Secret Father by James Carroll
A Novel (Carroll, James)

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Synopsis

Secret Father is a suspenseful drama of family and politics set in Cold War Berlin. Missed signals, cloaked motives, false postures, and panicked responses echo tragically across borders and generations when, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a father and son recount the tense events of nearly thirty years before. In 1961, just before the Wall rises, three teenagers from an American school in West Germany travel to the Communist side of the divided city to join a rally. Unknown to them, their parents have unfinished business reaching back to World War II which will pull the teens into the vortex of an international incident.
 

About James Carroll

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James Carroll was raised in Washington, D.C., and ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 1969. He served as a chaplain at Boston University from 1969 to 1974, then left the priesthood to become a writer. A distinguished scholar- in-residence at Suffolk University, he is a columnist for the Boston Globe and a regular contributor to the Daily Beast. His critically admired books include Practicing Catholic, the National Book Award-winning An American Requiem, House of War, which won the first PEN/Galbraith Award, and the New York Times bestseller Constantine's Sword, now an acclaimed documentary.
 
Published January 24, 2005 by Mariner Books. 364 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Secret Father

Kirkus Reviews

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On their harrowing trip in the sealed shuttle train from the free West to the island city, eastern guards discover a roll of film in the gym bag Ulrich “borrowed” from his high-ranking stepfather, and the trip begins to go disastrously awry.

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The New York Times

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Certainly, for ''Secret Father'' to be at all credible, Carroll must evoke the extreme East-West tension prevailing in spring 1961, much of it focused on Berlin, where thousands of East Germans were escaping from Communism daily by taking the subway into West Berlin.

Aug 10 2003 | Read Full Review of Secret Father: A Novel (Carro...

Publishers Weekly

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The heart of this fine novel, Carroll's first in nine years, is spelled out in the book's epigraph, a line from Dostoyevski: "Real love, compared to fantasy, is a harsh and dreadful thing."

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Entertainment Weekly

The leader is Ulrich, a native-born German given to pompous proclamations like ''Disobedience is how I know I am not dead.'' Ulrich's German father died at the tail end of World War II, and his mother, Charlotte, took as her second husband an American military officer doing intelligence work.

Aug 08 2003 | Read Full Review of Secret Father: A Novel (Carro...

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