The Moment by Douglas Kennedy
A Novel

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From the New York Times bestselling author of Leaving the World comes a tragic love story set in Cold War Berlin.

Thomas Nesbitt is a divorced writer in the midst of a rueful middle age. Living a very private life in Maine, in touch only with his daughter and still trying to recover from the end of a long marriage, his solitude is disrupted one wintry morning by the arrival of a box that is postmarked Berlin. The name on the box—Dussmann—unsettles him completely, for it belongs to the woman with whom he had an intense love affair twenty-six years ago in Berlin at a time when the city was cleaved in two and personal and political allegiances were frequently haunted by the deep shadows of the Cold War.

Refusing initially to confront what he might find in that box, Thomas nevertheless is forced to grapple with a past he has never discussed with any living person and in the process relive those months in Berlin when he discovered, for the first and only time in his life, the full, extraordinary force of true love. But Petra Dussmann, the woman to whom he lost his heart, was not just a refugee from a police state, but also someone who lived with an ongoing sorrow that gradually rewrote both their destinies.

A love story of great epic sweep and immense emotional power, The Moment explores why and how we fall in love—and the way we project on to others that which our hearts so desperately seek.

About Douglas Kennedy

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Douglas Kennedy is the author of ten previous novels, including the international bestseller The Moment. His work has been translated into twenty-two languages, and in 2007 he received the French decoration of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Find out more at
Published May 3, 2011 by Atria Books. 546 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Married to Jurgen, a wunderkind playwright who is driven mad by government repression of his work, Petra has just given birth to son Johannes when Jurgen is arrested.

May 03 2011 | Read Full Review of The Moment: A Novel

The Guardian

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Ever since I first saw Psycho as a terrified adolescent, I've been replaying it – inside my head for several decades, nowadays on a screen at the foot of my bed – but David Thomson has spotted things in it that my countless viewings overlooked.

Mar 07 2010 | Read Full Review of The Moment: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Cold war Berlin provides a moody backdrop for Kennedy's tale of a travel writer's remembrances of love and betrayal, friendship and danger, opportunity and entrapment, while working for Radio Liberty in the divided city.

Feb 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Moment: A Novel

BC Books

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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.

Nov 10 2011 | Read Full Review of The Moment: A Novel

AV Club

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Excited about chronicling the authentic currents of life in the divided country, the young Thomas of the past moves in with a heroin-addicted gay painter in a scuzzy neighborhood along the Berlin Wall, secures a gig creating propaganda pieces for Radio Liberty, and regularly visits the far side o...

May 26 2011 | Read Full Review of The Moment: A Novel

The Bookbag

Yes Pages: 496 Date: May 2011 Publisher: Huchinson External links: Author's website ISBN: 978-0091795849 After I'd read the blurb on the back cover I gave a bit of a shrug as if to say, well, I've read quite a number of books recently where undying love has been found in war-t...

Feb 03 2012 | Read Full Review of The Moment: A Novel

Fiction Vixen

That is until Shelby overhears Carson and Garrett talking about how Shelby might be too vanilla for Garrett and maybe he should just move on.

Aug 29 2012 | Read Full Review of The Moment: A Novel

Gather Books

Mr. Kennedy writes a story of a travel writer who goes to Berlin to write the follow up to his debut novel.

May 15 2011 | Read Full Review of The Moment: A Novel

His portrayal of Thomas's unlikely friendship with his tragic Anglo-Irish heroin addict flatmate, Alistair, is a tender one -- the latter's love affairs and creative spirit act as a foil and counterpoint to Thomas's experiences.

May 14 2011 | Read Full Review of The Moment: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

The return address on the box – Dussman – unsettles him completely.

May 30 2011 | Read Full Review of The Moment: A Novel

Red Online

The tenth novel by bestselling author Douglas Kennedy, The Moment, set in 1980s Berlin tells the tragic love story of travel writer Thomas Nesbitt and Petra, an East Berlin refugee.

May 23 2011 | Read Full Review of The Moment: A Novel

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