River in the Sea

River in the Sea

by Tina Boscha


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At fifteen, Leen De Graaf likes everything she shouldn't: smoking cigarettes, wearing red lipstick, driving illegally, and working in the fields. It seems the only thing she shares with her fellow Dutchmen is a fear of the German soldiers stationed nearby and a frantic wish for the war to end. When a soldier's dog runs in front of Leen's truck, her split-second reaction sets off a storm of events that pitches her family against the German forces when they are most desperate - and fierce. Leen tries to hold her family together, but despite her efforts, bit by bit everything falls apart, and just when Leen experiences a horrific loss, she must make a decision that could forever brand her a traitor, yet finally allows her to live as her heart desires. Inspired by the life of the author's mother, River in the Sea is a powerful and moving account of one girl reaching adulthood when everything she believes about family, friendship, and loyalty is questioned by war.

"Tina Boscha's prose is exemplary; her protagonist in River in the Sea is highly sympathetic; and her setting of Friesland, Netherlands, is alive with details. I fell in love with her tender gaze at the world she creates."

-Samrat Upadhyay, author of The Guru of Love

Praise for RIVER IN THE SEA:
"Based on her parents' accounts, author, Tina Boscha, writes tragically, sensitively and honestly about life on the harsh North Sea coast during the German occupation ... The book is well written and historically significant. ... Boscha has best-seller potential."

--Portland Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781466292079
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 08/27/2011
Pages: 306
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Tina Boscha lives in Oregon's Willamette Valley with her husband and stepdaughters along with two nutty boxers and one silly black cat. She is an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship recipient and her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has an MFA in Fiction from the University of Oregon and teaches composition and technical writing. For her next novel, she is working on a good old-fashioned ghost story.

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River in the Sea 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
LiteraryChanteuse on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An emotional and powerful story of a young woman during WWII in the Netherlands. I was glued to this one from beginning to the end. Wonderful writing that had me feeling along with the main character.
ABookVacation More than 1 year ago
This is an absolutely stunning, captivating read that held me in its grip from the very beginning. I started it late at night, yet stayed up well into the wee hours of the morning to finish this gem–and it absolutely blew me away. We hear much about the Holocaust and WWII, but I feel that we don’t hear as much about the other countries and people groups who were affected by Hitler’s regime outside of Germany and Poland, and this novel, River in the Sea, focuses on the German occupation of one small town and its people in the Netherlands in late 1944. Leen De Graaf is just a young teen, but she knows the taste of fear and death; she knows to keep her head down and not draw attention to herself, but in one sweep of panic, upsets all the rules and barely escapes with her innocence intact. And with this simple misstep comes a series of events that create a domino effect, leaving none untouched. As the underground resistance works to thwart the German army and save the innocent, intense fear, a lack of food, disunity among families, and immense feelings of sorrow and guilt splash across the pages and evolve in such a way that it makes for a truly superb, poignant, and beautiful read. Make sure you have a box of tissues nearby as the novel definitely tugs at the heartstrings.
Sarah_Elle_Emm More than 1 year ago
Wow. I am so happy I bought 'River in the Sea' by author Tina Boscha. Within moments, I was pulled into this touching story of the young Leen and viewing World War II through her eyes. I connected with Leen for so many reasons and couldn't wait to see how her story evolved. I loved her bravery, her determination, and her willingness to rebel under the watchful eye of the German soldiers occupying her town and also those of her community. I really know I have fallen for a story when I can finish reading and say, "I would just love to sit down with the main character and ask her some questions." That is how I felt after finishing 'River in the Sea.' I would love to meet Leen, (and the author too!) Highly recommend this novel!
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Alice D. for Readers Favorite Tina Boscha has written "River in the Sea", a poignant novel of the Dutch Friesans and how a family and a small town dealt with German occupation and the end of World War II. Based upon what the author learned from her mother about this time period, Boscha's story is an important addition to World War II fiction. It tells of how a brave and intelligent people survived under horrific conditions, lacking food and basic necessities of life. It is 1944 and Leentje De Graaf or "Leen", the story's main character, is fifteen years old. Driving her father's old truck on her way home from work as a housekeeper, she runs over and kills a German Shepherd guard dog at the German encampment near her home. She is forced to dig a grave for the dog but is spared further retaliation. Leen's family is frightened by this, fear what the German soldiers will do, and as a result, her father and brother go into hiding. Leen, her sisters and their mother hold themselves together and brave Leen trades salt that she steals for desperately needed food supplies. Local men join the Dutch Resistance, Queen Juliana returns from exile, but will Leen and her family surmount all that faces them? "River in the Sea" is a well-written and well-edited account of those dark years of World War II when Nazi troops occupied Holland. Major and minor characters are three dimensional and totally believable; they fall, pick themselves up and carry on despite the threats of "razzias", visits to local households from the German soldiers. The interspersing of the Frieslander dialect in the text authenticates the story and is a nice addition."River in the Sea" is an important entry in the world of books, for the stories of brave people like the author's mother should be read and absorbed by many to prevent repeating times like those dark years of World War II.
LoseTheRadiosMa More than 1 year ago
Well written historical novel about life during the German occupation of the Netherlands during WWII. This is a self-published novel and is based on the life of Boscha's mother. Boscha brings the reader through a range of emotions by all the characters, but especially Leen, a young girl trying to grow up during this turbulent period in history. Her emotions are felt by the reader. The middle of the book drags a bit and I wonder if Boscha did this deliberately. Every day, the residents of Friesland, a northern province of the Netherlands, think the war is ending. Yet, it took 2 years for it to end. The slowness of this part may have been to give the reader a sense of "it's coming, yet it doesn't". That's just conjecture on my part, though. The ending of the novel, The one thing I would have liked to have seen was a glossary. There were many Dutch terms thrown in throughout & while some were easy to figure out, others were not.