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Yvonne Hertzberger is a native of the Netherlands who immigrated to Canada in 1950. She is married with two grown children, (one married) and resides quietly in Stratford, Ontario with her spouse, Mark in a 130 year old, tiny, brick cottage, where she plans to live out her retirement. She calls herself a jill-of-all-trades and a late bloomer. Her many past paid jobs included banking, day care, residential care for challenged children, hairdressing (her favourite) retail, and customer service. She enjoys gardening, singing, the theatre, decorating and socializing with friends and family
Hertzberger is an alumna of The University of Waterloo, first with a B.A. in psychology, then and Hon. B.A. Sociology and stopped ½ a thesis short of an M.A. in Sociology. She has always been an avid student of human behaviour. This, and her personal experiences are what give her the insights she uses to develop the characters in her writing.
Hertzberger came to writing late in life, hence the label ‘late bloomer’. Her first Fantasy novel “Back From Chaos: Book One of Earth’s Pendulum” was published in 2009. The second volume in the planned trilogy “Through Kestrel’s Eyes” is available currently and the third book in the trilogy “The Dreamt Child” was published in December 2013.
on Aug. 19, 2016 :
I’m a fan of Hertzberger’s work. I read her “Earth’s Pendulum” series, finding her characters so compelling, I didn’t want to see the series end. But it did and so I moved on, picking up “Labyrinth Quest” as salve for my withdrawal. As expected, I discovered compelling characters are a feature marking all of Hertzberger’s fiction, and perhaps, more specifically, her heroines tend to be women with grace, courage, and an independent will that gives them insight to know when they need a partner. And it is with this that Hertzberger seems most skilled as a writer. She draws male/female partnership with such a fine pen a reader may not realize it is the crux of the whole. Creating the perfect pair, if not the most apt pairing—romantically, spiritually, physically—is what she does best. The romantic dynamics, sometimes subtle, are also enriched with anticipation, and confronted with equanimity.
Sacrificial and generous, “Labyrinth Quest’s” heroine, M’Rain, is chosen for a task involving the rescue of a group of female villagers trapped in a labyrinth on the outskirts of their village. The setting is a finely woven web of fantasy, a new world that is both novel and yet recognizable in ways, but the story itself is allegorical. The story works on a literal level, of course, and is a fine tale of bravery, faith and choice. But the meaning beneath seems to capture the best of philosophical and cultural discussions that remind a reader why she reads. For me, Hertzberger’s setting evoked Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, making me think about blindness and the ways in which a society may subject itself to it for fear of the “other.” The implications of isolation and cultural purity are tackled with precision here, and brought to the fore in an enthralling story of peoples who are willing to trust a stranger because time and again she proves her worthiness.
And as I mentioned, Hertzberger knows how to build romantic tension, never letting it devolve into static exchange. Her characters have to make choices that test who they are and who they will become, which, for a reader, is the best part of a journey into any new world.
(reviewed 28 days after purchase)