The notorious madam returns with a memoir of her parents.
Vivacious German model Germaine and Dutch psychiatrist Mick de Vries were married one month after they met in Amsterdam. They returned to his medical practice in Indonesia, where Xaviera was born in 1943. Two months later, the Japanese placed all European civilians in prison camps. Mick was tortured for smuggling medicine into the men’s section; Germaine, caught trying to obtain drugs for her sick child, was severely beaten and thrown into the death house with a pile of corpses. She was allowed to return to the barracks several weeks later but never recovered from this separation from her child. At war’s end, the family returned to Amsterdam, where Mick slowly rebuilt his practice. Interspersing her own account with narratives “by” her mother and father (but apparently written by her), the author shows how their WWII experiences haunted them for the rest of their lives. After Mick’s death, Germaine embarked on a lesbian relationship with a woman who took on the role of warden, taping Germaine’s telephone calls, forbidding visitors, and canceling plans. Xaviera also seemed unable to navigate romantic waters; she repeatedly became involved with people who treated her terribly, and she treated her partners none too well either. Her specialization in S&M practices was surely influenced by her childhood experiences, but for one so open about certain aspects of her life, the author is surprisingly non-introspective about the results of trauma. Expelled from the US and then Canada following publication of her first memoir, The Happy Hooker, Xaviera returned to Amsterdam and continued writing; in addition to her books, she pens a monthly column for Penthouse. She has recently worked to bring English-language theater to Amsterdam.
Published simultaneously with a 30th-anniversary edition of The Happy Hooker, which was a lot more fun.