Sonny Boy

The true story of a love that almost seemed impossible

Sonny Boy is, quoting the historian Sebastian Haffner, ‘the story of a peculiar life under peculiar circumstances’. The reader is led through some of the most fascinating episodes of Western history, from Golden Paramaribo to the horrible last months ofthe Second World War. But above all Sonny Boy is a gripping and heartbreaking story of a love against all odds.

In the autumn of 1928 Waldemar Nods and Rika van der Lans meet for the first time. They are two worlds apart: his skin is black, hers is white; he is not even twenty years of age, she is almost forty; he is a student born in exotic Surinam, she is a Dutch married mother of four. When Rika gets pregnant by her black boarder the scandal is enormous and they suffer the consequences: Rika is forced to say good-bye to her children and Waldemar can never return to his beloved country.

Nevertheless, together with their son Waldy, their own ‘Sonny Boy’, they manage to build themselves a prosperous life in spite of the depression. When the Second World War starts, Waldemar and Rika decide to harbour Jews, but early 1944 they are betrayed: fortheir fourteen year old son Waldy this is the beginning of a lifelong struggle with the loss of his parents.

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