Sunday, December 15, 2013

Review of "Buried Appearances" by D.E.Haggerty

This was a very good book. A mystery if you will. And a very good one. It keeps you guessing almost until the end.

It starts out with Skylar Dewitt, who has been been ostracized her entire life because of her grandfather’s well-known sympathies with the Nazis.

But now Skylar's Oma's (grandmother, who is deceased) friend reads a letter that Skylar's received stating that her grandfather's body has been recovered in the Netherlands in an area famous for being a Nazi killing ground. So the questions begin.

Skylar, after talking to Oma's friend Griet (who read the letter to her), stated there was a trunk in the attic that may have information, could not wait to get some information. So Sklyar finds this trunk with many letters and articles in Dutch, which she cannot read. And a picture of her grandfather in an Nazi pose. This just brings back all the memories of when this picture was in the local paper when Skylar was young and it tore her family apart. Skylar was teased mercilessly and bullied at school. Her mother just up and left. And her father became an alcoholic. And all these years, Skylar now being in her late 20's, has held in all of this anger for her grandfather and what he did to her family.

So Skylar decides to get on a plane to Holland in search of answers to the mystery of her grandfather. The biggest mystery is her grandfather was found buried in a place legendary for only resistance members. So it does not make sense that a Nazi sympathizer would be buried in this particular area. But Skylar is going to make sense of it.

Sklyar lands in Holland and starts work immediately. She has never had family. She soon finds out, as she has her trusty laptop and notepad and takes tons of notes, that she does indeed have a big family in Holland. This includes great-uncles and great-aunts, cousins, etc. But none of them can answer her questions. Some of them can help her read the notes from Oma and lead her in the right directions. Even make phone calls. But Sklyar has to pretty much count on herself. She keeps looking. Having members of the family translate the letters in the chest. Contacting people that were on the letters addressed to Oma. Taking her to people's homes. Skylar herself looks up information at places like The Red Cross which kept information on some on some of the open war files.

There is a lot of history to read through but it is interesting. And it is interesting that Skylar was a history major in college but how little she knew about Dutch history. I would be giving a lot away if I told you where her research leads even in the beginning but, step by step, she starts piecing together the puzzle and becomes that much closer to finding out if her grandfather was fout.

She has a long journey to find out about Joost Dewitt (her grandfater). But has family and sometimes not family to help her along the way. There are times she wants to give up but she is stubborn and keeps at it.

It does appear that there are many different situations that Joost could have had happen to him. Skylar just want to prove that he is not "fout", the Dutch word for a bad person. More so in reference to Nazi sympathizers. She wants to be able to go back to America and show everyone, all her tormentors any proof that her grandfather was not a Nazi sympathizer. But will she find that proof?

In the meantime, after all the years of having no family, she is thrilled to have family to be around, to comfort and support her. And maybe even a love interest down the road.

But the mystery into Skylar's grandfather and how she worked to come to her final conclusion was very interesting. I enjoyed this story very much.