A historical novel about the time before the Dutch Golden Age? ‘This could be hard work to wade through,’ I said to myself.
But as often happens when I judge a book by its cover, I was completely wrong, and it was well worth the effort.
Author Richard E. Shultz has woven a huge amount of historical information into his book, which European history buffs should find very interesting.
It also tells a good story, and what I found particularly impressive was the American author’s understanding of the Dutch psyche, particularly those in the North.
Having lived among rural West Friesians for nearly three years, I certainly recognized the characters he depicts in the story, with the giant, no-nonsense, and uber pragmatic people I shared a remote village with, despite a few hundred years separating them.
The author claims to have no-known Dutch ancestry, just an appreciation of the many gifts the Netherlands has given America and the entire world, but you’d think he was at least second generation Dutch from the way his book is written.
A long-held admiration for the impact this little country has had on North American culture, was the driving force behind what is essentially, a very readable first novel.