The Flamboya Tree

Author(s): Clara Olink Kelly


' "Why didn't you try to escape?" That was all she said. I had imagined my grandmother telling us how lovely it was to see us at last. I saw again in my mind's eye the barbwire fences and the soldiers with the glistening bayonets, and felt once more that excruciating fear in the pit of my stomach. Try to escape? Lots of people had tried to escape.'When the Japanese invaded the beautiful Indonesian island of Java during the Second World War Clara Kelly was four years old. Her family was separated, her father sent to work on the Burma railway, and she together with her mother and her two brothers, one a six week old baby, were sent to a 'women's camp'. They were interned there until the end of the war. Clara's descriptions of the appalling deprivations and impersonal brutality of the camp - standing in the baking heat for hours of 'Tenko' rolecall, living on one cup of rice a day - are countered by the courage and resilience shown by all the internees, most poignantly her own mother. Remarkable too is the way the children, Clara and her elder brother, and their friends keep their spirits high, finding ways to play even in the darkest times with death one false move away. Just as the painting of a Flamboya tree miraculously survives every last minute flight and surprise search by the Japanese, Clara carries her mother's spirit of love, humour, and courage through all of her experiences and into the reader's heart. (Preceeding text courtesy - applies to the Hardback edition) Trade Paperback


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Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9781740511476
  • : Random House Australia
  • : Random House Australia
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Clara Olink Kelly
  • : Paperback