A View of the Ocean

A View of the Ocean

Book - 2007
Average Rating:
1
Rate this:
The internationally best-selling novelist, playwright Jan de Hartog, author of The Captain and The Peaceable Kingdom , moves and inspires us with this simple, elegant story of his mother and himself.

She was a quiet, unassuming woman married to a giant of a man, a famous Protestant theologian and pastor, simple, bighearted and big-muscled, who moved through life with gusto and the commotion of a wagon train and who, but for God, might have become a pirate or a general. He adored his wife and didn't like anyone else around to claim her attention. Their sons saw him as a monster of egocentricity, a tyrant, a blustering bully; to her he was a sensitive, shy, helpless man with a mission. She believed in him from the moment they met, and under the wings of her faith in him as a philosopher, he became one.

During their thirty years of marriage this woman's only concern was to enable her husband to hearken to "the voice of God."

After his death she discovered somewhere deep inside a core of drop-forged steel. She rose to the challenge of widowhood and, continuing his work, took his place in the world. The full splendor of this tiny, frail woman's character, intelligence, and courage became evident during her World War II internment in a Japanese camp in the Dutch East Indies, when she managed to arrange a cease-fire between the Dutch Army and Indonesian guerillas.

After her release from prison camp, she returned to Amsterdam, and resumed her simple life, offering spiritual advice to those seeking solace. Finally, she was faced with the ultimate test of her spirit: a diagnosis of a cancer too far advanced for treatment.

De Hartog tells us how his mother's blazing courage through it all inspired his own spiritual awakening as he found, in her final months, the strength, the power, and the acceptance to see her through to the end.
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, [2007]
Copyright Date: ©2007
ISBN: 9780375424700
Branch Call Number: 823 DEHAR
Characteristics: 102 pages ; 20 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

w
wyenotgo
Jul 31, 2016

I seem to be reading a lot of books about dying these days -- "I Heard the Owl Call My Name", virtually all of Mitch Albom's books and now this one, a paean to De Hartog's mother. A growing awareness of mortality, perhaps? In any case, if there's a trend here, it's not necessarily a positive one, because of all those mentioned, this one was the toughest read. His mother did not go gently, her death was very, very hard. So the point of the book is trying to make some sense of it. The book's title refers back to the founding of the Quakers in the 17th century -- perhaps hoping to find an answer there. Lovingly and sensitively written, but in the end not very satisfying.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at HPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top