Review: War tears by Lody van de Kamp
Sometimes you come across a book that moves you. This could be because the subject is close to your heart, because it is beautifully written, because it is exciting, or simply a combination of alone. War Tears is one of those books that hits you in multiple ways.
Details of the book
Page: 224 pages.
Price: ?? 14.90
About the author
Lody B. van de Kamp (1948) studied to be a rabbi at Talmud schools in Switzerland and England. He was then associated as a rabbi with various Orthodox Jewish congregations. Van de Kamp regularly publishes in national and local daily and weekly newspapers. He also regularly gives lectures on Israel and Judaism. In 2006 he made his debut at the Mozaik publishing house with Stay there, don’t come! Van de Kamp is party chairman for the CDA in the Zuider Amstel district. The rabbi is married and the father of five children, of which only the youngest still lives at home.
Lucia, the daughter of a Belgian miner, entered the monastery and made her vows. However, it gradually turns out that Lucia is not the real daughter of the Catholic Belgian family. During the war, she was brought into the family through the resistance. She is originally of Jewish descent and her mother gave her up as a small child to safeguard the life of her children for the Germans. Her parents never told her anything about her ancestry until Lucia on her mother’s deathbed receives a lunch box containing a number of documents that betray her true origin. After receiving the box, Sister Lucy begins a long search for her true origin. During this quest, years after the liberation, she meets people who are still torn by the war and its consequences, she hears stories about betrayal, resistance and sacrifice and the power of promise.
Excerpt from the book
The fact that she kept the tin in her possession also remained difficult. Because of her close relationship with Mum, she has never been able to part with this one keepsake from Marcinelle. She has never been able to fathom the meaning of the letter with the Hebrew letters and Mommy’s last words have remained a mystery to her. The mystery surrounding this heirloom made it all the more impossible for her to hand over the tin. The consequence, however, was that she was tormented year after year with feelings of guilt. Sometimes it really got too hard for her. Thanks to much prayer, she got through times like this, but it marked her life. But her arrival in Amsterdam seems to have opened a new chapter in her existence. All the more because Mother Superior has made it clear to her that she can regard this switch as a great compliment. You know how much I would have loved to keep you with us? the old nun had entrusted her. You are true to your vow, you do your job with care and show deep respect for the rules in our monastery. Your leadership in the laundry, the way you completed nursing training and your commitment to local parish care are our greatest appreciation. But there is always a moment for the sisters of our Congregation to say goodbye and to move on in our calling. That moment has now come for you ??.
In the press:
Anyone who is still writing a novel about children in hiding must choose an original approach. Rabbi Lody van de Kamp does that with “War tears”. The main character’s quest shows a little-described side of this resistance work. (Reformed newspaper)
War Tears is an impressively engaging book. It makes you realize that the war not only damaged the lives of those involved, but that their progeny has also been scarred for life. (Nederlands Dagblad, 09-07-2008)
I have read many war novels, but you don’t often come across such an original starting point. The protagonist not only comes into contact with the war in several ways, but especially with himself. Where does she really come from, is the education she received from her educating parents more important than the Jewish background of her biological parents. Is the vow she made when she entered the monastery still worth as much as she discovers her true background. But also what difficulties did the resistance encounter while trying to accommodate her at a safe address during the war, as so many in the resistance encountered difficulties. How unimportant was the faith to these resistance fighters and how basically everyone was a savior? needs in any form. A very impressively written book.