I had the opportunity a couple of months ago to hear Kitty Bons speak and of course then had to read her book.
What a contrast to the last concentration camp survivor memoir I read!
Kitty's book is largely a spiritual memoir-- focusing on how her mother's faith kept them going. It was how they survived.
Born on Java, Kitty was just 8 when the Japanese invaded. Soon her family was placed under house-arrest. Her father had escaped a POW camp (all military men and Europeans were thrown in camps immediately) and formed a resistance and they were to be used as bait to get him to come out of hiding. Eventually they were moved to a camp. And then to other camps.
The Japanese concentration camps aren't something we usually hear about. While horrific, the intent was not genocide, but the Japanese could still be very cruel and many many people died.
Rather than dwelling on the misery and horror, this book explains how her mother taught them to love their enemies.
The story contiues, too, through the end of the war and into Kitty's adulthood.
Really just a wonderful and touching memoir.