Sunday, April 16, 2023

Under The Java Moon Review



About the Book

 Based on a true story, this gripping WWII novel captures the resilience, hope, and courage of a Dutch family who is separated during the war when the Japanese occupy the Dutch East Indies.

Java Island, 1941

Six-year-old Rita Vischer cowers in her family’s dug-out bomb shelter, listening to the sirens and waiting for a bomb to fall. Her charmed life on Java—living with other Dutch families—had always been peaceful, but when Holland declares war on Japan and the Japanese army invades Indonesia, Rita’s family is forced to relocate to a POW camp, and Rita must help care for her little brother, Georgie.

Mary Vischer is three months pregnant when she enters the Tjideng women’s camp with thousands of other women and children. Her husband, George, is somewhere on the Java Sea with the Dutch Navy, so she must care alone for her young children, Rita and Georgie, and her frail mother-in-law. The brutal conditions of the overcrowded camp make starvation, malaria, and dysentery a grim reality. Mary must do everything she can to keep her family alive.

George Vischer survives the bombing of his minesweeper but feels little hope floating on a small dinghy in the Java Sea. Reaching the northern tip of the Thousand Islands would be a miracle. Focusing on of the love of his life, Mary, and his two children, he battles against the sea and merciless sun. He’ll do whatever it takes to close the divide between him and his family, even if it means risking being captured by the Japanese.

Under the Java Moon highlights a little-known part of WWII history and the impact of war on Indonesia, its people, and the more than 100,000 Dutch men, women, and children who were funneled into prison camps and faced with the ultimate fight for survival. (Goodreads)





My Thoughts

This book holds an incredible story. Once I started reading, I really couldn't put this book down. This covers a history that I didn't know happened. The historical research and the fact that it is based on a true story is incredible. Indonesia during World War II is something I never considered and I just can't believe that people survived. What horrors other human beings can do to one another is mind boggling to me. This is not an easy read and I appreciate that Heather B. Moore doesn't skip the tough stuff. It is not terribly graphic per se but there are some scenes that are really hard to read. BUT we need to read this story. This needs to be talked about and taught as part of history. This book is told from three perspectives and it is done flawlessly. I was able to go back and forth between them all without issue. To read of an event from the perspective of people who were really there is incredible. It makes history come alive and it also should make us so thankful for what we have today. This is a fantastic book and one I won't soon forget. 

Five Stars.

" I received this book from Shadow Mountain Publishers for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."

No comments: