Friday, January 10, 2014

One Year in Berlin; Foreign Bride by Marina Raydun Excerpt

One Year in Berlin; Foreign Bride by Marina Raydun Excerpt
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Trying to outrun her family’s history with the Holocaust, Rachael finds herself having to live in Berlin for at least a year. Once there, she is tortured by visions and nightmares as she allows herself to try to connect the dots between her family’s past and her own present.

Bobby was hesitant to settle for a mail-order bride from Russia and Sofiya felt like a welcome compromise. But, young, beautiful and English-speaking, she comes with her own baggage. Can the two overcome their mutual mistrust and damaging insecurities before they destroy each other trying to make their marriage work?

One Year in Berlin:
(from chapter 2)
On morning six, Rachael woke up early and with a new sense of unease. Being preemptively depressed, it suddenly occurred to her, made her lose credibility.
For days she tried her best to decipher the seemingly allergic reaction she had to landing in Germany—the sudden hot flashes and hyperventilation upon meeting the steely blue-eyed gaze of a uniformed man behind the counter at passport control.
Willkommen in Deutschland,” he said and she was suddenly engulfed in cold sweat, feeling and looking as if a bucket of ice water was poured over her head, cutting her breaths into miniature pieces that, even at their seemingly manageable size, had difficulty expelling themselves through her tightening throat, choking her in front of everyone and their luggage.
Thoroughly bewildered, Rachael was afraid of it all happening again; staying under heavy hotel-issue blankets, willing her brain “off,” guaranteed that it wouldn’t.

Foreign Bride:
(from chapter 1)
She was the first to hit.
She delivered that first strike with startling precision, her palm landing firmly on his cheek with a whistling sound that took them both by surprise. He never knew that his foreign bride, many years his junior, possessed such strength in her right arm.
Her right hand, his left cheek.
She felt his stubble upon contact.
Her hand stung, and so did his cheek, but shock kept them both numb for at least ten seconds that might as well had been years; time seemed to stop in their narrow kitchen.
Bobby stood frozen, standing with his back against their outdated white refrigerator, staring at his wife with his piercing blue eyes—the eyes that were beautiful despite the wrinkles that surrounded them, or perhaps because of them. They were open wider than Sofiya had ever seen them.
Sofiya, for her part, stayed just as still, leaning on their small kitchen table with her hip, rubbing her burning palm. She could not understand what had come over her, let alone try to explain it. It was just a fight, not unlike any other they had been having lately. Only this time, she suddenly dropped the vegetable peeler she was using to peel potatoes for dinner, got up from her position at the table and slapped Bobby across the face without uttering a single word.

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