The Occupied Garden

The Occupied Garden

Recovering the Story of A Family in the War-torn Netherlands

Book - 2008
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Random House, Inc.
A moving, revealing memoir about a man and his young family during the Nazi occupation of Holland, as told by his granddaughters, one a beloved novelist.

At once a memoir and a social history of a time, The Occupied Garden is the story of a good but poor man, a market gardener, and his fiercely devout wife, raising their young family in Holland during the Nazi occupation. Pieced together by the couple’s granddaughters, who combed through historical research, family lore, and insights from a neighbour’s wartime diary, the story chronicles how the couple struggled to keep their children from starving, but could not keep them from harm, and reveals the strife and hardship endured not just by them, but by a nation. These experiences, kept from subsequent generations of the family, were almost lost until, long after their deaths, the path of the couple through the war and on to Canada was uncovered. A personal and intimate account within the larger context of a terrorized nation, this is also a story of the bonds and strains among family, told with the haunting, evocative prose for which Kristen den Hartog is known.

Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, c2008
Description: x, 316 p. : ill. ; 21 cm
ISBN: 9780771026225
Branch Call Number: 949.207 Den
Additional Contributors: Den Hartog, Kristen, 1965-


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May 23, 2015

This is a very enlightening book about a very dark period in history. I often found myself imagining my great-grandparent's journey, which in many ways mirrored the one told, from war devastated Holland to Canada. That being said, there are sections in the book that can make it feel unnatural in flow, and therefore quite hard to get into.

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