The book starts with a major art burglary in the city center of Rotterdam. After the theft, Henk van Wijnen-Swarttouw, a major character, suffers losses in his business. Things literally start going south for Henk. His shipyard empire was on the verge of collapsing; his wharves were failing as a result of government actions. Henk was a tycoon, his entrepreneurial skills had enabled him to amass wealth, but as soon as trouble knocked his way, all hell broke loose. In one instance, the justice department accused him of neglecting his responsibilities as a citizen; he was not paying tax as required. Corruption claims were also levied against him.
Amidst all that turbulence, his daughter Julia was also busy with her life. Julia had turned eighteen and had taken a one-year sabbatical, before proceeding to college. Julia often used her parents’ art gallery, experimenting and creating art pieces that were appealing. Witte de Withstreet is one of the places where Julia had her exhibitions. On one night, Henk bumped into an explicit photo of his daughter. This took him by surprise and he had a lot of thoughts running through his head. I loved how the author portrayed Julia to be expressive. Though a little strong-willed, her character is admirable.
Dave Droge is an excellent writer, as proved with this book. While reading, one is able to connect the stories without any difficulties. The characters he used are all important, and we can see their diverse viewpoints about life.
The book covers various topics; art, family, business, politics, multiracialism, and law. “The Game Changer” is not only entertaining to read, but also educative. The reader is able to understand how ports operate. The port of Rotterdam is extensively mentioned, and one comprehends the importance of the port in the city. For readers who have never heard Rotterdam, the author gives an insight of the city.
There’s a quote I appreciated when Jan and Henk were talking about innovations at the port and general business experiences; “It’s never too late unless it is too late, man!” I loved that! As a reader, that part got me thinking about myself. I thought about the things I had procrastinated, or just given up on. That quoted bit had me realize that one should not put a deadline on things they want to work on. It’s never too late.
During the conversation with Jan, one is able to note a few characters of Henk. He’s an attentive man. He has the willingness to learn and is always ready to listen. We can tell that Henk was thrilled by Jan’s stories, and enjoyed the conversation they had. Henk is also a straightforward person. When Jan proposed that he wanted to help, Henk did not hesitate to ask whether Jan was trying to settle the scores Jan had with his father, or minimize damage for everyone.
“The Game Changer” is an interesting read. Once you hold the book, you are not able to put it down, as the plot has the reader enthralled. The author was wise to use simple language that is easily comprehended by every English speaker. I love the author’s style of writing. In some instances, I was left in suspense, but reading on had me grasp the storyline. I’d rate the book with four out of five stars. An easy read that can be completed in a few days.
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