Rising from the Shadow of the Sun: A Story of Love, Survival and Joy exemplifies the power of positive thinking, of hope, of perseverance even in the most perilous and life-threatening situations and of a mother's love for her children, surpassing even the tragedy of death.
Jeannette Herman-Louwerse ("Netty"), a young mother incarcerated by the Japanese on the island of Java during World War Two with her two little girls, Ronny and Paula, endures starvation, harsh punishments, and diseases for almost four years. They barely survive.
In a secret diary, risking torture and death had it been detected, Netty writes letters to her parents in the German-occupied Netherlands, and gives an accurate historical account of the Japanese invasion and the lives of women and children interned under the brutal regime of the Japanese. She describes the years of physical and psychological suffering, but also the hope, faith, solidarity, and resilience that keep the imprisoned women alive.
Netty's husband Fokko, a pilot with the Dutch Naval Air Force, stationed in Surabaya, escapes with his squadron hours before the Japanese submarines encircle the island. Working under British command in Sri Lanka, Fokko’s story is chronicled along the same timeline as that of his wife and children; he, too, survives.
Ronny Herman de Jong, born and raised in the Dutch East Indies, survived four years in Japanese concentration camps during WWII. After the war Ronny studied English at Leyden University in the Netherlands. In 1972 she moved to the USA with her husband and three children and currently resides in Arizona.
"This fascinating chronicle of a Dutch mother and daughter records and agonizing, but eventually triumphant, journey from the horrors of life in a WWII Japanese prison camp in the 1940s to peace and prosperity in the United States in the 21st century." (Ed Williams, PhD)