Amsterdam 1616 is not a very pleasant place for a woman especially one who is a servant, with no family and no protection of any kind. Her fortune changes when she becomes a domestic in the service of Master Reynst who along with his daughter Sontje treat Jana as a human being something she is experiencing for the first time in her life.
Whilst everything seems to be good Master Reynst falls on hard times due to bad investments and Sontje and Jana embark on an adventure to Batavia (Indonesia) as brides for settlers. (This was a practice even with the British in India). It worked out well for some, not so well for others.
The story of The Company's Daughters takes us through Jana and Sontje's lives - one in deep unhappiness and abuse, the other a loveless marriage but someone who was kinder. Jana survives the marriage and goes on to make a surprising life for herself and for the community she finds herself amongst.
The story is descriptive of life both in Amsterdam and Batavia at the times. The hardship faced by people in Europe as well as the settlers who had to adapt to a different lifestyle, culture, weather were very well detailed and provided such an interesting read.
Historically full of detail this is a must read for those who like history with a colonial flavour.
Sent by Bookouture for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.