☆☆☆☆☆5 out of 5 stars.
· 2 months ago
Beautifully Written, Very ConversationalThis book was a page turner and written in a conversational tone. It was interesting to read about the war from the perspective of Southeast Asia. The female protagonist is amazingly resilient and well spoken.
Official Review: Kismet by Edith H. Lavroff
Post by Fazzier » 13 Mar 2021, 09:08
4 out of 4 stars
Kismet is a gripping memoir written by Edith H. Lavroff, interestingly taking us through the first forty years of the author's life. It has two major sections, with the first one focussing on Edith's childhood, and the other, her adulthood years. Edith and her parents lived in Indonesia where her father was working as a Dutch soldier, and life was good and peaceful. However, this was not to last for long. In 1942, when Edith was six, the Japanese invaded Indonesia (a Dutch colony by then) and captured the Dutch and Indonesian soldiers. Subdued, the Japanese then took them away from their families and assigned them various kinds of hard labor. Women and children were also taken to separate camps specially allocated to them. This marked the beginning of the family's life away from one another. In this book, the author aptly takes us through what they went through in those Japanese concentration camps. We witness the brutality and inhumane living conditions they were subjected to in the hands of their captors and their subsequent hopelessness due to an uncertain, bleak future. But that's not all. Apart from the experiences in the Japanese concentration camps, the author shares her post-war years and how they adjusted to a normal life after those traumatizing years. I greatly enjoyed this book and found it a journey worth traveling.
I also liked how well the author wrote this book. The recurring themes are hope, resilience, passionate love, and strength of a woman, among others, and I liked the fact that they were beautifully knitted into the story. This memoir is engaging and was separated into short, engrossing chapters. Each chapter had a distinct objective. I also liked how the author meticulously captured her emotions surrounding the World War II era, and readers can feel what she and the other captives went through. She also maintained historical accuracy, giving us insights into the events that took place during that time and some elements of ancient civilizations' history. I couldn't help but notice how knowledgeable and passionate the author is about ancient history. This is something history fans will instantly realize and love. The author's incorporation of visuals such as drawings and pictures also added to this book's appeal. Besides, I liked that this book was eye-opening. It depicts passionate love but without explicit sexual content, and the author's reflections on some of the things she went through in her life are full of lessons I feel parents should not miss out on. For instance, among others, readers will learn the importance of teaching their children about their sexuality instead of leaving them to learn it from somewhere else, which is normally detrimental. All these enhanced my enjoyment of this book and overall reading experience.
My favorite aspect of this book is the fact that it captures how it was like to live in the Japanese concentration camps during World War II, as captives and prisoners of war, a part of history hardly illuminated. As a history fan and as someone mostly accustomed to the Holocaust, I found this aspect eye-opening and insightful, and I felt privileged learning those accounts from someone who had experienced them first-hand. So, I believe history fans not aware of this part of history or simply want to gain a different perspective of those events will gain a lot from this wonderful memoir.
All in all, I didn't find anything critical to say about this book. I believe it was professionally edited since I found only one minor error. I am, therefore, glad to award Kismet by Edith H. Lavroff 4 out of 4 stars.
To fans of memoirs, and in general, readers who like history and passionate love stories, I highly recommend this. Parents and guardians will also learn a lot from this book, for instance, the importance of sex educating their children, among others. On the other hand, I can't find anyone to caution against picking this book.
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I have posted a picture on my Facebook page of the Bridge on the River Kwai.
This is what I have written about it because I was thinking a lot about my father. He was a wonderful warm-hearted person, as you will discover in my book.
The picture is of the epic 1957 war movie “The Bridge over the River Kwai”, directed by Davin Lean, which was based on the 1952 novel written by Pierre Boullle. It depicts the story of how the infamous Burma Railway was built during 1942 and 1943 for the Japanese by captured Allied military prisoners of war to connect Bangkok to Rangoon, in order to support the Japanese armed forces during the Burma campaign.
It is a hard movie to see as many atrocities were performed during that time on the prisoners by their Japanese overlords. The movie was hard to see, but the reality was worse. My father was one of those prisoners of war. He survived, but barely. He was a nervous wreck for many years afterwards. He never wanted to talk about what happened there because it was too hard.
If you have seen the movie what did you think of it?
If you haven't seen it, and if you can take it, go get the movie and watch it.
Everyone seemed to be in agreement: the website is beautiful! So, thanks again for letting me know what you think about it. Now all I have to do is learn how to develop it. If you have a website do let me know what is a good way to sell my book?
I hope to find others who have gone through similar experiences as I have had, as far as the war years are concerned. Please tell me a little about your experiences. Or maybe your parents have told you about theirs.
My reason for writing my memoirs was, in the first place, so that my children would know more more about what brought about their very existence. But in the second place, I was hoping to make contact with others and talk with them about their feelings about similar events. It is really important to me. I hope you will read the book and share with me.
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I just got the news that my book is ready to be published! In a few days all the buttons on the site will be activated and books can be ordered! I almost feel that I don't deserve to be so happy.... On the other hand, I did spent a great deal of time creating and editing my book, so maybe I can allow myself a few jumps up and down today!
Also, I must admit, it was hard to relive those days long gone by. The man I loved for so long died when I was 56 so it really was a long time ago, but to me he is still very much alive. No matter, today I shall just bask in the knowledge that I am a published writer! And how was your day? Did you have a chance to go out in the sunshine and enjoy our beautiful Okanagan? Oh, I am needed so I have torun!
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So I went back to Holland for that last year of my high school. After that, my life developed as I have described in my book. That last period in Turkey I had been the only child among strictly grown-ups. I guess it was not surprising that something had to give. I had no girl friends to giggle with, no boys to giggly about with those girl-friends. Those were attenuating circumstances for what I had done, but I still felt bad about it. And still do, actually.
Have you ever done something that you feel really bad about, even today? Do write me a comment and tell me how it made you feel. I would love to hear from you. Today I am an old lady and can look back upon my life with more compassionate eyes. Unfortunately we can't undo the past. I would have done many things differently, but I guess life has to teach us first before we learn a better way!
What deep thoughts on such a bright and sunny day in the Okanagan! Let us smile and be happy we are alive!
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Have you ever had an irresistible urge to to write a boo, a poem, or anything? Yes? Then you know how hard it is to resist this impulse. Well, I felt the urge to write my biography because I heard it so many times, "You should write a book about your life and your experiences!"
Why, will you ask, should I think myself important enough to write my memoirs? I am not a famous public figure, I did not win Olympic gold, I am not a movie star; I am just a simple housewife and mother. However, I am a human being who has a story to tell, just like everybody else. I like telling it, and I hope, if you read the book, that it will give you a few happy hours of living g in another world, far away from where you are now.
Now you will ask, "Who are you anyway?"
Here goes, a very short description of my life story.
I was born in Indonesia, at that time the Netherlands Indies, a colony of the Dutch. My mom was German, my dad was Dutch. Spent the war years in concentration camps on Java, then lived in Turkey for a while and was home-schooled. I was a very bad girl, and then sent to Holland to finish my schooling. I had fallen in love with a man much older than I was. He went for it, unfortunately. I was fifteen years old. (To be continued)