People who dont have secrets imagine them as dark and hidden. Its just the opposite. Secrets are bright. They light you up. Like the bare lightbulb left on in a cell day and night, they give you no rest.
So thinks Joop, the narrator of this brief and bitter tale, whose secret is like no other. He has kept that secret for more than sixty years, but now his brother---whom he has not seen since the end of the war---has suddenly shown up at his door.
Having grown up in North America with only the vaguest memories of World War II, Joops brother has returned to Amsterdam to find out what his childhood in Holland had been like. But what he discovers is much more than he bargained for---he is startled and dismayed to learn of his own role in the betrayal of Anne Frank.
Transporting readers through the agonizing Nazi takeover of World War II, Joop recounts his role as a boy desiring to feed his starving family. He figures out a way to provide for them, but in doing so, he sets in motion a chain of events that will horrify the entire world.
Just as he did in the internationally acclaimed The Autobiography of Joseph Stalin, here Richard Lourie takes us into not only a persons mind, a time, and a place, but into the treacherous currents of history that sweep lives away. This gripping fictionalized account of the man who betrayed Anne Frank will not soon be forgotten.
Note: Published in hardcover in the USA as A Hatred For Tulips, but renamed Joop: A Novel of Anne Frank in paperback.
I am your brother, said the stranger at the door.
At first I thought he was one of those evangelicals who go from house to house peddling salvation, but then I looked more closely at his face and saw my mothers eyes looking back at me.
Come in, I said.
We didnt fall into each others arms or even shake hands, one too much, the other too little. We hadnt seen each other for sixty years. What did it mean that we were brothers?
I held the door open for him and as I watched him walk past in profile, I thought: Willem must be sixty-five now.
But he didnt look it. A face that hadnt seen much. A gray-haired boy. An American.
I dont have much to offer you, I said. Beer. Some ham, cheese, bread.
I live alone. I dont keep much in the house.
You never married? he asked, sounding concerned.
I didnt ask him ...
If you liked Joop: A Novel of Anne Frank (A Hatred for Tulips), try these:
We were going out stealing horses. That was what he said, standing at the door to the cabin where I was spending the summer with my father. I was fifteen. It was 1948 and one of the first days of July.
The first two stories of a masterwork once thought lost, written by a pre-WWII bestselling author who was deported to Auschwitz and died before her work could be completed.
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