THE DUTCH WIFE is a dual storyline book. In 1943 we get to
follow Marijke de Graaf as she is forced to choose between a
slow death in a labor camp or join the camp brothel. She
picks the later in the hope of meeting her husband who has
been sent to the camp where the brothel is. Years later, in
1977 we follow Luciano Wagerer's ordeal during the Argentine
Dirty War as he is arrested and thrown in a prison he most
likely will never leave.
At first, there seems to be no link between the two stories;
it will take a while for one to realize what binds the two
stories together. I quite liked that, to speculate on what
connected them. What I can say is that both stories deal
with inhuman treatment and injustice. THE DUTCH WIFE is a
strong book. I've never read, as far as I can remember, a
book that deals with the women that worked at a brothel at a
concentration camp. Nor have I read many books set in
Argentina in the 70s. I was taken by both storylines, and I
found the book to be very gripping.
I definitely want to read more books by Ellen Keith. I also
want to read more books set in Argentina. Especially in the 70s.
Amsterdam, May 1943. As the tulips bloom and the Nazis
tighten their grip across the city, the last signs of Dutch
resistance are being swept away. Marijke de Graaf and her
husband are arrested and deported to different concentration
camps in Germany. Marijke is given a terrible choice: to
suffer a slow death in the labor camp orâ€”for a chance at
survivalâ€”to join the camp brothel.
On the other side of the barbed wire, SS officer Karl MÅ¸ller
arrives at the camp hoping to live up to his fatherâ€™s
expectations of wartime glory. When he encounters the newly
arrived Marijke, this meeting changes their lives forever.
Woven into the narrative across space and time is Luciano
Wagnerâ€™s ordeal in 1977 Buenos Aires, during the heat of the
Argentine Dirty War. In his struggle to endure military
captivity, he searches for ways to resist from a prison cell
he may never leave.
From the Netherlands to Germany to Argentina, The Dutch
Wife braids together the stories of three individuals
who share a dark secret and are entangled in two of the most
oppressive reigns of terror in modern history. This is a
novel about the blurred lines between love and lust, abuse
and resistance, and right and wrong, as well as the capacity
for ordinary people to persevere and do the unthinkable in