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"Stunning account of life in a Japanese prisoner of war camp…"
Haunted by a childhood accident, author interviews Dutch woman interned in camp in Java. Poignant story of survival & loveRead moreLess
"A good read…"
3.5 stars. This book started off in a rather chick lit style (which isn't my kind of thing) but soon improved.
I found Klara's story of life as a prisoner of war on Java much more engaging than Jenni's story in the modern day.
Overall a good book, but I found it a little light and fluffy in places for such a serious topic.Read moreLess
"Good story of history / memories of 2nd world war on java…"
I wasn't impressed to begin with and felt that the opening chapters focused to much on details. However once you got past that, and actually got to the main story of the memories of the interment camps on java, it became very interesting to read. It was here that those little details became important. I also liked that there was a section at the back of the book were you could find out more about the true story. This book would suit anyone who has an interest in history, memories etc, anne frank style books. I would also agree that the secondary storyline of the ghost writer wasn't really needed, but I can appreciate why the author thought it might make the book more interesting. Well worth a readRead moreLess
"Beautiful and heartbreaking…"
The dual storyline of this book is an interesting package, however, I think the book could have stood alone simply following, what I understood to be, the main storyline (Klara's memoir). The Ghostwriter storyline, although interesting, paled into insignificance for me once the main story had begun.
I found Klara's account of her experiences during WW2 to be utterly compelling. I was drawn to her story and read with horror at the atrocities committed against her and those around her.
The book, despite being heart-wrenchingly brutal, was beautifully written and very well researched. It opened up for me a whole chapter of history that I previously knew very little about.
There were lots of excellently written descriptions of people and places that transported me to the time and location of the story.
It was a tale of motherly love and survival. I would highly recommend it.Read moreLess
1 person found this review helpful.
"Emotional and gripping…"
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book as it is quite different to the books I usually choose for myself.
The story in the present day didn't flow as well as it might but the book comes alive with Klara's story; this is extremely well written and researched and provoked very strong emotions in me.
I found myself deeply affected by the stories of deprivation and abuse suffered in the camps during the war, at times it was hard to read. In contrast to this was the descriptions of the love the mothers showed for their children in what must have been the most horrific of circumstances.
I finished the book quickly and I'm pleased I have read it; it has made a time in history come alive for me.Read moreLess
"Absolute page turnef…"
I loved this book and devoured it, reading twenty chapters in one day.
I felt it was a little slow at first but once we are introduced to Klara and both storylines begin to pick up pace, I was hooked. Klara's story was heartbreaking and reduced me to tears on several occasions(it's been a long time since I cried at a book).The writing was sensitive,at times moving and the story absolutely gripping.
I wasn't so fond of Jenni's character but she was necessary to develop and explore Klara's story and discover what they have in common.
Overall, this is a beautiful story about moving on from the past,laying ghosts to rest and human strength in the face of adversity.Read moreLess