I wonder, after such an extended period of silence, if there might still be anyone out there who is wondering just that. Let me reassure you: it is coming along fine.
Yes, I know I have not been keeping you updated on the quest for Jan van Boeckel. I simply have not had the inclination to bother with social media. The political rollercoaster that the world has been on after Trump was elected, including the associated moral landslide, have something to do with that.
But let me return to telling you about progress and the project. Little did I know, when embarking on my quest, that I would spend more than two years on a project that is both a tribute to my uncle and my grandmother and an endeavour to understand their life and times during five long years of hardship, and shed light on the shadows that followed.
And little did I know that two years later I would still be hunting for facts. Last weekend, for example, I again visited one of the places in which Jan was incarcerated. This time to be able to get a glimpse of the inside of the building, which is still a prison to this day.
And though I am getting closer and closer to the finishing line, I’m not completely there yet. There are photos to sort out, pictures to be drawn, maps to be made, facts to be checked. And an endless amount of editing…..luckily (phew) my chief editor is sticking by me, and I have a new one reading along.
I will be immensely relieved when I can end this project and that the result will be an accessible, in-depth story about my uncle, Jan van Boeckel. The process to get to this result has brought me so much understanding of, and insight in, the choices facing ordinary folk in times of tribulation. That, and the meetings with ordinary and extraordinary people during my quest have already made my effort more than worth it. The book will be a succes for me if it offers a reader even a fraction of the insights and understanding I have gained.
Once I am really done with the manuscript, I plan to order a limited amount of books. If you are interested in a copy, and you have not let me know yet, now is the time to do that. In the future I might put parts of the manuscript online, but a hardcopy is now my priority.