About the book
Apart from the fact that her grandparents were born and buried there, Anita Terpstra knew almost nothing about the history of the Frisian village of Harkema, until a friend forwarded her a disconcerting article asking: ‘This is where your family comes from, isn’t it?’
It is the beginning of a search for the background of her ancestors, the village and its surroundings. An area traditionally notorious for its extreme poverty, inbreeding and population of alcoholics, criminals, immorals and illiterate. A place where, moreover, people still lived in huts and converted chicken coops until the mid-20th century. Why did her family have to live in poverty for so long? The answer to that question turns out to be inextricably linked to the history of the peat and moorlands in the eastern part of Friesland.