The Comfort Bird follows the experiences of three generations of two families of farm laborers from a small town in the Northern Netherlands. One family moves across the ocean and passes through Ellis Island in 1911 to seek their fortune on the American Prairies. Despite depression and dust bowl, with perseverance and faith they build a life for themselves in the USA. The way back to Europe for one of the family members, goes through Utah Beach on D-Day.
The second family is too much rooted in the heavy soil of the old country to emigrate. They keep their head above water by performing seasonal work in Germany. Rebellious and always searching for social justice, decisions are made which will put them on the wrong side of history.
In a strange twist of fate World War II brings the families together again, on opposing sides of the conflict.
The Comfort Bird is based in fact and author Hylke Speerstra traveled extensively in the USA, Germany and the Netherlands to research original sources and interview descendants.
Hylke Speerstra is one of the most acclaimed authors to write in the Frisian language of the Northern Netherlands. His collection of immigrant memoirs, Cruel Paradise, was published in English in 2005.