on 2 March 2012
Just when you think you've read everything there is to read about World War II along comes a true account that quite simply takes your breath away. Lise Kristensen was a small child in Indonesia when one by one her friends started to disappear. It wasn't long after Pearl Harbor, when the Japanese invaded Java and were slowly but surely rounding up all the Dutch, Norwegian, French and English residents who had settled to enjoy the idyllic lifestyle on the other side of the world in a pleasant tropical climate. Young Lise's father was the first to be taken and soon after the rest of the family were marched up the garden path at the point of a bayonet to be taken away on a truck and interned into the brutal regime of Japanese POW camps.
Nearly seventy years on Lise has painstakingly retold her horrific tale from the viewpoint of that small confused, terrified, hungry child.
Yes, quite rightly Lise has been compared to a Norwegian Anne Frank because the book captures perfectly the torment of a child made to suffer at the hands of adults and the decisions they make, inflicting so much pain and suffering on those who can do least about it. The book is heart-wrenching in its innocence, a personal triumph for the author who eventually has a little closure on memories that have surely invaded her dreams night after night right up to the present day. Lise it was a pleasure to work with you, your story is sensational.