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Book Review: The Moment by Douglas Kennedy

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It seems that almost every human being faces a moment in life when they make a decision — a heavy choice — one that can encourage something loving and good, or one that can cover up, divide, and then smother a sacred fire, such as the intimate love between man and woman.

In Douglas Kennedy’s The Moment, there is an unforgettable… moment. Back in 1984 when the Berlin Wall loomed ominously between East and West Germany, American Thomas Nesbitt and an East German woman, Petra Dussman, meet and passionately fall in love.

But their passion becomes, in a way, a crucifixion. Nesbitt finds out that his beloved Petra is a Russian agent. Can he believe it? No. Not at first, but slowly her deceit becomes a mental stumbling block that nails his mind with deceit. Nesbitt feels he’s been betrayed by a woman in whom he’d placed his intimate trust. Even more, he had been feeding her the information she needed. Their relationship explodes irreparably.

Nesbitt returns to the United States and moves on with his life as a travel writer for a while. As he ages, his marriage here in the States dissolves. Mentally unnerved, he flees to the American Northeast to live in a somewhat depressed frozen solitude as if his very lifeblood has iced to a standstill. He and his loving daughter contact one another but only on rare occasions.

Now, in The Moment, it is 26 languishing years later. A small box arrives for Nesbitt through the mail. He opens it. To his anguish, he begins to realize the consequences of the decisive moment he’d faced with Petra so many years ago…

I would highly recommend The Moment to readers looking for a genuine love story filled with the enigma of the Cold War in Berlin in 1984 and the intrigue that accompanied it. What could possibly be found in the small box mailed to Nesbitt that would cause him so much sorrow? Why did it take a score and six years for the box to reach him? Is it too late to change his life?

As I have mentioned in other reviews, Kennedy has uncanny insight into the psyche of women — their feelings, their desires, their devotion, their fidelity — insight which eludes too many men. Read this exciting tale of psychological drama by author Douglas Kennedy. It will not disappoint. If you’re male, Petra’s unwavering courage will undoubtedly move your heart.

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