Reviews and Readers Comments

Reviews-Tjideng Reunion

ABC Bookworld Review – 

“His superbly detailed but non-inflammatory memoir of two Dutch families who move from South Africa to the Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia), only to become victims of Japanese occupation during World War II, is sophisticated and well-researched investigation into internment camps in Bandoeng (today’s Bandung) and Batavia (now called Jakarta) , and the remarkable post-war reunions that eventually brought his parents to British Columbia.

This is brave, important and well-written book, worthy of a trade publisher. At 452 pages, it is too in-depth to merit commercialism, but it will undoubtedly gain its rightful place among the literature that documents the horrendous treatment accorded prisoners and internees by the Japanese army during World War II.

ABC Bookworld

 

A BC book world (2008)

de Krant

(Januari 2009)

Het boek is een gedegen werk (450 bladzijde met fotos, een kaart van het kamp en tekeningen) dat je niet even in een achternamiddag uitleest omdat de schrijver ook een gedetailleerde beschirijving geeft van het gelijktijdige oorlogs gebeuren in de Pacific met footnotes op vrijwel iedere bladzijde plus vier bladzijde Bibliography met vermelding van source documents.

Readers Comments

Many readers have been moved to contact the author with their own memories of that time in world history, family members who spent time in Japanese prison camps, and other comments on the impact of reading this memoir.

A remarkably detailed evocation of war’s effect on an innocent child and his indomitable parents. This is a tale of daily life at its most unflinching and humane, a vivid and moving memoir that recovers a lost childhood and manages to give meaning to the distortions of war. (John Allemang, Toronto)

An impressive achievement. I marvel at your ability to recreate your daily life, first in South Africa, then in Indonesia and finally back in South Africa, and to tie it to the political events of the day. (Ambassador D. Fraser, Victoria)

Enthralled by it and with it. (John R, New York)

Wat uw boek voor mij  vooral zo interessant maakt is dat het geschiedkundig samenhangend en historisch feitelijk en vlot verhalend is geschreven. Hoewel uw kampervaringen daar alleszins aanleiding toe zouden kunnen geven, heeft u zich afstandelijk weten te onthouden van een overvloed aan beschuldigende emoties. Kortom een waardevol document over een onderwerp dat alleszins de moeite waard is om blijvend onder de aandacht te worden gebracht van een groot publiek en met name de jongere generatie, die dikwijls slechts met ongeloof kennisneemt van deze perfide gebeurtenissen uit het verleden.(Vice Admiraal Krijger, Netherlands)

I was captivated by it. (D Filkin, London, England)

I have been reading your book with relish. First, my grandmother read it, and made notes in the margins about her own experience. She tends to do this! … Your details are amazing.(Meghan P. New York)

Your book is very readable, very informative, very descriptive, pleasingly accurate, and is exactly the  glimpse into my father’s life that I was hoping for. (Peter Teutscher, Hongkong)

“Ik kan gewoonweg niet ophouden met het lezen van jouw boek. Een enorm aantal gegevens en feiten waar ik raar van sta te kijken. Fantastisch en zo duidelijk geschreven dat je alles gewoon voor je ogen kan zien ontbeelden.” (Karl Benink, California, 2010).

What  a book!  What  a story!  For me, it was a page-turner.  I got this book because I collect the books of friends and acquaintances.   I read because it was gripping and well written. This is a story of courage and character.  It is the story of a family that stuck together, made the best of bad situations and enjoyed good times, too.  It is also an inside view of three major historical events of the 20th century: the Japanese occupation of South East Asia during World War II,  the post-War independence of Indonesia, and the start of the apartheid era in South Africa.This book deserves a much higher profile than it has had.

Angus C. Hamilton,  Fredericton, (RCAF, Geodecist) New Brunswick,  22 Oct. 2012

“Ik geniet van je boek.  Buitengewoon goed geschreven. (I enjoy your book, extremely well written)”

Ine Doorman (niece of Admiral Doorman, commander of the Allied fleet in the battle of the Java sea,) Vancouver.

A splendid and evocative book. “

Admiral Jim Boutllier, Victoria

“An impressive achievement. I marvel at your ability to recreate your daily life, first in South Africa, then in Indonesia and finally back in South Africa, and to tie it to the political events of the day. I have recommended your book to others.”

Ambassador Derek Fraser, Victoria

Met buitengewoon veel bewondering heb ik onlangs uw boeiende boek “Tjideng Reunion” in één ruk uitgelezen. Wat uw boek voor mij  vooral zo interessant maakt is dat het geschiedkundig samenhangend en historisch feitelijk en vlot verhalend is geschreven.

(I have read your absorbing book, Tjideng Reunion, through with extreme admiration and  in one session. What makes your book so interesting is the flowing manner in which a coherent, factual  historical context has been woven into the story.)

Admiral Krijger, Netherlands

Your casual description of your memoir left me unprepared for its scholarly nature. Notwithstanding that hardships and horrors were real, your book has elements of James Mitchener (who wasn’t too far from Java at the time) and Wilbur Smith. Your reference to the Taj Mahal Hotel was particularly poignant.

Bill Freeman, Victoria, Canada

 

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