Girl Out of Place by Syl van Duyn and translated by Ernestine Hoegen @AuroraMetro @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours 



Paperback published 15th August 2020 by AUrora Metro Books

Girl Out of Place by Syl van Duyn and translated by Ernestine Hoegen

A coming-of-age story set during the liberation of the Dutch East Indies.

At the end of the war, Nell is released from a Japanese internment camp in Java. While searching for her father in the chaos, she meets Tim, a young man who is looking for his family too. Nell’s journey takes her first to Singapore then to a new life and new friends in Sydney, Australia. But although Tim may well be the love of her life, her father puts her on a passenger liner bound for the Netherlands. Will Nell really be able to settle in a country she’s never known – and will she ever see Tim again?

Based on the true story of Nora Valk, this is an exciting tale of courage and friendship, hope and determination, about the search for love and a place to finally call home.

My Review 

What made me decide that I wanted to read Girl Out of Place is that it is based on a true story and sometimes these kind of stories can educate you. This book certainly filled me in with some education that I didn’t know. 

At the end of the war, fifteen year old Nell Arends and her Aunt Karly had the Japs still at their camp as they were protecting everyone at the camp from the Indonesian people. The Japs had used the Catholic school, and arranged wooded bunks along the walls and in the middle so they could cram as many people as possible in one room. 

One of the most saddest parts. 

There was only single old water tap, which wasn’t always working and Nell often was always thirsty and hungry, as there was never enough food.

Nell really wanted to leave the camp, her mother had died, and she wanted to go and look for her father. 

Even though you wasn’t really allowed to leave, the watchtowers were placed in such a way that no one could leave the camp unseen. The  Japanese guards must have been watching them but didn’t stop them when Nell and her Aunt Karly, both left the camp , they just carried on walking towards the train station and didn’t look back. 

I love the friendship between a boy name Tim and Nelly On the train to Surabaya to find her father. 

This is a really a lovely part in the story Aunt Karly and Nelly start living in a proper house again. 

This is exciting a story based on courage, that is the courage of Aunt Karly and Nell packing up and leaving the camp, it about friendship with Nell meeting Tim on the long tran journey, and hope is with Nelly in hope to be reunited with her father and determination. The story takes you through the search for love and a place to finally call home. 

I would like to thank Kelly at lovebooksgroup for kindly sending me this paperback to read and review and for very kindly finding me a place on the blog tour today.

About author SYL Van Duyn

Syl van Duyn is author of four Dutch language children’s books: ‘Hallo Aarde, Hier Maan’ (2001), ‘Mijn Zus is een Flussemus’ (2002), ‘Angels’ (2008) and ‘Op zoek naar jou’ (2015), as well as an adult non-fiction book based on the columns she wrote for the Dutch magazine Margriet (‘Een kwetsbaar bestaan’ (2001). She works for the Dutch broadcasting network VPRO, selecting and purchasing documentaries, and lives in Amsterdam.

Ernestine Hoegen has translated Girl out of Place by Syl van Duyn from Dutch into English. She has also written a biography of Dutchwoman Mieke Bouman (Unieboek | Spectrum) 2020. She worked as a public prosecutor before turning to writing, translating and editing full-time in 2017. She lives near Arnhem.

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