Wow . . . I have no adequate words. Thief of Glory is a powerful read. It’s the kind of book that leaves you pondering for days, trying to grasp it all. The last seventy pages, give or take a few, were unexpected. The last five held yet one more heart-wrenching twist. I’d have to call this book a triumphant tragedy.
The main character is an elderly man, Jeremiah Prins, recalling the years of his life spent in a Japanese internment camp for Dutch women and children unfortunate enough to be living in the Dutch East Indies during World War II. Separated from his father and older brothers and with an emotionally ill mother, 10-year-old Jeremiah suddenly finds himself the protector of and provider for his family: mother, younger sisters, and youngest brother. Jeremiah turns out to be one feisty and determined kid, a hero to most everyone inhabiting the Jappenkamp.
Like all heroes, he has allies (Sophie, Dr. Eikenboom, and Adi), a nemesis or two or three, and one enduring love. And the Thief of Glory will turn out to be Jeremiah’s fiercest enemy. I was alternately captivated and mortified as I read through each scene of this book. Having lived in the Netherlands for a time, I enjoyed learning more about that country's history and role in World War II. I plan to recommend this book to my husband and son; I think they’ll both appreciate the quality of this read.