Sunday, June 28, 2020

Book: When a Toy Dog Became a Wolf and the Moon Broke Curfew ...

de Vries, Hendrika. 2019. When a Toy Dog Became a Wolf and the Moon Broke Curfew. She Writes Press.

This is a memoir about growing up in Amsterdam during the German occupation, including the winter of 1944 when food ran short and many died. It includes the author's idyllic childhood prior to the war as well as some years after, until her family migrates to Oz in search of better economic opportunities. I had not realized that the Dutch economy experienced such a slow recovery following the war.

The book is written as short chapters that, with a few exceptions, describe specific episodes. Introspecting about my own memories from the same ages that seems natural. As an adult, the author became interested in Jungian psychology and it shows in the combination of warmth and detachment with which she considers both her younger self and her parents. You really feel the texture of life under German occupation for a child. I enjoyed it quite a lot and learned from it as well.


Full disclosure. The author's husband's father is one of the (many) brothers of my mother's mother. I heard about the book from said husband during one of the weekly zoom "reunions" of (a subset of) my mother's side of the family that have been an unexpected positive side effect of the pandemic.

Bricks and Mortar bookstore where I purchased the book online.
She Writes Press book page. They also have a booked called She Rode a Harley. I am tempted.

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