• Selena | Beauty's Library

The Slow March of Light Review

The Slow March of Light is a beautifully written story that showcases a dark time in German history.


Rating: 4.5/5

Sometimes all you have is hope.


In the summer of 1961, a wall of barbed wire goes up quickly in the dead of night, officially dividing Berlin. Aware of the many whose families have been divided, Luisa joins a secret spy network, risking her life to help East Germans escape across the Berlin Wall and into the West.


Bob Inama, a soldier in the US Army, is stationed in West Germany. He’s glad to be fluent in German, especially after meeting Luisa Voigt at a church social. As they spend time together, they form a close connection. But when Bob receives classified orders to leave for undercover work immediately, he doesn’t get the chance to say goodbye.


With a fake identity, Bob’s special assignment is to be a spy embedded in East Germany, identifying possible targets for the US military. But Soviet and East German spies, the secret police, and Stasi informants are everywhere, and the danger of being caught and sent to a brutal East German prison lurks on every corner.

I received an ARC of The Slow March of Light through Shadow Mountain Publishing asking that I read it and feature it on my page. Thank you so much for this opportunity! This was a beautiful story.


Going into this one I had no expectations. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this is not only such a well-written story but that may be more fact than fiction. I truly wasn’t expecting that aspect and I loved everything this taught me. This book holds such a touchingly beautiful story of events that took place during the Cold War.


I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this is not only such a well-written story but that may be more fact than fiction.

The Slow March of Light follows an American Soldier, Bob Inama who is based on the real Bob Inama. We get to learn about the real experiences he faced during his time in Germany during the Cold War where he was eventually captured and imprisoned. His story is complemented by a fictional character, Luisa Voigt who was inspired by a friend Bob truly did meet during his time in Germany. We get to see Luisa work for an underground organization set on helping Germans flee from East Germany.


I absolutely loved seeing this book including experiences from a real person, not just being inspired from. It made this book feel more raw and heartfelt than it already is. I was completely entranced by Bob’s story. From beginning to end, his story is simply breathtaking. You can feel the emotion Bob felt especially while he was imprisoned.


I absolutely loved seeing this book including experiences from a real person, not just being inspired from. It made this book feel more raw and heartfelt than it already is.

I also enjoyed following Luisa, although she’s a fictional character, it didn’t make her feel any less real. Her character reminded me of the character we meet in Martha Hall Kelly’s Lilac Girls, Caroline Ferriday who is also based on a real person. Luisa’s character sheds so much light on the underground organizations that were willing to risk their lives to help the East Berliners. Luisa’s character was empowering to follow.


The pacing of this is slow as historical fiction books often are. But I found the story to be so captivating that I didn’t care for how long it took me to get through it. I wanted to read every last word to fully immerse myself in Bob’s story. I loved being able to learn more about this piece of history I wasn’t all too familiar with.


I loved being able to learn more about this piece of history I wasn’t all too familiar with.

The Slow March of Light is a beautifully written story that showcases a dark time in German history. I think if you enjoy heavy historical fiction books especially ones that touch on the Cold War, then I highly recommend picking this one up!