has been ostracized her entire life due to her grandfather’s well-known
sympathies with the Nazis. But now her grandfather’s body has been recovered in
the Netherlands in an area famous for being a Nazi killing ground. Why would
her grandfather be buried in a place legendary for assassinations of resistance
members? Skylar jets off to Holland in search of answers about her
grandfather’s demise. Along the way she finds long-lost family and old friends
but will she solve the mystery of what happened to her grandfather? And maybe
she discovers something more valuable than resolving any mystery could be:
After I hang up
the phone, I sit and stare at my computer for a while. I still have no clue how
to carry on. I am completely and utterly stuck. I am at a loose end and don’t
know what to do. I do have one promise, however, that I made to Griet before I
left Michigan that I have to fulfill. I head off to the Wertheim park to
fulfill that promise.
I stand at the Auschwitz memorial in the park
and try to hold
back my tears.
It is so breathtakingly sad here. The smashed mirrors dominating this tiny park
are heartbreaking. The memorial epitomizes the dichotomy that is the war and
Holland. On the one hand, I am standing in front of a heart wrenching monument
to the Dutch victims of the Holocaust that died in Auschwitz but in the
background I hear the tram rumble by, dogs barking as they run around the grass
of the park and children playing soccer on the other side of the fence.
continue with their lives as I slowly kneel and place white tulips on the
memorial. I have one tulip for each member of Griet’s family that perished in
the camps. As I stand, I can’t help but let the tears fall. I don’t know how
Griet has survived such sadness, such heartbreak. “Gaat het me u,” I hear
I run the back
of my arm across my eyes before turning. I don’t want anyone to see my tears.
Tears I normally never let fall. “Sorry,” I start. “Ik spreek geen Nederlands.”
I don’t speak Dutch being one of the few phrases I do speak in Dutch.
He smiles gently
at me. “I asked if you are okay.”
I try to smile
at him but I’m sure my smile wobbles. “It’s just so sad.” I lamely comment.
nods and looks at my tulips. “Your family?” He asks.
I shake my head.
“No, it’s for Griet.”
“She’s my friend
or rather Oma’s friend back home.” I explain rather dumbly.
He nods. “For
not speaking Dutch, your pronunciation is good.”
“My dad was
Dutch. Oma emigrated with dad to America after the war.” Why am I telling the
stranger these things? I shrug. “I guess I’m half-Dutch but I grew up in
America. Oma didn’t teach me Dutch. I try to forget I was Dutch or at least I
“Why would you
want to forget who you are? Where you came from?” He looks genuinely
I shrug and try
to act nonchalant. “My family was bad during the war. I got bullied about it.”
“Bad? What does
was a NSBer,” I start. “But now I’m here because it looks like he might have
been killed by the Nazis. I’m trying to figure out what happened but I’m
He tilts his
head and stares intensely at me. “Do you want to go get a coffee and tell me
all about it?” His request shocks me. Although the Dutch are nice and outwardly
friendly, I haven’t experienced any instant friendships like in America.
I look intently
at the man. He is a stranger but it’s broad daylight and for some reason I
don’t feel threatened by him. He looks to be my age, maybe older. He doesn’t
look like a psycho killer but I guess that psycho killers never look like
psycho killers either. This trip is all about taking chances and leaving my
comfort zone so I shrug and hold out my hand. “I’m Skylar.”
He takes my hand
and shakes it firmly but gently. “Nicolaas.”
I was born and raised in Wisconsin but think I’m
a European (a cloggy to be exact). After spending my senior year of high school
in Germany, I developed a bad case of wanderlust that is yet to be cured. After
high school I returned to the U.S. to go to college ending up with a Bachelor’s
degree in History at the tender age of 20 while still managing to spend time
bouncing back and forth to Europe during my vacations (oh the benefits of a
long-distance relationship). Unable to find a job after college and still
suffering from wanderlust, I joined the U.S. Army as a Military Policewoman for
5 years (the Peace Corps was too much paperwork). While stationed in
Heidelberg, Germany, I met my future husband, a flying Dutchman (literally).
After being given my freedom from the Army, I went off to law school. I
finished law school and moved to the Netherlands with my husband and became a
commercial lawyer for more than a decade. During a six month break from the
lawyering world, I wrote Unforeseen Consequences. Although I finished the book,
I went back to the l
law until I could no longer take it
and upped stakes and moved to Germany to start a B&B. Three years after
starting the B&B, I got the itch to try something else and decided to pull
the manuscript for Unforeseen Consequences out of the attic and get it
published as an e-book. Between tennis, running, traveling, singing off tune,
reading, playing part-time lawyer and running the B&B, I’m working on my