I have mixed feelings about this WW2 era novel. The writing is beautiful and the story is set in the Dutch East Indies, which is a part of the war that I haven't read about in previous books. The author did a wonderful job of foreshadowing the story and developing the characters, particularly the main character Jeremiah. While Jeremiah wasn't a particularly likeable character, I was definately rooting for him. I really wanted him to expirience some happiness and get some peace. Most of the story is set in a concentration camp. All of the Dutch women and children are taken there after the men and older boys are taken away to work camps. Jeremiah is the oldest child left in his family, and he takes his role as provider very seriously.
This book is very hard to read. The descriptions of the conditions don't hold anything back. They are brutal and sad. If you are sensitive at all, I would not recommend this book. Also, I feel the love story is stressed a lot on the back of the book, but it really isn't a focal point of the main story. It is really a coming of age story. A very sad one.
I would recommend this book to fans of WW2 fiction who don't mind very honest story telling. And I would recommend following it up with some thing a little lighter.
I received this book for free from Waterbrook Press for the purpose of review.