Leaving Berlin Summary

Everything you need to understand or teach Leaving Berlin.

  • Leaving Berlin Summary & Study Guide

Leaving Berlin Overview

The espionage thriller novel, Leaving Berlin, written by Joseph Kanon follows Alex Meier through his journey after she becomes involved with a mysterious intelligence operation in post-World War II Berlin, in order to allow his safe return to his family in the United States. The novel is narrated in the third-person perspective as he becomes one of many informants to various international agents. As an informant, Alex is expected to provide information about various subjects, including those from his childhood and romantic history. Despite the clearly outlined mission, his role grows ever more complicated as the he moves closer and closer to Irene von Bernuth, his childhood love, pushing against the parameters of the mission. He continues to gather information, encountering long-lost friends and connections, moving to an ultimate conclusion that tests the boundaries of love, secrecy, and national allegiance.

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