Motherlode: A Mosaic of Dutch Wartime Experience is
Carolyne Van Der Meer's creative reinterpretation through short
stories, poems, and essays of the experiences of her mother and
other individuals who either spent their childhoods in
Nazi-occupied Holland or were deeply affected by wartime in
Holland. The book documents the author's personal journey as she
uncovers her mother's past through their correspondence and
discussion and through research in the Netherlands.
Motherlode also considers mother-daughter relationships
and the effect of wartime on motherhood.
Motherlode is not about recording precise historical
data; rather, it attempts to recover and interpret the complex
emotions of the individuals growing up in wartime. The book is
based on interviews with the author's mother and other Dutch
Canadians, interviews with and letters from Canadian Jewish war
veterans, and information provided by individuals with direct or
indirect experience of the Dutch Resistance. The creative pieces
explore onderduik (going into/being in hiding), life in an
occupied country, the work of the Dutch Resistance, liberation,
collective and individual cultural memory, and the way in which
wartime childhoods shaped adulthood for these individuals.