'Postcards From Berlin: A Novel'
By: Margaret Leroy
(Hardcover / 400 Pages / Little Brown & Company; 1st edition / ISBN: 0316738131 / $22.95)
Description: A haunting, page-turning novel about a woman's life unraveling when the past she is trying to escape comes back to haunt her - and her love for her daughter is turned against her.
Verdict: If you can run from your past and cover your tracks, hide inside the identity of a loving family, construct a normal life, maybe you will have the security you always dreamed of. If your name is Catriona and you have lived through a nightmarish childhood, then married Richard, a loving husband, and are the mother of two daughters, Sinead and Daisy, who can say you aren't the same as everyone else? No one can see this kind of damage. The daily routine of caring for family sets you far apart from those years, now in a safe place where the past cannot intrude. Even when the postcards from Berlin begin to arrive, you refuse to acknowledge the fear that clutches at your heart. And the postcards come, every day, slotted between letters and magazines, little rectangles that threaten your sense of security. The cards are from your mother, the woman who abandoned you as a teenager, left you in a home for unwanted children, too old to ever be adopted. Those terrible memories burn deep and you cannot forget the horror of the isolation room, the unexpected beatings, and the thoughtless cruelty. But you survived in spite of it, you made a life and you are a good wife, a good mother. Not like the woman who left you, who sends those postcards from Berlin, begging you to forgive, to come and visit now that she is old and ill. So, what do you do? The lessons of childhood loom large over this life and death battle against the system that discarded you as a child. This time your past will either destroy life as you know it, or open a door to the future. Please, take the time to read this wonderful, heartfelt work of art.