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Sonny Boy

In (auto)biography, Annejet van der Zijl, Book, Dutch, Dutch author, Film, History, Non-Fiction, Recommended on 20/01/2011 at 22:41
Annejet van der Zijl - Sonny Boy

Annejet van der Zijl - Sonny Boy

Sonny Boy tells the sad but true story of Dutch Rika van der Lans and Surinamese Waldemar Nods and their struggle to exist in a world where your background determines the way you should live your life. Not only do these star crossed lovers have to deal with a resentful husband and the pressure of a society that doesn’t accept a white (married) woman being together with a black man, the trouble of World War II make life even worse.

Sonny Boy

Setting for this story is The Hague in 1928, before World War II and when Suriname was still a Dutch colony. Rika is unhappily married and flees from her husband to The Hague where she sets up a guesthouse. Waldemar just arrived in Holland, and while looking for a place to stay he ends up in Rika’s guesthouse. Regardless of their differences in age, background and above all, skin-colour, the pair falls in love and (even though Rika is officially still married) they have a baby boy nicknamed Sonny Boy.

Unfortunately for Rika and Waldemar, their relationship is rejected by a society where strict post-war rules or religion dictate people’s life and love. Perhaps they didn’t have enough to deal with, because during the World War II, the pair uses their guesthouse to hide people from the Nazi’s.

Love, race, intolerance, war and betrayal – a perfect combination for a good story, a lousy combination for a good life.

Author Annejet van der Zijl

Annejet vd Zijl - Sonny Boy

Sonny Boy

Annejet van der Zijl (born in) is a Dutch journalist and historian. Sonny Boy is her third book, after Jagtlust and Anna (biography about the famous Dutch author Annie MG Schmidt). After Sonny Boy, Annejet released another book, Berhard, een verborgen geschiedenis (Bernhard, a hidden history), about the deceased father of the Dutch Queen.

In 2006 she was awarded the biennial Littéraire Witte Prijs (from the “Littéraire Sociëteit De Witte” (Literary Society De Witte)) for Sonny Boy. The prize is awarded once every two years to an author from The Hague or to an author who wrote a book related to The Hague. The story of Sonny Boy takes place in The Hague.

Get the book!

Sonny Boy is originally written in Dutch and available at Bol.com as well as Amazon. The book is also available on Amazon.co.uk in German as Sonny Boy: Eine Liebe im holländischen Widerstand and in Italian Sonny Boy. Una storia d’amore oltre ogni tabù tra pregiudizi borghesi e nazismo.

The film

Sonny Boy the film will be released on January 27, 2011 in The Netherlands. The film is in Dutch and this trailer has no English subs. Maria Peters directed the film and the leading roles are taken up by Ricky Koole as Rika van der Lans and Sergio Hasselbaink as Waldemar Nods.

For more information about the film, please visit the Dutch website Sonnyboydefilm.nl.

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