Friday, July 11, 2008

"The Hiding Place" -- Corrie Ten Boom

The Beje - the Ten Boom watch shop on the bottom floor and family home above and behind.

I just finished "The Hiding Place" for my book club which meets tomorrow. It seems to me that I have read it before...high school maybe? Once again, in a very broad sense, the same type of literature I've been hanging onto the past few books: "Quo Vadis" (Nero's Rome -- "civilized" society in upheaval), "The Road" (see post below), "World Made by Hand" (see post below), and now "The Hiding Place" about the nightmare that was Nazi occupied Europe.

Corrie (or the author as she relayed the story to) had an easy way of telling a story. She was able to describe the horror of Nazi occupation and then the inevitable sentence to the concentration camp in a way that was not grotesque, yet did not lessen the impact of that horror. She even interjected quite a bit of humor.

The message of forgiveness is THE POINT of this book. God forgives us. We must forgive our enemies. She regarded the Word of God worth her life -- literally. She risked her life to have a Bible, or at least portions of a Bible, always with her while at Ravensbruck (women's concentration/extermination camp in what became East Germany). She "managed" to hold onto her precious Bible even through the humiliations of "medical" exams (strip searches). The Lord had His hand on her, for sure! The Bible always made it through.

Corrie Ten Book was a remarkable woman. I think I will add her to my hypothetical "any-10-people-you'd-wish-to-have-for-dinner" table.

Many of the reviewers claim that the book starts out slow. I wholeheartedly disagree. It is contemplative, but not slow. It was necessary for her to set the scene explaining her idyllic and somewhat shielded childhood in Haarlem, Netherlands.

I bet your church library has a copy -- check it out.

1 comment:

Andrew Clarke said...

If you enjoy reading fiction as well as non-fiction, may I suggest one to try? "Outcasts Of Skagaray" might appeal to you if you like
"The Chronicles Of Narnia". For a free preview, there are sample chapters on
My blog is if you feel like visiting. Best wishes

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