Author: Angelina Fast-Vlaar
Genre: Christian Living/Memoir
It has been said that with the outbreak of the Second World War, Europe entered her darkest period in history. What was it like for a young child to live through those years of conflict and carnage in the Netherlands? Angelina Fast-Vlaar shares a tender, personal story of her impressions, questions, and panic against the backdrop of a loving extended family, living just thirty kilometres from the enemy border. She observes her parents deal with the Hitler-induced restrictions and atrocities with courage, resilience, and an unshakable faith in a loving God, while at the same time reaching out to provide food and shelter to the starving and homeless. The deafening noise of battle echoes on, as she innocently plays with siblings and cousins in their somewhat-protected back yard.
Reviewer: Connie Brown
Through the heart and eyes of a child’s memory, I came to understand more of the times and struggles of family life during WW II in the Netherlands. With faith and compassion, this close knit family endured, allowing a child to flourish during an ugly war. I enjoyed reading the journey and reflecting how different our upbringings were.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
Finding Shelter by Angelina Fast-Vlaar is a rare glimpse into the mind of a child during WWII.
Set in the Netherlands where the author grew up, we are introduced to her family, extended family and neighbours. Her recollection of events and her descriptions of her home and her town draw the reader into her daily life starting at a young age. The first several chapters deal a great bit with how ordinary life was for her and shows how her parents tried to shield her and her siblings from the horrors to come. But then it arrives at their doorstep and everything changes.
I loved how the author shared her encounters with danger and how God protected her and her family. From shrapnel that could have killed her but bounced off a pin in her hair, to bombs that landed close to their home, God seemed to hear and answer the prayers of this family.
Her descriptions of the Canadians coming and liberating them made me proud to be a Canadian. I loved how she included the names of some of these soldiers and their actions. May they always be remembered for their bravery.
If you like true stories set during WWII you will enjoy Finding Shelter.