This is a wonderful book that makes an excellent gift for anyone who would enjoy reading a true story that will leave them feeling inspired and filled with hope. MEANT TO BE is a remarkable true story of the resilience, inner-strength and faith of the author’s parents – John and Sonja Franken – as two unlikely survivors of World War II who find enduring love, against all odds.
While John, a young Dutch naval recruit in the Dutch East Indies, is captured at sea by the Japanese and must fight for his life as a POW, Sonja is taken by the Nazis from her home in The Netherlands to endure the horrors of Auschwitz and a series of other Holocaust concentration camps. Remarkably, John survives the Nagasaki atomic bomb and miraculously, Sonja escapes death in the gas chambers three times.
After suffering endless tests of faith and fortitude at the hands of their brutal captors, the war ends and the two are brought together in the most extraordinary of circumstances to rebuild their lives as one based on love, trust and commitment.
When Sonja is diagnosed with cancer and John suffers a massive heart attack, they triumph once again by calling on the same daring and determination that allowed them to survive the war.
When diagnosed with cancer at 29, their daughter Roslyn turns to her parents’ examples of daring and determination as inspiration in her own fight to beat cancer and become a long-term survivor.
How did John and Sonja survive their captivity? How did they meet to find enduring love? What did Roslyn learn from her parents that can help us all live better lives? The answers to these questions and more are what make up the powerful story of MEANT TO BE.