When I see two children playing free, I soon feel like one of the three. The Power lies in the Small. The whole flower is already in the seed. If you hug it, it does…… BOOM!

The Village of the Swallows

Saturday 10 June 1944, 1.05 pm (German time). Oradour-sur-Glane, a remote, idyllic village in the middle of France, where the war and the recent Normandy landings only seep into the Village of the Swallows through the scarce radio messages. Roger, the eight-year-old incorrigible rascal of the village, is already longing to go for a swim in the river with Marcel and his other friends. Robert, the 18-year-old midfielder of Union Sportive d’Oradour, unlike his older club mate Armand, who broke a leg in a previous game, is anxiously looking forward to tomorrow’s game, while Mademoiselle Denise, the village teacher, who turns twenty-four today, cycles to school. However, less cheerful and cheerful, after what she saw yesterday.

Almost everything in this book happened, unfortunately, and based on the testimonies of the few who have survived “le massacre” with great luck.

Lieze & Tine, Daughters of the Devil

Absolute must! The 60s… the era of free love, flower power… but also of the Vietnam war, teenage pregnancies, taboos and illegal adoptions. The latest book by Marc de Bel starts in the year 1968 with the Boeckmans family. Lieze, Jan, Karel and their parents live in a Flemish village. Lieze and Jan’s stepfather is a soldier by profession and often away from home while the mother keeps a neighborhood shop open.If Jan positions himself as a conscientious objector, he is no longer welcome and goes out into the wide world. He gives his sister Lieze a diary and a transistor radio for her birthday. Lieze has a friend Dirk where she later hopes to start the typical cottage-garden-tree. Until she becomes unintentionally pregnant … Lieze’s parents place her in a shelter, run by nuns, until the baby is born. Followed by the words “it is for your own good”. From then on, Lieze’s agony begins … The 1960s have been a wonderful period for many. For once so many others, this is a period that people would rather not retell or relive. The Church stood very strong and what the Church or its disciples said was word and law. And many families have been disrupted by this. Not to mention the girls who had to give up their babies inadvertently in order to never find any trace of it in the illegal adoption mill that the Church had.

I know about Marc de Bel that he can bring unimaginable historical stories, which he carefully scrutinizes. Lieze & Tine belongs to this category. A page turner where you see the youthful innocence of a girl being torn apart. This girl who is totally innocent, becomes a plaything of the Church and faces an inhumane year. You have to be strong to survive this … All this followed by an epilogue that will make your hair stand on end … Lieze & Tine, highly recommended, but be warned that the story will resonate for a long time to come. Top book!

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