Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer
10 year old Jeremiah Prins has a sheltered and care free life as the son of a headmaster of a school in the Dutch East Indies. That peaceful life comes to an end when the Japanese invade their island in 1942. Jeremiah's father and three older half brothers are taken away to work camps. He is left as the oldest child to take care of his mother and a younger brother and two younger sisters. It isn't long before he and his family are transported to a Japanese camp. The story of the hardships and lengths people go to survive is a compelling one. The cruelty of the Japanese commander, Nakahara, is directed at all in the camp, but Georgie, a fellow prisoner, directs his cruelty and hatred towards Jeremiah.
As time goes on, Jeremiah's mother becomes more disturbed and less able to care for her children. The relationship between the family members is a complex one. The story is based on the author's father's experiences in a Japanese camp during World War II. That adds to the historical accuracy of the book.
This is a compelling book. Once I started it I could not put it down. The pain and heartbreak of those years in the camp stayed with Jeremiah his entire life and as he nears the end of his life, he does experience some reconciliation and peace with God. I highly recommend this book.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.