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A Life Cut Short cover

  • eBook Edition
    • 978-1-03-830867-2
    • epub, pdf files
  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-03-830865-8
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 156 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-03-830866-5
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 156 pages
  • Keywords
    • Dutch family life in Canada,
    • postwar Dutch immigration,
    • 1950s emigration from Holland,
    • sibling’s illness,
    • sibling’s death,
    • young woman’s short life,
    • young woman’s illness

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A Life Cut Short
by Magdalena Vanderkooy

“. . . a compelling tale of a very large family coming from the Netherlands to Canada. It is also a heartbreaking tale of a young woman's struggle with her health and the impact her illness has on her family. It's hard to put down and Vanderkooy is to be congratulated on such a powerful book.” –Ken Setterington, A Guide to Canadian Children’s Books (with Deirdre Baker) and Branded by the Pink Triangle ". . . it’s the inward journey of adolescent Trudy—imprisoned in her sick bed while the world moves on without her—that will grip you the hardest. The interior dialogue is raw, tender and beautiful." —Doug O'Neill, writer, nature guide book author When Truus immigrates to Canada from the Netherlands as the oldest girl among ten siblings, she is just fifteen years old. From the start, she bears outsize responsibility for helping her devout Calvinist family navigate early struggles, even as the family continues to grow. Three years later she is beginning to find her place in the new land when she contracts an incurable illness. What follows is a five-year battle with illness and hospitalizations, along with emotional turmoil as she grapples with the social, psychological and spiritual implications of her condition. This semi-biographical novel is based on the real-life experiences of the author’s oldest sister.

Born in the Netherlands, Magdalena Vander Kooy immigrated to Canada with her family in the 1950’s. She is the tenth of thirteen children. She was raised on a dairy farm in southern Ontario and moved to Toronto when she enrolled in university. She enjoyed a fulfilling career in management with the Toronto Public Library, and turned her attention to her love of writing when she retired.


Magdalena Vanderkooy

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