The lead character, Jakob is born into a strict rural Mennonite family. The harsh and alien conditions necessitate migration to less severe conditions and the founding of a new Mennonite community in South Western Ontario, Canada. As he matures, Jakob challenges many of the teachings and beliefs of the Mennonite religion. He is further troubled by the lack information his parents provided him regarding their reasons for migrating to North America. As he grows from childhood to a young man, he witnesses war and the prejudice against the minority Mennonite community. He finally marries and against the advice of friends and family, he embarks on a trip to Holland in search of ancestral relatives. With his parents deceased he has few other sources to turn to. He becomes obsessed with the objective of finding information on the family past. Jakob convinces his wife, Anke to make the trip to Holland in 1938. She is worried and reluctant to go given the rumblings of a possible war.
After crossing the Atlantic by ship, they arrive in France and experience a tragic event before recovering and proceeding on to Holland. In Holland they stay with Anke's relatives in Amsterdam. Jakob is exposed to aspects of life that had been prohibited to him during his life in Canada. He falls prey to many of the vices. While in Holland, Jakob is informed of the existence of his father's brother in Germany. This brother had never been mentioned before and intrigues Jakob. He decides to visit even though he is counseled not to travel into Germany. While in Germany war erupts. Holland is invaded. His wife is trapped and they become separated.
Anke, abandoned in Holland, is subjected to the horrors of war. She finds herself drawn to another and in conflict with her background. With help from the Dutch resistance she attempts an escape from occupied Holland. Contact with Jakob is lost and he is feared dead.
In Germany Jakob's life is in turmoil. Finally a chance to escape to neutral America arises. He faces an awkward situation as an affair with a prostitute has resulted in her pregnancy and needs to determine whether to remain or flee while he has the opportunity.
After leaving Europe as a crew member on a German merchant ship, Jakob jumps ship at the port of San Nicolaas on the Caribbean island of Aruba. He attempts to find Anke and bring her to Aruba to start a new life. Information leads him to believe Anke was killed while escaping Holland with the Dutch resistance cell. Fate intervenes and Jakob meets a beutiful and successful business woman.
Jakob settles into a busy life in Aruba and befriends many locals. Eventually he remarries and establishes a new life.
The story exposes the conflict between life's realities and the morals to which Jakob had been indoctrinated during his adolescence. Faced with making difficult decisions arising from unavoidable circumstances Jakob's actions are not always honorable or well thought out.
Jakob's life is one of conflict, despair, betrayal, lust and love.
|Publisher:||John H Gray|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.54(d)|