Monday, May 18, 2015

Book Review: The Hiding Place

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is such an excellent book. I enjoy reading historical fiction, especially about the holocaust. This is one of the best in terms of how Corrie's and Betsey's faith colors their time in the camps. For those who aren't familiar with Corrie Ten Boom's story, it begins before the war has reached Holland and tells the story of the family's faith and how it is shown in all aspects of their lives. As e story progresses, effects of the war begin trickling down. For example, their business contacts in Germany become "out of business" and all of them are Jewish. As time goes on, Holland is taken by the Nazis and the family puts their faith into action by become part of the underground which hides the Jews.

I loved this beginning part, getting a peek into Corrie's lovely family and her life before the war. However, for me, the best part of the story begins when members of the family are taken into custody and sent into the camps. Most books on the Holocaust are so interesting to read, yet leave your heart aching at all the injustice and hate the Jewish people, and other minorities, endured. This book tells of Corrie and Betsey's amazing faith in God and how that affected their time in the camps. Corrie struggles at times, but ultimately follows her sister's example and they become such a light for Christ in the darkness of the camp. The stories of God's faithful response to their love for him are numerous. They show such grace in their journey, and frequently talk of how difficult and painful it must be for their captors! They share the light of the gospel with so many of their fellow inmates as well as with their guards.

The whole story is so inspirational to me. I think is how easily we are distracted from our faith by our silly problems and difficulties, and it is humbling to read of their faith in light of the terrible situations they went through. They did not become bitter or hateful, but showed so much love to fellow inmates and guards, even after the war.

This is the abridged young readers edition, and I felt it was very well done. These themes are so difficult to read in any book for young people, but I would definitely say this is an excellent first book for a young reader to jump into books on the war.  The focus is definitely less on the death and mistreatment and more on Corrie and her family's faith in action. That said, it is still a book about concentration camps so there are mentions of death, including brief mention of few instances of mass murder that we know to have happened in those times. They are not graphically depicted however, for example, they hear the waves of gunshots and then it is stated how many men were killed that day. Parents will have to gauge how ready their child is for these themes but the cover recommends it for ages 9-12. I would say that's a good starting range, though I would add that it is an excellent book for any age over that! It's been too many years since I have read the original to be able to compare, though I may have to look it up now! This is definitely a book I recommend to all readers who are ready to read about the war.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. 

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