Long Way Back to the River Kwai
Hester’s father, Loet, also had a story to tell: in 1940, on the day the Nazis invaded Holland, he and some other boys escaped to England by hijacking a coastguard boat. Loet wound up a soldier in the Dutch East Indian Army on Jakarta, was captured by the Japanese, and spent three years as a P.O.W. slave laborer on the Burma railroad. He too turned his experiences into a book: Long Way Back to the River Kwai, published by Arcade in the U.S. and translated into French, Polish and Dutch.
“I was moved and fascinated by this well-remembered and impeccably written memoir of what was an extraordinary period in world history. We all owe the author our gratitude for reminding us so vividly of what happens to courageous men when they find themselves on the receiving end of the cruel madness of war.”
— Simon Winchester, author of The Atlantic, The Professor and the Madman and other best-sellers
“What makes Long Way Back to the River Kwai stand out …is an attempt to come to terms with the Japanese… This candid, understated book is a useful contribution to our understanding of an essential truth.”
— Washington Post