Perils and Pearls by Hulda Bachman-Neeb

Rating: 4 out of 5.

As A Whole:

I loved that Perils and Pearls provides a view of a family’s experiences during World War II from a different setting than I usually find. I liked that this covered Indonesia and the Netherlands throughout the book.

On the Details:

The story begins with the patriarchal line, dating back to the 1600s. I struggled with this portion of the story a bit. I had a hard time keeping all the family members straight, and I’m unsure if this much detail was truly necessary to the overall story. It was interesting to see how Bachman-Neeb’s family moves between Indonesia and the Netherlands though. I was intrigued by all the historical information that I didn’t know much about. I felt like there was some good information that provided detail that helped understand the rest of her story.

Bachman-Neeb’s family find themselves in Indonesia when the Japanese invade. Hulda’s father was able to escape Indonesia and went to Australia, however, Hulda, her mother, and her brother were all placed into a concentration camp. This portion of the story was deeply moving. I cannot imagine the horrors that this family and so many others endured. Hulda provides excellent insight into her own mother’s fears regarding the children’s nutrition, growth, and education while imprisoned.

Hulda’s account of her family’s experience during World War II provides a new view of the horrors that people endured during the Japanese occupation. I felt that her account of their time in the concentration camp was well-written and I enjoyed reading it. I feel that I continue to find new information about how far-reaching this war was, and I appreciate authors like Hulda Bachman-Neeb for taking the time to write about their emotional experience so that others may hear their story.

To Read or Not To Read:

I would recommend Perils and Pearls to readers that enjoy World War II memoirs, especially ones that are offering a view from a non-German setting.

Where to Find This Book:

Perils and Pearls by Hulda Bachman-Neeb is available at these sites. | Amazon Kindle | Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes and Noble | BAM | IndieBound | TBD


“The story of our Dutch family being ripped apart isn’t unique. Millions suffered beyond description during the war. However, today, I have the opportunity to share our story with others so that they may know just how priceless their freedom is. That is my sincerest wish in bringing this book to the general public.” – Hulda Bachmann-Neeb

In World War II much of Asia fell under Japanese control after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

All non-Asians were imprisoned in concentration camps until August of 1945, the end of the war in the Pacific.

This is the story of a Dutch family, resident in the Dutch East Indies, that fell victim to the Japanese occupation and was interned in jungle camps throughout the war. It tells the journey from riches to rags, from fear and suffering, to the joy of freedom and recovery.

Just the Facts:

Perils and Pearls by Hulda Bachman-Neeb
Subtitle: In World War II, a Family’s Story of Survival and Freedom from Japanese Jungle Prison Camps
Genre: Memoir
Page Count: 173 pages
Publisher: BristleCone Press
Pub Date: September 16, 2019

Hulda Bachman–Neeb was born in Indonesia of colonial Dutch parentage two years before the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941.

Because much of Asia fell under Japanese control, all non-Asians were imprisoned in concentration camps until August of 1945, the end of the war in the Pacific.

As a member of the Dutch Foreign Service in her adult life, Hulda held assignments in twenty-five countries over a period of thirty-six years, retiring in 1996.

She is married to an American, James Bachman, a historian and author, and has dual citizenship. Hulda and her husband live in Estes Park, Colorado.


I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.

View all adult book reviews
View all children’s book reviews

2 thoughts on “Perils and Pearls by Hulda Bachman-Neeb

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s