Hella Jansonius’ Emigrante tegen wil en dank” (Emigrant Against Her Will) is a book published in 1955 by West-Friesland, a Dutch publishing company based in Hoorn. It tells the compelling story of a young woman named Ilja who is compelled to leave her beloved homeland, the Netherlands, against her own desires.
Ilja’s parents have made the decision to emigrate to Australia, but she is deeply in love with a man named Jan and wishes to stay in the Netherlands with him. In an attempt to evade her parents’ plans, Ilja tries to hide, but her efforts prove futile as her parents eventually discover her whereabouts. Reluctantly, Ilja is taken aboard the boat bound for Australia, leaving her cherished home and her beloved Jan behind.
Upon arriving in Australia, Ilja finds herself grappling with the challenges of adapting to her new life. She experiences profound homesickness, yearning for her family and friends left behind in the Netherlands. Moreover, as a Dutch immigrant, Ilja faces the harsh realities of racism and discrimination in her new country.
However, fate brings Ilja into contact with Hans, another Dutch immigrant, who becomes a source of support and companionship. With Hans’s assistance, Ilja begins to navigate the complexities of her new life and gradually finds solace and love in her relationship with him. Eventually, Ilja and Hans marry and establish a family together.
Throughout her journey, Ilja carries with her a profound sense of longing for her homeland and the people she left behind. Despite building a new life in Australia, she never forgets her Dutch roots and holds a deep affection for her family and friends.