The Dekkers are a Dutch family transplanted from the Netherlands into the maturing culture of the Dutch East Indies, and the country transforms them – as they help influence the country. Pieter Dekker is a man of courage and influence in his career of Chief Commissioner of Police for Batavia (later, Jakarta), the headquarters of all 17,000 islands in the verdant Dutch-ruled nation.
His eldest daughter, Diny Dekker, a tenacious, optimistic girl, matures during a revolutionary time. Her coming-of-age blossoms during the Second World War while in the Netherlands. The War shatters the Dekker family, separating them, but their hearts and spirits remain united.
Diny faces the death of loved ones, and places her trust in God. Her story weaves the narrative of a life no longer at peace, and she must decide whether or not to return to the Indies. Can she find the paradise she once experienced?
As much as the social atmosphere of the Dutch East Indies swirls and changes in Diny’s lifetime, so too do her own personal attitudes about life and love. As she traverses three continents, Diny’s faith, forgiveness, and desire for redemption will have the reader cheering for her each step of the way. This is the story of challenges and triumphs of a family traversing the 1930s and beyond, a tale of survival, hope, and redemption.
Caroline VanTongeren Mertens' debut work is a new addition to the great historical memoir tradition along the lines of Corrie ten Boom, Anne Frank, Louis Zamperini, Amy Tan, and Frank McCourt.
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About the Author
A native of Southern California, Caroline moved to Colorado Springs during high school. Her grandmother’s immigration tales of adventure, pain, love, loss, and redemption always provided ample amounts of hope, faith, grace, and literary inspiration, as described in the storyline of In Those Other Lands. Caroline received her B.A. in English Literature and Secondary English teaching degree from Colorado Christian University in Denver. After her own voyage as an overseas missionary for Wycliffe, Caroline returned to Colorado, where she met her husband. She worked as a non-profit writer, an assistant to a Young Life youth director, a magazine editorial assistant, and a textbook typist, among other roles over the years, but her favorite full-time calling is that of being a mother to three daughters. Caroline is passionate about family, traveling, Indonesian food, teaching English, and supporting her husband’s role as a pastor. She lives with her husband and children near Chicago.