Author tells of family’s wartime hardships
It’s all happening at Wardini Books this month with the launch of a true story of heartaches and triumphs.
Two Slices of Bread by Ingrid Coles tells how as a young child in Holland, Ingrid’s uncle offered her another slice of bread. ‘Two slices of bread?’ she asked, never having been allowed that many before! Her memory jumped to the starvation and cruelty her family experienced at the hands of their captors in a Japanese concentration camp.
Ingrid Coles was born in Java, Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), on November 28, 1942, during the Japanese occupation of WWII. Three months after her birth, she and her family were incarcerated in prisoner-of-war camps. Her father died, aged 43, in a prison camp. Her 6-year-old brother died of starvation and pneumonia en route to Holland, when the family was evacuated during the Indonesian War of Independence.
Life changed drastically in the Netherlands for Ingrid and her three siblings, who had to learn how to cope with their mother’s post-traumatic stress and their own wartime experiences. Ingrid was orphaned aged 16 in 1958. She had a clear idea of her future calling and she emigrated to New Zealand to begin nursing training. This memoir traces Ingrid’s background and growing up years, revealing the secret of her successful life in her country of adoption. The book reveals how she overcame the hurts and hurdles of the past, even to how she learned to forgive her oppressors.
Join the celebrations at the Havelock North Library on Thursday, September 13 at 6pm.
Ingrid Coles alongside the cover of her book Two Slices of Bread.