UPDATED: Impossible to put down: "Thief of Glory" by Sigmund Brouwer

I previously posted about "Thief of Glory" when the book released. Now, I've added my review of this tremendous book. Read on for more!

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Thief of Glory
WaterBrook Press (August 19, 2014)
Sigmund Brouwer


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 the 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.


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.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Thief of Glory, go HERE.

The book link is: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0307446492

My review

I wasn't sure quite what to expect when I picked up my copy of "Thief of Glory", but I was truly blown away at the depth of emotion I experienced while reading this novel. Sigmund Brouwer has truly written his best book yet in this captivating and heart-breaking read. There were a few moments where I found myself pausing, simply working through the pain that I felt on behalf of the characters. Though I've read many World War II novels, I have never read a story placed in a concentration camp in the Dutch East Indies. Brouwer paints the setting with vivid detail, capturing unexpected moments of joy as well as the bleakness of what the people had to endure.

Although all of the characters are well-portrayed, Jeremiah absolutely comes to life in this story, from his spunk and wit, to the many human errors he makes, to the astounding courage he shows as the months pass on. The story is multi-layered with a number of subplots woven together into a unified whole, and I was held captive until the very end by the swift-moving plot and also the physical and emotional struggles the characters faced. I love how the characters are allowed to wrestle with doubt, doubt even in God and his nature, and how the author shows that this is natural and that God wants us to acknowledge and bring the full experience of our emotions to him. The story also leaves me knowing that forgiveness is so important, not even necessarily for the other person, but to loosen the fist of bitterness we ourselves can feel, and so allow us to breathe with new life.

"Thief of Glory" is a haunting tale that left my soul aching with the horror of humanity, but also inspired by the resiliency and strength of the people that graced the pages of the story. I award this story my highest recommendation and 5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher and the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, for the purposes of this unbiased review.