“I hope that Following Shadows, a WWII Family Saga, will transport readers into a different world, in order to emerge changed.”
Janneke Jobsis Brown
Jan A. Krancher The Defining Years of the Dutch East Indies, 1942-1949,
Editor and Author:
“It touched me greatly to ‘meet’ the Vanderveers, who slammed the door on these (war)years. As mind-blowing accounts of true history and suffering are revealed, a beautiful bridge is formed: spanning three generations of a family saying what many who experienced these times, wish they could.”
Azadeh Tabazadeh, The Sky Detective
NASA Scientist and Author
One of the Best Books of 2015—Kirkus Reviews
“Following Shadows takes the reader on a family’s around the world journey. Flashbacks from the father’s boyhood years spent in Japanese concentration camps during WWII are masterfully woven into the present dynamics of the family drama. The daughter’s quest to understand and unravel the past helps her to explore her present-day struggles, bringing her closer to her seemingly distant but loving father.”
Lewis Aptekar, Ph.D, In the Lion’s Mouth,
Author, Clinical Psychologist, Professor, Counselor Education,
“Reading through the story of several generations of Vanderveers, from the Dutch Indies in World War II to Texas fifty years later, with many stops in between, is like reviewing a case of multi-generational war trauma. We can see how the initial internment in a Japanese prisoner of war camp sheds its repercussions down to the present. Janneke Jobsis Brown has woven together love and war and loss superbly, to not only offer us a fine historical novel, but she has also shown how a single person’s psychological trauma carries us forth into the lives of several generations.”
Does surrender ever lead to victory?
The seldom told story of Europeans in WWII Japanese concentration camps, is the never-told story in Luce Vanderveer Lewis’s family. Her father’s trauma in the Dutch East Indies and her mother’s survival in Nazi-occupied The Netherlands brought shadows of pain throughout Luce’s childhood. It’s as if Luce and her siblings also lived times of war despite their parents’ attempts to pretend their memories ended with World War II liberation
In 2004 Luce receives the dreaded news that her brother is near death—again. When she travels cross-country to join her Dutch-Indonesian-American family to try to save him, an unexpected—but long desired, journey into the past begins. For the first time Luce’s father, Jakob, reveals detailed memories of a childhood in the Japanese concentration camps.
This family of secret-keepers must rally together, face the past, or lose one of their own forever. Through surrendering to the shadows of the past, the Vanderveers find that revelations, rather than magnifying pain, bring a light of healing to all.