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Rising from the Shadow of the Sun: A Story of Love, Survival and Joy Paperback – March 15, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

When my first book, In the Shadow of the Sun, based on my mother's journal and published in 1992, was out of print, but people kept asking me for more copies, I realized that the subject of women's suffering in Japanese concentration camps during WWII in the Pacific was unknown to many.

People in general know a lot about WWII in Europe, the Holocaust, and about the military war effort in the Pacific, but virtually nothing about the civilian camps for men, women and children and the cruel treatment of the prisoners by the Japanese Imperial Army in Southeast Asia.

When I found out about the NARA Files, the top secret Japanese War Crimes Files declassified in the year 2000, I knew I had to re-tell the story and add this valuable information for the whole world to know. The 1942 liquidation plan of the Japanese Ministry of War was stated in Exhibit O : Death for all prisoners of war in all camps in occupied Southeast Asia, to commence in September of 1945. That meant my life was saved by the bombs! I herewith thank all the veterans and deceased military who fought so courageously and gave their lives for the rescue we so desperately kept hoping and praying for.

Rising from the Shadow of the Sun, an autobiographical historical memoir, if I may call it that, details my mother's love and our survival of the concentration camps followed by vignettes of the wonderful, joyous life that has befallen me since.

At the time of its publication in March of 2011, my dear Mamma was 101 years old and very happy that our second book had seen the light. She received the very first copy.

From the Back Cover

An inspiring story about the human spirit and the resiliency that can be found in families and even little girls.
- Elizabeth Norman, PhD

Ronny's strong and engaging voice brings clear understanding of the physical and psychological suffering that interned women endured during the Japanese occupation.
- Virginia Colangelo, MA


Rising from the Shadow of the Sun reveals human greatness and depravity through the eyes of a little girl and her courageous mother. Ronny's life glows like a lunar rainbow of perseverance and hope. It's a testimony to the abiding strength of family and love.
- James Williams, MAT


Ronny's direct, matter-of-fact narrative is optimistic, revealing her abiding faith that love, determination and positive willpower can overcome adversity.
- Ray Newton, PhD
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Booklocker.com, Inc.; 1st edition (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609107535
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609107536
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,669,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born and raised in Surabaya on the Island of Java in the Dutch East Indies, Ronny survived four harrowing years in Japanese concentration camps during World War II with her mother and little sister. After earning a B.A. Degree in English Literature from Leiden University in the Netherlands, she emigrated with her husband, three children and her dog to the United States.

During eighteen years in Pasadena, California, she was a secretary for NASA in La Cañada-Flintridge, a fashion model and commercial actress in the greater Los Angeles area, and a patient-care Hospice volunteer for six years. She served another six years as Secretary to the Board of Hospice of Hilo after her move to the Big Island of Hawai'i.

In April 1992 her first book, IN THE SHADOW OF THE SUN, based on the diary her mother had smuggled through the camps was published by Vanderheide Publishing Co. LTD. in Canada.

On March 15, 2011, back on the mainland, Ronny published her second book, RISING FROM THE SHADOW OF THE SUN: A STORY OF LOVE, SURVIVAL AND JOY. Honoring her mother, who died a centenarian, she shares her mother's story of the brutal treatment of innocent women and children by the Japanese during World War Two, and cameos of her own life after the war. Included are the Japanese War Crimes Files, part of the NARA Files, declassified in 2000.

On August 15, 2014 Ronny published an Anthology: SURVIVORS OF WWII IN THE PACIFIC, stories by survivors of the Japanese prison camps and survivors of the United States Navy, who fought and suffered in WWII; personal memories that she felt needed to be preserved for posterity as historical evidence of the suffering and heroic actions of civilians and military alike.


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By H. F. Corbin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
"Sticking his bayonet through the gedek (bamboo fence), the Japanese soldier aimed to kill me. He missed." With those two stunning and memorable first sentences, Ronny Herman de Jong begins her narrative of the time that she, her mother Netty Herman-Louwerse and her sister Paula, who were citizens of the Netherlands, spent in a Japanese concentration camp on the island of Java in the Dutch East Indies from March, 1942 until they were freed in August, 1945. Her beloved father Fokko spent the time away in the Dutch Naval Air Force not knowing if his wife and children were alive or dead. RISING FROM THE SHADOW OF THE SUN is this amazing family's story. Aided by her mother's secret diary (published here in its entirety) that she kept during this awful times, written in Dutch of course that Ms. de Jong later translated into English, the author tells this harrowing little-known story, another from World War Two, that is a horrific picture of life in a concentration camp but, much more importantly, a testament to the endurance of the human spirit.

In Part One (In the Shadow of the Sun) Ms. de Jong, using her mother's diary and memoirs in addition to the diary, tells of her parents' marriage, the births of her and her sister Paula, the invasion by the Japanese of Java, the years of living in the camps away from her father and their happy reunion with him at the end of the war. Part Two is the author's autobiography and memoir. After the war, she got a degree in English literature, married her husband Mike in 1961, and is the mother of three children. She and her family have lived in California, Hawaii and now Arizona.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nancy O. Nelson on May 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
A Lesson in Human Endurance
Ronny Herman de Jong's book, "Rising from the Shadow of the Sun," is many things: a journal of a mother, Netty (Jeannette Herman-Louwerse) who survived a Japanese extermination camp, her husband's military story, and their daughter, Ronny's reflections on her own life in context of her parents'. These three major "characters" bring unique points of view about the experiences of a family during the Japanese invasion of the island of Java, in the Dutch East Indies. However, the combination of the three in one book is like looking into a prism with many faces. In the final analysis, the stories blend into one another and the reader gains a much fuller, richer view than she would with only one perspective.
Part One, "In The Shadow of the Sun," is Netty's first-hand account of her four-year experience in the camp, with added information about her husband Fokko. Ronny de Jong herself was only three years old when the Japanese invaded. She, her mother Netty, and her sister Paula were imprisoned for most of four years, from just after Netty's journal begins in November, 1941, until August, 1945, when the Japanese capitulated. Thus Ronny is a character in her mother's story.

While de Jong does not bring direct memories of this period to her autobiographical piece, we often see her in Part One through the eyes of her mother. This double perspective gives even greater depth to the story. One portion in particular near the end of the journal shows Ronny as "now six years old, . . .the long years of living in a camp and malnutrition had put their stamp on her. She, too, showed signs of edema" (210). Despite Ronny's own physical weakness, she is seen on the same page as helping her little sister, Paula, who is even more malnourished, to stand.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By aznightingale on April 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
What an inspiring book! Our early years are so important to who we become. Here is an excellent example of how love, faith and hope brought this family and many others through an incredibly difficult time in their lives. It wasn't riches or having the best of everything that helped Netty raise her girls in the concentration camps. It was love, hope, and the strength she got from her faith in God. Ronny Herman de Jong has continued our education in history by putting the diary her mother wrote into a book. In the second part of her book we read about her life after having survived as a young child in conditions nobody should ever have to live in. Ronny includes group questions in the book to really make you think. It should be read by all. In K-12 we learn only a small part of what occurred in WWII. There really was so much more. Each country involved in WWII has a story. It would do us all good to read more about it so we don't repeat our mistakes and learn from the stories written of overcoming and survival. Rising From the Shadow of the Sun: A Story of Love, Survival and Joy is a great place to start.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By ejfran on March 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
We have all read Holocaust stories, but this memoir about Dutch women and children held in a Japanese camp in Indonesia gave me a whole new perspective on the privations and struggles of the internees. Despite the hardships they faced, the young mother in this story held on to her courage and faith in the future. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read about strong women and the ability of the human spirit to endure anything to protect loved ones. The diary of Jeannette Herman-Louwerse is a fascinating read and the experiences of her daughter after the war are also compelling.
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