Set in the early 16th century, Jana, a poor servant, follows her former mistress and love of her life Sontje, on a perilous journey overseas to Batavia. I really enjoyed the vivid, colorful description of their surroundings and the passionate Jana’s strength of mind.
'This thing we've done ... it's a sin, isn't it?' she asks. 'After all, our bodies belong to our future husbands, whoever they may be.' I kiss her thin shoulder. 'Maybe ... but we hurt no one by it.' I can't help but feel bitterness - the fact of my body's ownership passing from hand to hand - my father's pummeling, the other men with their pawing and leering, as though I existed only for their gaze. All the exacting employers who have required tireless labor from me. Only Tobias gave thought to my own wishes. And since Griet's death and Sontje's attack, I care less about our sins, when the men commit ones much greater than ours.'