London and Middlesex Branch – “The Occupied Garden: Enriching Family Memoir with Intimate History””

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Date(s) - April 6, 2024
1:00 pm - 2:15 pm

Delaware Community Centre


The London & Middlesex branch is pleased to invite you to join us on Saturday, April 6, 2024, at 1 pm for our monthly in-person event, with speakers and sisters, Tracy Kasaboski and Kristen Den Hartog. Note the time and location change from our usual monthly program. 

Our speakers will be joining us in person for a special presentation, titled “The Occupied Garden: Enriching Family Memoir with Intimate History”, to be held in conjunction with the Middlesex Centre Archives annual Heritage Fair. The presentation will take place in a separate meeting space at 1 pm. There will be an opportunity to purchase copies of The Occupied Garden. There is no registration fee for the Heritage Fair and attendance to the Fair and the presentation is also free and open to all.

A bit about our Speakers:

Kristen den Hartog is a novelist and, with her sister Tracy Kasaboski, co-author of two family memoirs. Work on these histories of ordinary families sparked the writing of her latest book, The Roosting Box: Rebuilding the Body After the First World War, and her ongoing interest in how war changes the direction of people’s lives so dramatically. Tracy has written two novels, one inspired by her husband’s Irish family history, and one written during the isolating years of the pandemic. Both are currently in the pre-publication stage.

Kristen den Hartog

The Cowkeeper’s Wish

The Occupied Garden



Tracy Kasaboski and Kristen den Hartog are sisters and writers with a passion for history and matching, dog-with-a-bone attitudes to research. Their second collaboration, The Cowkeeper’s Wish: A Genealogical Journey, chronicles their maternal line from 1840s London, England, to 1930s London, Ontario, and was praised by Canada’s History magazine for its “meticulous research on a stupendous scale.” But their first book – and the subject of their presentation – is a much more intimate story. Recently re-released, The Occupied Garden: A Family Memoir of War-Torn Holland documents their paternal family’s experience in World War II and subsequent immigration to Canada, where they settled in Elgin County. The sisters will discuss the techniques and tools they used to go from a basic knowledge of their family’s past to the richly detailed account that the Ottawa Citizen called “the quintessential Canadian story.”