Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lest we forget

by Mandy R. Evans
Andrews Univ Press
287 pages / 1991

Mandy Evans was only seven when the German tanks rolled into the Netherlands, so her first reflections on the war are the simple ones of a child being shielded by her parents from too much information. But Mandy is Jewish, so it’s impossible for her parents to shield her for long. She can’t help but notice when she and her siblings are banned from attending public school. When the neighborhood policeman, who used to smile at her as he biked by, grabs her rubber ball and tears it to shreds, there’s no ignoring his stark change of attitude. And when she’s separated from her family, and forced to hide in one home after another, there’s little her parents can do to shield Mandy.

Because I got this book from the Reformed online bookstore I was initially disappointed to find nary a Calvinist within: Mandy is Jewish and her rescuers are primarily Roman Catholic or humanist. But my disappointment was soon quelled – this is a great book. Though Mrs. Evans wrote it years after the fact, as an adult, there is a compelling naivety to this wartime biography because she recounts the events just as she knew them as a child. This is the Nazi occupation as seen through the eyes of a confused, questioning, Jewish young girl.

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