The Novel: A Memoir that was never written

In 2017 the novel about The Quest for Jan van Boeckel will be published.

I am weaving the enormous amount of information gathered during my Quest into this novel.

It is not only Jan’s story. It is the story of the people Jan met along the way. Witnesses I interviewed, such as Theo and Jakob. But also the story of Jan’s friends, such as Milou and Arthur, whose experiences I discovered thanks to their children.

It is the story of people who described their ordeal in letters, reports, books, courtcases, interviews, documentaries, diaries and films. Stories of journeys that touched Jan’s path.

We follow Jan up close, as he makes his way from Haarlem to Belgium, and then on, into the war shadows of the Reich. As he moves deeper into his adventure, we gain insight into the crossroads he comes to, and the choices he makes. Difficult choices in the face of a destructive force, an enemy whose brutality he underestimated. An enemy who operated with a depth of cruelty that was beyond his imagination.

As the story unfolds, we are repeatedly drawn back to Haarlem, where a Dutch family searches for a lost son, and brother.

The present day Quest forms the backdrop to these two storylines, guiding the reader through a historical European landscape. A landscape which seems so far away, yet is so close.

The three layers; Jan’s journey, his family’s search and mogromo’s quest, intertwine into a gripping family history, which leaves the reader breathless at every twist and turn.

An excerpt from the book in the making:

Crrrrack. A muted sound pierced Jan’s daydreams. The maquisard spun around. He saw that Nic and Tintin had also been alerted. Was it Milou and the others returning? Jan tapped the Russian on the shoulder, holding a finger to his lips to signal silence. The maquisards waited, listening for any dissonance in the familiar melodies of the forest. As Jan strained to hear a repetition of the unfamiliar disturbance, he hoped Theo was finally returning from Liège.

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