In the tradition of Brock and Bodie Thoene’s Zion Chronicles and history-meets-contemporary mysteries like those of bestseller Kate Morton, this WWII drama is both exciting in its revelations and heart-rending in its truth about human nature and forgiveness.
In the early 1940s, Jeremiah Prins was a 12-year-old living a content life as the son of a school headmaster in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia). When Holland declared war on the Japanese in 1941, the situation changed swiftly. The Japanese army invaded, and Jeremiah and his family were placed in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp-a camp Jeremiah finally escapes and returns to Holland. Yet wartime complications force him to abandon a marriage engagement with Laura Jensen. The young man flees to California, where he struggles with the lingering anger and war stress he faced as a child.
Determined to find some kind of redemption, a now-elderly Jeremiah tries to make sense of his life by journaling of all that he does not want to reveal to his children about his past, intending to leave his writings as an apology after he is gone.
An online encounter puts Jeremiah in touch with his true love from the war years, Laura, and when they meet again, it triggers the time bomb of long-buried secrets. Even seventy years later, if uncovered, these secrets can harm everyone who matters to Jeremiah.
MY GENERAL THOUGHTS: Wow. That is the one and only word that can describe this book. The writing was “wow”, the characters were “wow” and the story was “Oh my gosh!”. I devoured this book within a day and the author made sure that I used every emotion known to mankind! Though I was crying through more than half of the book, the first half was what hooked me because I couldn’t stop laughing! WWII books are probably my favorite reads, and this is most certainly one of my favorite books in that genre. I am going to say this though, if the characters had not been as amazing as they were, I would not have been able to finish the book simply because it was so sad. Jeremiah was such a strong character. Laura was also extremely well made. Even the “bad guys” were outstanding and consistent.
QUESTIONABLE CONTENT: Because this book is set in WWII, there is plenty of violence and sexual content. The violence is not entirely war-related as you would expect, there aren’t bombings and things of this nature. The violence is in the beatings that the women receive in the camp that they are being held as prisoners. The young boys of the camp also get into fist fights that often result in broken bones, lots of blood, and name calling. All violence is fairly detailed and some scenes get very detailed to emphasis a certain point. The sexual content however, is hardly detailed at all because the book is written in first person through a 10 year old boy, thus it is stuff he overhears and sometimes even sees, though he doesn’t understand what is going on. He relates it in an innocent boyish way but you clearly get the true message of what happened.
RATING AND RECOMMENDATION: I give Thief of Glory 5 out of 5 stars for adding to my top five favorite WWII books ever and I recommend it to anyone who loves Historical Fiction. Also, if you loved The Butterfly and the Violin, then you will LOVE this book as well!!
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