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Saturday, May 9, 2015

"Thief of Glory" by Sigmund Brouwer

Many books are written about European concentration campus, but this is the first I've read about the camps in the Dutch East Indies (now known as Indonesia).  The protagonist Jeremiah writes the story in first-person.  Readers travel with him from his pampered upper-class life to his starving destitution under Japanese rule.  We go from a luxuriously open home to a house crammed with twelve families and an overflowing sewage system.  Hygiene and compassion go out the window as the Dutch succumb to cruel soldiers.  Throughout the book, Jeremiah writes of his childhood love Laura and his quarrels with Georgie.  The book is not graphic but can get sad at times due to the historical context.  The end of the book has a twist that readers did not see coming as Jeremiah is in his eighties looking back on what happened post-World War II.  Beautifully written, this book is a masterpiece.

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