I’m a history buff, or some may call me an armchair historian. I have read dozens of books on the Second World War, but none of them have been written from a child’s perspective. That’s why I found “Finding Shelter” by Angelina Fast-Vlaar so fascinating.
Fast-Vlaar takes us back to her rural, childhood home in the Netherlands. This was a happy home. But soon the carefree joy of childhood was tainted by war. The invading German army cast a dark shadow over the family and community. The German occupation brought many restrictions and hardships—hardships that were felt even by young school-age children.
We see all the events of the war through the eyes of a child. There is a growing darkness as this story develops. Eventually, the war begins to go badly for the Germans, and the oppression worsens. After D-Day the school Angelina attends is closed and used by the occupying army. Food is scarce. Hungry people arrive at their door. Day and night bombers fly overhead. Soon with deadly force the war arrives at their doorstep, as Canadian soldiers battle to drive out the Nazis.
Above all this is a story of faith, courage, and perseverance. It’s a unique unseen perspective that I appreciate. Thank you Angelina Fast-Vlaar for your childhood memoir of WWII. It had me enthralled.