Yesterday, Saturday, December 5, my book appeared in the Dutch national newspaper De Volkskrant, in the Top 10 Dutch bestsellers at bookstore De Drvkkery! With a few words from buyer Monique Eskens. Awesome!
A book that makes me look at history differently. And also a personal story full of goodbyes, choices, and courage. Written in such a pleasant way that I can hardly put it down, and I can visualize it all.
Birgit, what a remarkable and loving book you wrote about the history of your father... And how both his loneliness and his resilience have become palpable. As a theater producer, I experience every day that each person carries a precious story of their own that is worth hearing and seeing. Your story not only 'frees' your dad's history but also 'liberates' so empathically and inexorably a dark side of the complex Dutch East Indies' past and politics. Your book shines a bright light on it for us to learn and heal.
The story is told chronologically, and the writing style is pleasant and compelling. A glossary is included in the back, and – to top it all off – family photos have been added. I thought it was a well-balanced combination of a family story and a piece of history. I find it an excellent book that is not pessimistic despite all the losses, and I learned some too.
This book is written in a fluent style, with short chapters with a title, so you know what is to come. The reader is triggered to keep reading, as there's often a cliff-hanger at the end of the chapter. A beautiful historical piece that I highly recommend!
A very personal, romanticized story about loneliness and abandonment, which gets an extra dimension through a well-kept family secret.
national Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad
A gripping story about loneliness and a family secret. You also learn more about the Dutch East Indies during wartime.
national Dutch newspaper AD
This book shows how things went during the various occupations of the Dutch East Indies and their consequences for Victor and his family, even well after World War II. The use of Malay words made you think you were right there. The hardest thing perhaps was to stop reading. Sometimes it felt like I was sitting next to Victor in one of the Tjemara trees in the garden of Grand Hotel Lembang, and I could watch everyone without them noticing me.
excerpt from Hasso Hofstede's review
Beautifully written. I read it in one go. A moving and eventful family history. An unusual perspective that sheds new light on a part of history that should not be forgotten. Much admiration for Victor, Hilda, and their resilience. And for Birgit to jot down this complicated story about her father. The love and strong family bond are splashing off the page.
I'm really enjoying your book. I love the words you choose. The colourful descriptions. It's beautifully personal. The story sucks me up. I thank you for your discipline, imagination, and talent - so that many thousands of people can enjoy it now and learn from your family story.
Today I traveled back in time. What an impressive family history! I read it in one day.
Gerda Aukes, Bookstore Den Boer, Baarn
In Dutch daily newspaper Algemeen Dagblad or AD, my book in the Top Books on #3 of recommendations! #proudmoment #harpercollinsholland
Besides the Dutch paperback and e-book version of my book, there now is an audiobook available as well! So beautifully told by narrator Johannes Sneekes. Such a special experience it is to listen to a book (let alone your own book) instead of reading it! You can buy...
This positive review appeared in Dutch national newspaper NRC Handelsblad today. So happy with it!
Today the promotional tour of a month in the Netherlands for my book 'Hiding behind bamboo' came to an end, with the last visit to the bookstore Dominicanen in the city of Maastricht. Many thanks to all bookstores who were willing to receive me to sign books: Kramer...
Today the Dutch version of my book HIDING BEHIND BAMBOO has been released! It is now widely available in bookstores in the Netherlands and Belgium as a paperback and online as an e-book. Many of my friends rushed to their favourite store, to pick up a copy of my book,...