WWII memoir a tale of separation, survival

WWII memoir a tale of separation, survival

WWII memoir a tale of separation, survival
Thirty-six people attended a Clayton book signing for “Sapphire Promise,” in which Sally Brandle chronicles Iris Dunki-Jacobs’ life during World War II. (Photo by Flor Amaya)

CLAYTON, CA – Riding a horse with a pet monkey. Falling in love at 16. A newlywed separated by internment in a POW camp run by the Japanese.

Longtime Clayton resident Joanna Jacobs often listened to her mother, Iris Dunki-Jacobs, describe her life in 1930s Batavia, Java. Now with the help of Seattle author Sally Brandle, Dunki-Jacobs’ inspirational and uplifting story became “Sapphire Promise,” published in May.

The book, available on Apple, Google and Amazon, includes 14 pages of photos of 1939 Batavia and Tjideng Camp on the island of Java, Indonesia. Brandle calls it an enhanced memoir.

“I had to fictionalize a few things for flow, but approximately 90 percent is true,” she said.

“When the Japanese invaded Java., Iris’ husband of two months was already at another military location and thus was put in a different POW camp. He ended up in Thailand/Burma,” Brandle added. “They were unaware if each other were alive until the war ended. Iris was interned for over 3.5 years, then lived under Japanese rule of Java for another six months or so until the British took over. They were reunited in Thailand, after his release.”

Book signing

Jacobs hosted a book signing at her Clayton home recently. While Dunki-Jacobs and Brandle signed books, guests enjoyed food catered by Z’s Café and libations from the Bubbles & Brews mini truck.

Flor Amaya, owner of Loving Care Caregiver Services, assisted Dunki-Jacobs and took photos. In a heartwarming display of gratitude, Dunki-Jacobs thanked her daughter and all the lovely folks who have welcomed her to sunny California.

“Stories of women who have earned recognition as belonging to the Greatest Generation need to be told,” Brandle noted.

To read the first chapter and the epilogue of “Sapphire Promise,” visit sallybrandle.com. Look under the Books tab and then the Learn More feature.