Different Worlds – Jeannette Keukelaar

Different Worlds by Jeannette Keukelaar is a character-based family drama with a metaphysical flavour.  Set in New Zealand in the 1950s, Different Worlds draws from the authentic experiences of European Immigrant families. The story’s honest narrative style presents challenging ideas in an accessible way, drawing the reader along with the characters as they strive to assimilate with New Zealand culture.

Different Worlds by Jeannette Keukelaar

Synopsis of Different Worlds

In a single moment, Nellie Mes is diverted from one path to end her unhappiness. This opens a doorway for the spiritual intervention of seven generations of grandmothers. Supported by their stories and teachings, Nellie finds the resolve to accept responsibility for her future and that of her family.

The reader is drawn in as Nellie picks up the thread of her new journey, one which is woven from the different worlds of experiences and outcomes, of the past and the future, to find her self-identity in this strange country.

Available in paperback
RRP: NZ$29.99 plus postage
ISBN: 978-0-9941162-0-8


A word from the author

Jeannette Keukelaar is herself a Dutch immigrant, whose family left post-WWII Rotterdam to make a new life in New Zealand.

“Although Different Worlds is a work of fiction, it was inspired by my childhood recollections of my parents’ stories about leaving behind all that they knew to give our family a future in a country far away from the ravages of war. Other than the historical setting and other anecdotal parallels, the events in the story are entirely fabricated.

“In 1950s New Zealand there was some support for migrant men bringing commerce and much needed skills, and picking up the language, culture and connections through interactions with people at work was relatively easy for them. For the women, at home with the children all day, cut off from their family and friends, it was incredibly lonely.

For my own mother, the loneliness was too much to bear.

Jeannette Keukelaar

Reader reviews for Different Worlds


“In her skilfully woven fictional tale, Jeannette Keukelaar relates some of the difficulties faced by immigrant Netherlanders in the 1950s. Nellie, her husband Henk who is a bicycle mechanic, and their four children gradually navigate their way into Kiwi customs through work, wolf cubs, socialising and sports activities.

The author interweaves some counselling theory through a series of ‘dreams’ where a stressed and lonely Nellie is visited by a number of her Omas — female ancestors – who tell her their stories and guide her, and ultimately Henk, into a reconciliation of their relationship.

There are both light and dark moments in this novel and it was an excellent holiday read.”

David Laird

Chairperson, Whangarei Writers Workshop

“What a special read that was. I was at times, both saddened, moved and touched by the experiences of the characters. For me, the unique aspects of the book were the way you wove the metaphysical into the narrative and introduced imago dialogue as a healing process for the couple.
I also liked the way you used the flexibility of ‘time’ by integrating the past, present and future in to some of your characters’ lives. My greatest challenge was the pronunciation of the Dutch words and sentences.”

Kevin Staples

New book by Jeannette Keukelaar out soon!

Frozen in a Flash – by Jeannette Keukelaar.

A team of scientists on a research expedition in the Arctic Circle make a startling discovery. A frozen girl from a lost culture, perfectly preserved in the ice by a freak meteorological event that took place over a thousand years ago. She is so life-like it is as if she had been caught in a snowstorm that very day. The youngest member of the team comes up with the crazy notion of trying to revive her, after all, what have they got to lose if they fail?

Kraana is the new girl at a country school in New Zealand. She has come from a remote village in Holland and must learn a new language and culture. But her past is far from her cover story – her memories of home are based on a long-forgotten people who have not walked the earth for a millennium.

Frozen in a Flash is due to be released in 2018. Be among the first to read this intriguing new story by emerging NZ author Jeannette Keukelaar.

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Book Jeannette Keukelaar for your next event

Jeannette Keukelaar has spoken at a number of meetings and events about her writing, her journey to becoming an author and the self-publishing process. If you would like to invite Jeannette to present at your next event or gathering, contact Jeannette here