All About Books: Lichtenstein and Trafford

The Berlin Shadow is interesting in that it is about an old man's trip back to Germany with his son, a couple of years before his death. The old man had been put on the kindertrasnport as a child. With his life winding down, he wanted to revisit some childhood memories in person. To be honest, I was interested only in the parts of the book in which the author recorded conversations with his father as the journey was happening. I wasn't interested in any of the backstory. I'm sure I missed a lot.

This post is a part of the Book Beginnings and Friday 56 blog memes. Visit more of my All About Books posts.


The Berlin Shadow by Jonathan Lichtenstein

Book Beginnings: I ring. He answers. You want to go? Yes. He falls silent. There's a long gap. The trip might help you sleep. I doubt it. How is it? What? Your Sleep? He falls silent again. It must be alarming. What? Not being able to sleep. I've never been able to sleep. Perhaps the journey will help your nightmares. Perhaps it will make my nightmares worse. But you want to go? Yes.

Friday 56: I plough on. I don't know why. There's something in me that will not stop, pushing me through the awkwardness of his lack of interest, my voice slightly distant, nervous, tired, a bit shrill, the creep of my intruding self-consciousness making my mind race, quietly mocking my attempt at communication, knowing it's misjudged but seemingly unable to do anything about it. My deference to him is still present. I am weak in his presence.



Little Boy Lost by J.D. Trafford

Book Beginnings: It started with a pickle jar, half- filled with pocket change and a few dollar bills. The girl came into my office. She set the jar on my desk and sat down in the chair across from me. Her feet barely touched the ground. Her name was Tanisha Walker.

Friday 56: Maybe I’d fallen so low that the darkness had convinced me I wasn’t worthy of a lot of things in life: depression had rewired my brain. Maybe I should seriously consider it. I’d promised my father that I would, so why not? Another hour passed, and then my cell phone rang. The screen said that the call was coming from Annie. It was the first time that she’d reached out since I was beaten and arrested. Each night as I tried to fall asleep, I wondered whether she would call or pay me an unexpected visit, but it hadn’t happened.