4 out of 4 stars
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The Weeping Woman of Putten is a historical fiction book by Alyce Bailey that is based on true events. The book tells the story of the Nazi war crime against the town of Putten, Netherlands.
The Dutch resistance and the Allied troops were fighting to free the Netherlands from Hitler and the Nazis. What they now needed was information on German troop movements to the war front. Men from the resistance planned to ambush German vehicles that approached the Oldenaller Bridge. It was the night of September the thirtieth, 1994 – the night that would forever change the lives of the people of Putten - when the planned ambush went very wrong. When the Nazis found out about the botched ambush, they decided to make an example of the town of Putten, even though most of the town’s people had nothing to do with the Dutch resistance. The Nazis rounded up the men of Putten and sent them off to work camps to face “death by labor”. They then set the town ablaze.
The author, Alyce Bailey, was born in 1947 and grew up in the town of Putten. In preparation for this book, she interviewed family members and family friends; she also collected stories from the few survivors that returned to Putten from the work camps. Thus, her book includes real pictures of the events and people. There are pictures of Putten, the German camps, and even pictures of the aftermath of the raid on Putten. These pictures along with the author’s excellent writing skills brought the book to life.
The only thing I did not enjoy was how perfect the lead character, Janneke, seemed to be initially. She is a strong-willed, confident, and quick-thinking woman who is far different in character to the meek women of her time. Initially, she got far too much praise for my liking. However, as the plot developed she became more relatable and less invincible. My favorite characters had to be Dirk and his father, Johan. They are two of the men from Putten who get sent from work camp to work camp in Germany. Seeing Dirk’s optimism remain through the toughest of adversities was refreshing to read about.
The Weeping Woman of Putten is very well edited, and I could not spot any errors. It contains no vulgar language and has no sexually explicit scenes, making it available to a wider audience. I personally love books that are clean in content, and this is one of those books. If you do not enjoy books with heavy emotions, then you might want to skip this one. On the other hand, if you are a historical fiction fan (like me), you will definitely love this book! I rate it 4 out of 4 stars because of its great content.
The Weeping Woman of Putten
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