by Ingrid Coles
This book is titled perfectly. The author has picked out a moment in memories of her life that must surely affect any reader.
Even if we haven’t ourselves experienced long periods of hunger, reading of the amazement of a little girl at being allowed two pieces of bread, after so long being lucky to get one, is very moving.
Ingrid Coles’ memoir first covers her early years in Indonesia where she was born, particularly the Japanese prisoner of war camp in Java where her mother and siblings were interned – years that were to have ongoing effects throughout their lives. They were the lucky ones in that her father and a brother didn’t make it, but both physical and mental legacies of those times took their toll on survivors.
Further chapters tell of life in Holland after repatriation, where problems still beset the struggling family, then Ingrid’s emigration to New Zealand, at the age of sixteen.
Along the way there is lots of information of life in the war (WW2) and post-war years in Indonesia, Netherlands, and then New Zealand – well organized into appropriate chapters. The editing is good, and it is easily read throughout.
Overall, the production is attractive – photos, sketches and maps are provided to elaborate and enhance the story. Text print is clear, though the lack of mirror-margins makes left-hand pages difficult to read due to narrow gutters.
In this time when such stories are being revived, this memoir adds further first-hand knowledge of past times, lest we forget.
Author: Ingrid Coles
Publisher: Wild Side Publishing