictional character based on a real woman he met in Germany. Blending fact and fiction together, their stories form a dramatic account of life in West and East Berlin during the Cold War, especially with the building of the Berlin Wall and its effect on those living on either side of it.
Bob was drafted into the army in 1959, just short of completing his college degree in pre-Law and Economics. After basic training and then weapons training at a base near Frankfurt,
he was sent undercover to west Berlin where he would travel into East Germany and take photos of suspected military areas. He knew it would be dangerous, especially if he was caught by the Stasi while in East Germany. In Frankfurt, Bob had met a young nurse called Luisa at a church social and was sorry to leave without being able to say goodbye. What he didn’t know was that Luisa was also about to move to west Berlin when her father received a job promotion. Although reluctant to move, Luisa was pleased that she would be able to visit her grandmother in east Berlin and try to convince her to move in with them.
The author’s detailed research paints a vivid picture of this unique period of history, both before and after the building of the Berlin wall in 1961, when life quickly became harder for those in the east. Underground groups in the west formed quickly to help those in the east trying to escape, but struggled to stay one step ahead of the Stasi or their informants. Those spies and underground agents who were caught knew they would be subjected to brutal torture in East German prisons. Bob’s real life story is a heart wrenching one, but one of courage and resilience and is well paired with Luisa’s fictional tale of courage and care for those caught behind the wall. An exceptional read for all fans of historical fiction.
Well researched, beautifully written account of a fascinating time in history. Thought provoking and definitely ecommended..
Just wow. I grew up during the Cold War. After reading this book I have a new appreciation for what those in the heart of it all experienced. Bob Inama's story is incredible. His strength and humility are breathtaking. So much loss, yet in the end, he said he would do it all again if needed. The introduction and chapter notes fully illustrate the history that is depicted in this incredible story. "Come what may and love it" illustrates such great faith. Bob is a true hero in every sense of the word. I learned so much from him and his story.
It’s so inspiring to learn about people you’ve never heard of before, making huge sacrifices for our country that most people won’t know about. I love the use of a fictional character to teach us more about the time period- it becomes less about events and more about the lives of the people at the time. This one is so well done!
I've been reading books by this author for a very long time and I never cease to be amazed at how versatile she is. Moore did a phenomenal job in capturing the historical moments along with the personal stories of an incredible man, merging reality and fiction into a completely captivating story. I thought Moore was brilliant before, and this story completely cements that idea.
The times surrounding WWII have a soft spot in my heart, but I haven't read many stories that bring to life the events leading up to the Cold War. I was horrified and fascinated, yet I also felt the hope and determination of the characters.
What really hit home to me is that we all have stories and experiences to share. We can all learn from each other, especially in the face of very hard and trying times. Bob's character is a refreshing light in a sometimes dark world and there is much to be learned from him. This book is just beautiful and touching and I'm so glad that it was put together and written before Bob's passing, just a month before its release. Consider me truly touched.
Content: mild+ war-type violence (arrests, prison, beatings, etc)
*I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.*
How do you take the Cold War and turn it into something heartwarming and life changing? Heather Moore did such a great job turning such a heavy subject into an enjoyable and inspiring read. Bob Inama somehow feels like a friend you've known your whole life. While reading his story you can feel a tangible hope, even in the roughest of moments. If this book isn't on your list of books to read, it should be.
Just a fantastic story! I love WW2 so much that it's nice to go to the Cold War for this one.... That's one I don't think I have ever read.
I love that this is based on Bob's true story. Make sure you read the author's note at the beginning and the chapter notes at the end. They give a lot of insight to what was real in the story.
It's beautiful that during a hard time in prison, Bob was able to become friends with a guard called "Adolf" (real name unknown). His fictional friendship with Luisa (but she being based on a real aquanintance of his) helped get him through some very hard times too.
It’s been awhile since I’ve had a work of fiction touch me as deeply like The Slow March of Light did. An emotional story that is based on the true story of Bob Inama, a US Army soldier that served in Germany in the early 1960’s as the Cold War rages and the Berlin Wall is erected, who finds himself in a place that is the stuff of nightmares: a prisoner in East Germany, where Soviets rule with fear and an iron fist.
I have read many historical fiction novels that include Germans and/or Germany and they always give me a cold sense of dread, knowing the dark history that swirls around this region. I felt that foreboding quite a bit in The Slow March of Light, anticipating when the proverbial ball would drop, but with Luisa’s story, though fictional, it gave flesh to all of the Germans that were against the inhumane actions of their country, and for that I am thankful. It is a remarkable reminder that even in the darkness there is light and was the perfect balance to Bob’s harrowing tale.
The author’s notes are incredibly thorough, leaving no question as to what parts of the story came straight from Bob himself and what she took creative liberties on, which surprisingly wasn’t as much as I had expected. Heather truly wanted Bob’s story to shine, which it does like a shimmering diamond, and even much of the fictitious parts of the story still held quite a bit of truth, paralleling the actual account nicely, with Heather explaining the motivation behind it all.
The amount of research that went into this novel is obvious and astounding, and I commend Heather for her heart and dedication, and for another incredible true story that has echoed in my mind since I finished the final page and I know will be forever etched in my heart. I was so inspired by Bob’s positivity, thankfulness, and his endurance to never give up hope that I have found myself being more focused and thankful for the many blessings in my life, even in the hard times I am currently enduring. If Bob Inama can go through what he went through and come out with a grateful heart, why can’t I?
“Bob could have never predicted the journey that was in store for him, but looking back, he saw the Lord’s hand in every detail. Every frustrating, painful, bewildering, and joyful detail.”
This was a novel that was very hard to put down. I learned a great deal about the Cold War and I am always appreciative of the research that an author does. This story blended well with historical facts and was very well written. The stories of Bob and Luisa will stay with me for a very long time. .
Many thanks to Shadow Mountain Publishing and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Book: The Slow March of Light
Author: Heather B. Moore
Recommended For...: historical fiction, biography, Berlin wall
Publication Date: September 7, 2021
Genre: Historical Fiction
Recommended Age: 16+ (violence, gore, romance, slight language)
Explanation of CWs: Romance is a slow burn. There is a war going on, so there’s violence and gore.
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Synopsis: In the summer of 1961, a wall of barbed wire goes up quickly in the dead of night, officially dividing Berlin. Aware of the many whose families have been divided, Luisa joins a secret spy network, risking her life to help East Germans escape across the Berlin Wall and into the West.
Bob Inama, a soldier in the US Army, is stationed in West Germany. He’s glad to be fluent in German, especially after meeting Luisa Voigt at a church social. As they spend time together, they form a close connection. But when Bob receives classified orders to leave for undercover work immediately, he doesn’t get the chance to say goodbye.
With a fake identity, Bob’s special assignment is to be a spy embedded in East Germany, identifying possible targets for the US military. But Soviet and East German spies, the secret police, and Stasi informants are everywhere, and the danger of being caught and sent to a brutal East German prison lurks on every corner.
Review: For the most part I thought the book was well done. It had some good character development and world building. I liked the plot for the most part and it was really interesting to read about this time period that I hadn’t read previously.
However, I did feel like the book was more of a documentary/biography than a historical fiction. There was a lot of history, which I appreciate, but it was just not enough “not real fiction” with my history, which made me wonder why not just go ahead and do a full biography at that point.
Verdict: It was good, just a little strangely written.
Moore does a fantastic job portraying the struggles that were happening in Berlin during the Cold War. This story is pulls you in and immerses you in the experiences of the Germans in Post World War II. It tugs on your heart the struggles the people faced but also the extraordinary men and women who stepped up to help each other. Bob Inama was an inspiration!
I received an ARC through Netgalley and all opinions are my own.