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This title in other editions

The Flamboya Tree: Memories of a Mother's Wartime Courage

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Flamboya Tree is a fascinating story that will leave the reader informed about a missing piece of the World War II experience, and in awe of one familys survival.”

—Elizabeth M. Norman, author of We Band of Angels: The Untold Story of American Nurses Trapped on Bataan by the Japanese

“It is a well-known fact that war, any war, is senseless and degrading. When innocent people are brought into that war because they happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, it becomes incomprehensible. Java, 1942, was such a place and time, and we were those innocent people.”

Fifty years after the end of World War II, Clara Olink Kelly sat down to write a memoir that is both a fierce and enduring testament to a mothers courage and a poignant record of an often overlooked chapter of the war.

As the fighting in the Pacific spread, four-year-old Clara Olink and her family found their tranquil, pampered lives on the beautiful island of Java torn apart by the invasion of Japanese troops. Claras father was taken away, forced to work on the Burma railroad. For Clara, her mother, and her two brothers, the younger one only six weeks old, an insistent knock on the door ended all hope of escaping internment in a concentration camp. For nearly four years, they endured starvation, filth-ridden living conditions, sickness, and the danger of violence from their prison guards. Clara credits her mother with their survival: Even in the most perilous of situations, Claras mother never compromised her beliefs, never admitted defeat, and never lost her courage. Her resilience sustained her three children through their frightening years in the camp.

Told through the eyes of a young Clara, who was eight at the end of her familys ordeal, The Flamboya Tree portrays her mothers tenacity, the power of hope and humor, and the buoyancy of a childs spirit. A painting of a flamboya tree—a treasured possession of the familys former life—miraculously survived the surprise searches by the often brutal Japanese soldiers and every last-minute flight. Just as her mother carried this painting through the years of imprisonment and the life that followed, so Clara carries her mothers unvanquished spirit through all of her experiences and into the readers heart.

From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

Fifty years after the end of World War II, Clara Olink Kelly sat down to write a memoir that is both a fierce testament to a mother's courage and a poignant record of an often overlooked chapter of the war. As the fighting in the Pacific spread, four-year-old Clara Olink and her family found their tranquil, pampered lives on the beautiful island of Java torn apart by the invasion of Japanese troops. The family was forced to move to a Japanese concentration camp, where for nearly four years they endured starvation, filth-ridden living conditions, sickness, and the danger of violence from the prison guards.

Clara credits her mother with their survival. Told through the eyes of a young Clara, this stirring memoir portrays her mother's tenacity, the power of hope and humor, and the buoyancy of a child's spirit.

About the Author

Clara Olink Kelly lives in Bellingham, Washington, with her husband. When she is not painting or creating other artwork, she loves nothing better than to spend time with her children and grandchildren. The Flamboya Tree is her first book.

From the Hardcover edition.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

marladoherty, August 25, 2006 (view all comments by marladoherty)
I'll never forget Clara's story, which I found in the common room at a hotel in Spain. I finished reading it during my stay and was as fascinated by this trip through time and culture as I was by my trip!
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(3 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780812966855
Author:
Kelly, Clara Olink
Publisher:
Random House Trade
Author:
Kelly, Clara
Author:
Clara Olink Kelly
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
World war, 1939-1945
Subject:
Prisoners of war
Subject:
World War, 19
Subject:
Military - World War II
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
Military
Subject:
Biography-Military
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
108-15
Publication Date:
20030431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
CHAPTER-OPENING PHOTOS
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.52x5.58x.70 in. .69 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Military
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » General
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » Pacific
History and Social Science » World History » Southeast Asia

The Flamboya Tree: Memories of a Mother's Wartime Courage New Trade Paper
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Product details 240 pages Random House Trade - English 9780812966855 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Fifty years after the end of World War II, Clara Olink Kelly sat down to write a memoir that is both a fierce testament to a mother's courage and a poignant record of an often overlooked chapter of the war. As the fighting in the Pacific spread, four-year-old Clara Olink and her family found their tranquil, pampered lives on the beautiful island of Java torn apart by the invasion of Japanese troops. The family was forced to move to a Japanese concentration camp, where for nearly four years they endured starvation, filth-ridden living conditions, sickness, and the danger of violence from the prison guards.

Clara credits her mother with their survival. Told through the eyes of a young Clara, this stirring memoir portrays her mother's tenacity, the power of hope and humor, and the buoyancy of a child's spirit.

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