BKMT READING GUIDES

Thief of Glory: A Novel
by Sigmund Brouwer

Published: 2014-08-19
Paperback : 336 pages
0 members reading this now
1 club reading this now
1 member has read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 2 of 2 members
“Brouwer makes you live it....sharing each moment of an exotic and terrifying time and place in a gripping, personal way.”
—Bodie and Brock Thoene, authors of Take this Cup
 
A boy coming of age in a time of war…
the love that inspires him to survive.
 
For ten year-old Jeremiah ...
No other editions available.
Add to Club Selections
Add to Possible Club Selections
Add to My Personal Queue
Jump to

Introduction

“Brouwer makes you live it....sharing each moment of an exotic and terrifying time and place in a gripping, personal way.”
—Bodie and Brock Thoene, authors of Take this Cup
 
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.

Editorial Review

Q&A with Sigmund Brouwer, author of Thief of Glory
What was the catalyst behind writing this book? How do you see the need for people to record family history or write a memoir play out today?

My own father was seven, living in the Dutch East Indies, when he too, lost his father and was forced into a similar concentration camp. Like Jeremiah, he talks little about his boyhood and what he endured during the war. I wanted to understand the events that formed him, and my research of this relatively little known part of World War II inspired me to write a fictional memoir from the view point of a man my fatherâ??s age. I want to help others who want to preserve family memories, not necessarily for an audience beyond the family. My approach is that by focusing on learning how to write one chapter of a life story, a person will be equipped to write an entire memoir.

What are the main historical events that take place in Thief of Glory? Could you explain more about the jappenkamps?

The Pacific War theatre serves as backdrop to the novel, and the bulk of the story takes place over the years that the main character is a boy, in one of the hundreds of concentration camps where the Japanese army held the Dutch prisoners. The conditions, as I discovered from reading accounts of survivors, were horrible and life threatening.

Can you share some of your fatherâ??s story? Is your motherâ??s story in anyway part of the novel? How did she experience WWII?

My fatherâ??s story is very similar to most of the other survivors. As the war continued, more and more families were crowded into the camps, and the Japanese commanders had a policy of starvation that some believe was deliberate. He was liberated into danger, for rebels seeking independence engaged in terrorist acts against the women and children; it wasnâ??t until Allied forces arrived on the island that he was finally safe. (My father, for example, remembers waking up to grenades tossed into his camp by rebels. ) My mother grew up in the Netherlands. Her most distinct memory is of the black boots of the German soldiers who took away her father for hiding a Jew in their home. She was five years old at the time.

How do you see the need for people to record family history or write a memoir play out today?

I viewed Thief of Glory as a fictionalized memoir, and it was inspired by the stories of both my parents, stories that I didnâ??t want to disappear. Because of this, I want to help others who want to preserve family memories, not necessarily for an audience beyond the family. My approach is that by focusing on learning how to write one chapter of a life story, a person will be equipped to write an entire memoir.


Excerpt

No Excerpt Currently Available

Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

How did Jeremiah's early childhood life prepare him for his prison camp experiences?
How did the camp experience affect the rest of his life?
What is the significance of the title of the book, or what does it mean to you?
by mrblock (see profile) 09/22/15

Right and wrong when life (yours or some else's) is in the balance
by mistyviolet (see profile) 10/18/14

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Thief of Glory"by mrblock (see profile) 09/22/15

Very powerful. About the coming of age of a 10 year old Dutch boy who must endure and survive being in a Japanese prison camp. You won't see the end coming. Lots of foreshadowing but you won't see it... (read more)

 
  "THIEF OF GLORY by Sigmund Brouwer"by mistyviolet (see profile) 10/18/14

Jeremiah tells his story as an old man remembering the years of World War II when his family was interned by the Japanese in the Dutch East Indies. This is a little known part of the Japane... (read more)

Rate this book
MEMBER LOGIN
Remember me
BECOME A MEMBER it's free

Join the leading website for book clubs with over 35,000 clubs and 20,000 reading guides.

SEARCH OUR READING GUIDES Search
Search




FEATURED EVENTS
PAST AUTHOR CHATS
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...