22 September 2014

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer

Take a peek at Thief of Glory here.
Goodreads | Amazon
A boy coming of age in a time of war…
The love that inspires him to survive.
For ten year-old Jeremiah Prins, the life of privilege as the son of a school headmaster in the Dutch East Indies comes crashing to a halt in 1942 after the Japanese Imperialist invasion of the Southeast Pacific. Jeremiah takes on the responsibility of caring for his younger siblings when his father and older stepbrothers are separated from the rest of the family, and he is surprised by what life in the camp reveals about a woman he barely knows – his frail, troubled mother. 

Amidst starvation, brutality, sacrifice and generosity, Jeremiah draws on all of his courage and cunning to fill in the gap for his mother. Life in the camps is made more tolerable as Jeremiah’s boyhood infatuation with his close friend Laura deepens into a friendship from which they both draw strength. 

When the darkest sides of humanity threaten to overwhelm Jeremiah and Laura, they reach for God’s light and grace, shining through his people. Time and war will test their fortitude and the only thing that will bring them safely to the other side is the most enduring bond of all.

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer is a bit of a change from the feel-good romances I’ve been reading recently, but I have been eagerly waiting to read this novel ever since I first read the synopsis. Thankfully, it did not let me down. Brouwer offers his readers a unique, enticing tale of World War II, inspired by the actual childhood experience of his father. Before this novel, I had never learned of the devastation the Dutch people experienced at the hands of the Japanese in the Dutch East Indies, but Brouwer’s tale vividly conveys the eye-opening history through the lens of ten-year-old Jeremiah Prins. I really loved the narration Jeremiah gives of his years in the Japanese internment camp. Telling the story as an eighty(ish)-year-old man looking back on his ten-year-old self, he ably and believably combines youthful authenticity and mature reflection, along with well-timed bits of foreshadowing. His story is tragic and heart-wretching, yet does not lack hopeful redemption. It’s a fascinating read and I highly recommend it to fan of historical fiction.

Thanks to Blogging for Books, I received a copy of Thief of Glory and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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