Sunday, November 16, 2014
Thief of Glory - by Sigmund Brouwer
This was at times a fascinating book and at others a bit slow. It tells the story of ten-year-old Jeremiah Prins, a boy growing up in the Dutch East Indies when the Japanese invade during World War II. There he meets and immediately feels a connection with nine-year-old Laura while at the same time meets an enemy who will work to make his life horrible. Soon the men and teenage boys are rounded up and shipped out to work and his life changes forever. He now becomes responsible for his three younger siblings and mother, a job even more important because of his mom's mental illness and the dark periods she suffers.
They struggle to survive for a while by selling off household items until they're taken to an internment camp and made to live in very cramped quarters with too little food. The constant stress of dealing with hunger, not to mention the sadistic leader of the camp, takes its toll on everyone. Jeremiah must use his wits to not only survive, but save others. Years later, he tells the story to his daughter and tries to reconnect with those from his past.
I really enjoyed the parts of this book that showed what life was like in the camp and how smart Jeremiah was in figuring out how to accomplish his goals, not to mention the way he wanted to help others. I really admired how selfless he could be. He was also practically a genius about some things. I knew nothing about what happened in the Dutch East Indies during this time and thought it was very interesting. Other parts of this book got a little too detailed, such as the descriptions of the marble games or how things worked, for example. I loved the strong faith Laura's grandmother and a doctor in the camp had and how they were willing to stand up for what they believed. They really showed Jeremiah the way to live. There was a lot of sadness in the story without a lot of happiness to offset it, though the story did end well. There's one point in the story with questionable language where someone is called a horse's a**, which I don't think was needed. This was an emotional story and not always easy to read, but it didn't get graphic. There was an interesting twist in the story, too. I would recommend this story for men or women who like historical fiction, especially war stories.
I received this book free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.