Source: borrowed from my friend Hannah
Rating: 10 out of 10
Publisher: Chosen Books
Book Club: Book Eaters
Challenges: [CULTIVATE] PEACE
Synopsis (from the book description): In World War II, Corrie ten Boom and her family risked their lives to help Jews escape the Nazis, and their reward was a trip to Hitler’s concentration camps. But she survived and was released and now shares the story of how faith triumphs over evil. For thirty-five years Corrie’s dramatic life story, full of timeless virtues, has prepared readers to face their own futures with faith, relying on God’s love to overcome, heal, and restore.
Overall Impression: Well, if sitting in Starbucks sobbing my eyes out is any indication, this was a phenomenal book. I’d never heard anything about Corrie ten Boom, really, but both my boyfriend and coworker said their mothers used to tell them stories about this incredible woman and her family.
I read this book for my month of peace, even though it’s not technically about peace. Still, it was one of the most beautiful books about peace I’ve ever read. Corrie ten Boom and her family hid Jews inside their home in occupied Holland during WWII. Corrie and her sister Betsie were also instrumental in the underground movement to help Jews escape the clutches of the Nazis. They were a Christian family in the way that all Christians should strive to be — their compassion, love, and overwhelming desire to be God’s hands during an unthinkable horror, despite the consequences. Corrie struggles throughout the book to have peace, feeling at times feeling selfish and unable to pray. Ultimately, however, she comes to deeply understand Philippians 4:11-13:
“…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
In once instance, her sister wanted to thank God for the fleas in their sleeping area in the concentration camp. Corrie could not think of a reason to thank God for the fleas, but she did anyway. Later, they find out that the guards don’t come into their sleeping area because of the fleas, leaving the women free to do Bible studies (they had a contraband Bible), pray, and help one another through the dark nights. I was also amazed by her and family’s ability to pray for their captors, for the Germans, for those who treated them as less than human. It was truly inspiring.
Corrie’s story of tragedy and death; beauty and triumph. Even if you’re not a Christian, I’d highly recommend this one. Perhaps it might show you how Christians are meant to live.
Positives: It was such a beautiful, heart-wrenching, redemptive story. Grab the tissues!
Negatives: I really didn’t have any– this was just a perfect book.
Other books I’ve read by Corrie ten Boom: none
Other blogger opinions:
Dreadlock Girl: “If I could show you my copy of the book, the dog eared pages would show you that this is a must read.”
Maw Books: “Corrie was truly Christlike in all that she did. I highly recommend this memoir to all those who have not yet discovered it.”
Stacy’s Books: “This book is a beautiful tribute to the Christian spirit that they were willing to give and suffer so much in the face of hatred.”