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Monday, September 8, 2014

Thief of Glory

There comes some novels that are so rare and deep that when you finish them, you are left as though you have no breath left in your body. As if you are reliving something so horrible, you wish it were all simply a bad dream. But this is not the case with a different type of christian historical novel from Sigmund Brouwer, Thief of Glory and it is definitely a story of unspeakable horrors that occurred for one boy and his family that lived during the Japanese Imperialist invasion of the Dutch East Indies during WWII. For me, it was a story I had never heard nor could never imagine, but know that stories like these have happened and have never been told except to close family members.

I caution the reader, it is not for the faint of heart and the horrors described as a young boy, Jeremiah Prins and his younger brother and sisters, along with his mother are moved to a concentration camp when the Japanese invaded the Dutch East Indies islands, which is present day Indonesia. When Jeremiah's father and older brothers are taken, his father firmly reminds him that it is his responsibility now to take care of what remains of the family. Jeremiah has grown up a bit unique in never learning to fear anything, never to cry and to always let the first fight be initiated by someone else. They will always need to hit first. But Jeremiah is also smart beyond his years when he is able to converse like someone much older and wiser and that often takes his opponents by surprise, not knowing if he is serious or simply stalling for time.

Jeremiah's passion is marbles, one he takes great pride in adding to his growing collection through his many games with the children in the neighborhood and subsequently in the camp when he is detained there. It is his only connection to a normal life while living someplace that most would simply refer to as hell. Outside the fenced enclosure, life continues on as normal while all the Dutch people are rounded up by the Japanese. The leaders of the camp, known as Jappenkamp, know that in order to maintain a sense of control, certain restrictions are necessary, from keeping people in overcrowded conditions, keeping food rations at the point of keeping the people from starving at first, and convincing them all that anything less than respect for the leaders will result in punishment of their mothers, no matter if the disrespect came from the adult or child.
It is a chilling reminder of the horrors some had to endure just to survive a war in which they were not involved with directly but simply based on their race.

I received Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions here are strictly my own. I can't imagine how far someone would have to be pushed in order to survive and what you would have had to do, just to make it through the next day. By the time you get to the final page of the novel you gain a full understanding that things you witness are not always as they appear and that those who endured spending time in concentration camps are our true survivors and heroes! This is not for younger readers, due to the content of what the novel deals with in very realistic terms, about how one boy and his family had to survive in some of the worst circumstances. If this were a movie, I believe it would be rated R due to the subject matter much like Schindler's List. However with that being said, we can't hide that these things happened simply by refusing to read about them or hear about them and I believe this one deserves a 4.5 out of 5 stars. You can help but feel as though you, yourself, were locked behind the fences right alongside Jeremiah and that to me, is an earmark of an exceptional writer.

For more information about Thief of Glory, Sigmund Brouwer or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Sigmund Brouwer on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest novels.

To read more reviews on Thief of Glory, please visit Christian Fiction Blog Alliance's book tour page. 

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