Oh dear. That was me as I read Signumd Brouwer’s novel Thief of Glory.
In 1942, life in the Dutch East Indies, and in 10-year-old Jeremiah’s Prins’ life, is good — that is, until the Japanese invade the Southeast Pacific. Jeremiah is taken to a camp along with his family, where he’s separated from his father and step-brothers. He is left to care for his younger siblings. As the story unfolds, Jeremiah learns surprising things about life and his troubled mother.
This book takes place in a concentration camp and I just have to be upfront in saying the brutality of the camp comes across the page very, very well. Heart-breakingly well. That’s what made my heart feel so shredded as I was reading, but Jeremiah and his story were so compelling that I just had to read one more page to find out what happened. I love it when a book has a story that elicits an emotional reaction and one or more characters who really grow and change and change the reader.
Although there is a great amount of brutality surrounding young Jeremiah, there are moments of sheer beauty and inspiration that show the resiliency of humans — and as a result, we see hope in spite of the struggle. What makes this so much more powerful is knowing that it’s drawn off of Brouwer’s own family history.
I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading more by Brouwer. This is a heavy read, so readers should go into it knowing it’s not light or easy to get through because of its heavy content matter!
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher’s Blogging for Books in return for a fair and unbiased review. I wasn’t asked to give a positive review, just an honest one!