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Summary

It is 1978. Jess and her mother, Eleanor, struggle to sell socialism to Tamworth - a sleepy Midlands town that just doesn't want to know. So when Eleanor is invited to spend a summer teaching in East Germany, she and Jess jump at the chance. But friends can become enemies, and Jess discovers how easy it is to switch sides and how sides can be switched for you, sometimes without you even knowing.

©2015 Joanna McMillan (P)2015 W F Howes Ltd

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good account of misplaced youthful idealism

I was active in CND and travelled to East Berlin in the same period and was rather bemused my East German had never heard of Leon Trotsky. I didn't share the protagonist's delusion in a workers' paradise behind the Iron Curtain and feel the story would have been more authentic with a female Citizen Smith style character rather than the daughter of a tankie (fundamentalists who supported the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia). Rebellious youngsters seldom follow their parents' political persuasion. Nonetheless the book offers great insights into the crazy world of left-wing activists and the dreariness of 1980s Middle England.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great book, shame about the narrator

German is a widely learnt language. Surely Audible can find a narrator who can pronounce the most basic words and names? The girl in the book is really clever and loves learning German, so I find it hard to believe she wouldn't be able to pronounce the word for 'the'? I guess I'm being pedantic but I'm finding it very cringeworthy.