IndoNetherlands Stories

Bram Visser is an Indonesian immigrant living in Amsterdam with his loving Dutch wife, Alette. Together, they survived World War II and have created a life of joy and community, welcoming like-minded Dutch, Indonesian, and mixed-race couples into their home each weekend. While Bram’s quaint canal-side home holds his dear wife and friends, he still senses something is missing from his life.

In the aftermath of post-war Netherlands, amidst the rebuilding of lives and homes, Bram longs to raise a family and feel a sense of belonging in the Dutch society. How can he create a meaningful life and feel a true connection to his adopted homeland?

This enriching and relevant story speaks to the reality and struggle of immigrants who leave their homeland for a new culture, with the dream of acceptance and belonging.


“This beautiful novella will sweep you back in time to encounter a couple whose love beats all the odds to foster hope and life in their marriage. The perfect read for these times to remind us that seasons of struggling are temporary and love will see us through.

I love not just the vibrant visuals, but how all of my senses were engaged reading this. Somehow, in these few pages, I fell in love with and related to people from different countries who speak different languages who live in a different time and are meeting adversity I’ll never face; yet, I felt a connection and a joy to get to know these characters.

“Honestly, at first that Sambal was a person, but afterward I realized that this novel was something a lot more complicated than I had expected, and I absolutely loved it!! Although Mertens’ novels are written with a specific cliché in mind, any reader can quickly fall in love with her rhetoric. This is a must read for anyone looking for lesser known authors.”
Sambal and Spice in Amsterdam IndoNetherlands Stories Cover

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