Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer
It’s a story about a boy living in a nightmare. It’s a story of courage and generosity, cowardice and fear. It’s a tragic story yet it is filled with hope.
When the Japanese invade the Dutch East Indies thousands were swept up and put into internment camps where conditions were often life threatening. When ten-year old Jeremiah Prins and his family were caught up in the conflict he suddenly became responsible for his siblings and his mentally ill mother. Danger is around every corner – from the devious hatred of Jeremiah’s nemesis to the commandant’s vicious dog, but, as in all times of chaos and danger, children learn to survive and Jeremiah and his younger brother become adept at it. Even a game of marbles is turned into a way to get food for their family.
This story, based on the author’s father’s experience during WW2, has everything you could want in a good book – intrigue, suspense, danger and even comedy. And under it all, love. I enjoyed this book, but I found it left me feeling deeply sad. There is no story-book ending here. Though Brouwer ties up all the loose ends nicely in the end, there is no shiny bow around them.
Perhaps that’s why the story lingers, the characters stay with you and you ponder their lives in relation to your own. Perhaps that’s why it’s a story worth reading.
Reviewed by Marcia Laycockwww.marcialeelaycock.com