Title: And Jakob Flew the Fiend Away
Genre: Historical fiction, Bildungsroman
Jakob DeJonghe can think of nothing but revenge when the Nazis coerce his father into suicide and his little sister mysteriously disappears the day before Yom Kippur. The situation in occupied Amsterdam soon worsens, with increasingly restrictive laws and barbed wire around the Jewish Quarter. Jakob is determined to do something, anything, to fight back and be the master of his own destiny, just as his heroes the Maccabees did in ancient times.
While en route from Westerbork, Jakob finally takes action and jumps from a death train. As he’s fleeing to safety with a broken foot, he’s found by four young resistance fighters and taken to a safe house. Even though Jakob has been left with a permanent limp, he’s still determined to defend his country and track down the men who killed his father.
His dream comes true when he joins a resistance group specializing in assassinations and sabotage. But when he runs into Rachel Roggenfelder, a beautiful, spirited young woman, on one of his missions, he starts to feel the slow reawakening of emotions he thought he’d buried. As much as he tries to deny it, he can’t stop thinking about her, even during the dark days of the brutal Hongerwinter.
After being recruited into the Princess Irene Brigade and made a real soldier, he bumps into Rachel again. Finding his dream girl again seems like a dream come true, but soon another separation looms. While Rachel is an ocean away in America, Jakob is called to a tour of duty in the Dutch East Indies and begins the painful process of relearning how to be a part of humanity in a shell shocked postwar Amsterdam. Only this time, love and not hate carries him through.
And Jakob Flew the Fiend Away, a historical fiction Bildungsroman spanning the years 1940-46 and set in the Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies, is complete at 120,000 words. It will appeal to fans of World War II-era sagas such as Julie Orringer’s The Invisible Bridge and Herman Wouk’s The Winds of War and War and Remembrance.
I have a BA from [redacted] in history and Russian and Eastern European Studies, with a focus on 20th century Russian history and the World War II/Shoah era, and worked in the production room of an Albany, NY-based newspaper, The Jewish World, for five years, writing, researching, and proofreading articles.
Thank you for your time and attention.