Author, Nina Willner tells the true story of tragedy, estrangement, overwhelming courage and the enduring resilience of the human spirit in her memoir, FORTY AUTUMNS (WilliamMorrow). As a former American military intelligence officer, she tells the story of how her mother, Hanna escaped East Germany, leaving behind her family.  FORTY AUTUMNS spans four generations and focuses on how five women were separated by the Cold War and reunited after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

At twenty, Hanna escaped from East to West Germany to America, but the price of freedom was leaving behind her parents, eight siblings, and family home. She settled in the Washington DC area with her family. Her daughter, Nina Willner was five years old when she learned her grandmother lived behind a curtain. Nina went on to lead sensitive intelligence operations in East Germany at the height of the Cold War. Only a few miles separated Nina from her German relatives – grandmother Oma, Aunt Heidi and her cousin Cordula, a member of the East German Olympic team.

Nina’s prose takes readers into East Berlin and gives us a perspective of what it was like to live behind The Berlin Wall under communist rule. We can literally feel the suspense as Nina runs secrets operations, which put her life at risk.

Nina Willner has written a beautiful memoir about what ultimately matters most: family. It includes personal black and white, as well as color photographs from the family’s personal collection, which certainly add to the book.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Nina Willner

Nina Willner is a former U.S. Army intelligence officer who served in Berlin during the Cold War. Following a career in intelligence, Nina worked in Moscow, Minsk, and Prague promoting human rights, children’s causes, and the rule of law for the U.S. government, nonprofit organizations, and a variety of charities. She currently lives in Istanbul, Turkey. FORTY AUTUMNS is her first book.

Find out more about Nina at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Thanks to TLC Book Tours and William Morrow, we have one copy of FORTY AUTUMNS to giveaway. Just tell us something you know about the Berlin Wall. We’ll announce a winner next week.


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9 thoughts on “FORTY AUTUMNS by Nina Willner & GIVEAWAY

  1. Honestly, I really don’t know much about it. I watched something on the history channel about it and just recall it was interesting.


  2. It was great news when the Berlin Wall came down. Those who were separated for years were able to reunite.


  3. I really appreciate the addition of photos in any nonfiction book – it helps me visualize the people and places, and that makes the story more real for me.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!


  4. The Wall was made up of a 66 mile concrete section 3.6 meters high with another 41 miles of barbed wire fencing and over 300 manned towers! Crazy.


  5. My father’s family was split up by the wall. Half of his family was still in Berlin and the rest were left on the outside. The wall was put up in just one night no chance to prepare and get your families together.


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