Review of “Thief of Glory” by Sigmund Brouwer

“Thief of Glory” by Sigmund Brouwer is the fictional story of Jeremiah Prins—a 12 year old boy from the Dutch East Indies who, along with his family, was captured by the Japanese in World War II. The story that follows is one of struggle, bitterness, and eventually, redemption that is told through the eyes of a young boy and a man in his twilight years. Eventually, the decisions that Jeremiah made both during and after the war will set his life on a course far different from the one that he envisioned. Ultimately, this is a story of turning tragedy in triumph and all of the messiness that comes with finding redemption in the seemingly irredeemable.
It must be noted that this is a story that, for most of its pages, is thoroughly depressing. Though interspersed with moments of light-hearted humor or irony, it is not a story that one will find necessarily uplifting, even in its final pages. But that is often how life is and Brouwer captures this frustration in the internal struggler of Jeremiah Prins. Additionally, though this is termed a “Christian” book, there are relatively few references to God and a decent amount of scenes that are best described as simply being crass.
That being said, this is a beautifully written story that is thoroughly engaging and enjoyable. In many ways, the character of Jeremiah Prins represents a figure that almost all of us can identify with in some regard. In the end, if you are looking for an enjoyable read that captures the messiness and frustration that characterizes life, “Thief of Glory” is right up your alley. It is a consuming work that is well worth a read.

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