Review: Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer

September 24, 2014

Title: Thief of Glory
Author: Sigmund Brouwer
Publisher: Water Brook
Pages: 288
ISBN: 978-0-307-44649-7
Publication Date: August 19th, 2014

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.
The only thing I knew to expect when diving into Thief of Glory was that I knew the story telling was going to be superb and the writing would capture me up. What I didn't know much about were the prison camps that were set up in the Dutch East Indies during WW2. I got a bit of a history lesson and a desire to look up more. I will admit, I focused a lot of attention to the issues of Europe and hadn't thought about what else was going on in the world at this time. My goodness, how this story brought the view around.

I just have to say right off, if I had a son like Jeremiah, I would be the proudest mother ever. Talk about a smart kid! He knew how things worked and could make them work to his advantage. As it said in the book, he was a kid who would never lose a fight. He didn't win them, but he didn't lose, because he never gave up. Jeremiah was a kid with guts and he needed it for everything he faced in this book.

The prison camps that the Japanese set up weren't the death camps that the Nazi's built, but they were rough. Women were on their own with their children to take care of, while the men and their older sons were taken to build railways until they fell over dead. It was a depressing time, but how Jeremiah figures out to survive and help his family was brilliant. His friendship with Laura was also a bright spot in this book. Jeremiah was a young boy in love and he and Laura had the same desire, to help those that they love. Sadly though, Jeremiah and Laura's adversary's weren't just the Japanese guards, it was also another kid about their age, Georgie, who was bound and determined to ruin Jeremiah. He was a rat of a kid who loved to have power. I hate to say it, but the kid got what was coming to him in the book. He was a selfish boy that didn't seem to care that the world was at war.

This book brought out the emotions, mainly anger (not the bad kind) and sadness and also that of disbelief. The twist at the end left me speechless. I didn't see it coming. I was floored, but as I thought about everything leading up, their were signs.

There is a realness to Sigmund Brouwer's writing. He brings you in and lets you see what is going on. He doesn't tell you. I was forced to set this book down a couple of times by things going on, but I could pick it right back up and be dropped back in without missing a beat.

Too Read!
5 out of 5

About the Author:
SIGMUND BROUWER is the best-selling author of nearly thirty novels, with close to 4 million books in print. Based on his inspiration for Thief of Glory, which Sigmund wrote as a way to learn and honor his parent's stories, especially of his father's boyhood in a Japanese concentration camp, Sigmund leads The Chapters of Our Lives memoir seminars across the United States and Canada. ( Sigmund is married to recording artist Cindy Morgan and has two daughters. 

Thank you to Blogging For Books, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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