And while, other things being equal, I prefer fiction to nonfiction when I'm reading for pleasure, this book consists of narrative --"story," if you will-- that has the same intrinsic appeal as fiction (perhaps more, simply because it is true) and is every bit as gripping and engrossing.
The second half, set during the war years and Corrie's imprisonment in Ravensbruck, was all about worshipping God and Jesus, praying, miracles and prophecies. But only a handful of reviewers understood the ultimate purpose of the book : "it's rather insulting to the millions of Jews and others who died that fervent prayer to Jesus is all that was necessary to avoid death" ; "made me feel the tone was rather subtly supremist" https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... "Just one of many examples of how this book turns a story about World War II into a platform for evangelical tripe." https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Call me a sceptic, but I found the constant references to Jesus annoying." https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
She was a Dutch Christian who freely sacrificed her own life, and the lives of those she loved most, to fight against cruelty and hate. Two questions kept going through my head in the journey with Corrie: "Are there really people in the world who are this GOOD?" and "Why am I such a selfish, ungrateful, spoiled brat?" I loved the paradox of a tragedy not told as tragedy. We can kill the love so that it stops hurting. Or, Corrie, we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel. Whenever we cannot love in the old, human way, Corrie, God can give us the perfect way." "It is wrong to base faith upon wishes. Oh, my dears, I am sorry for all Dutchmen now who do not know the power of God. For we will be beaten. Don't let me go mad by poking about outside it." MY FAVORITE STORY: "One dark morning when ice was forming a halo around each street lamp, a feeble-minded girl two rows ahead of us suddenly soiled herself. Can't we make a home for them and care for them and love them?' "'Corrie, I pray every day that we will be allowed to do this!
Most of you will know the story; Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsie are the unmarried daughters of Casper, a Christian watchmaker in Holland during the early 1900's. The scene is set by the author, Corrie, and a picture of a happy family life emerges. Corrie, in particular, devotes her time and attention to caring for and helping these persecuted people and takes great risks in the process. The breakthrough comes when Corrie, following the example of her never wavering sister who even praises God for the fleas, realises that all is not in vain and life has a purpose again: But as the rest of the world grew stranger, one thing became increasingly clear. The Hiding Place is clean: there is no swearing or blasphemy, there is no sexual content, there are some graphic scenes relating to the treatment of prisoners and the suffering in the concentration camp.
One of my favorite themes of the book is stated by the author on page 31: "the experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work He will give us to do." Goes along with my belief that all things will work together for our good. We can trust in Him that all things will work together for our good. I found it amazing when Nollie is asked by if Annaliese is a Jew and she responds, "yes." Nollie's perfect honesty requires that she answer "yes" even when it may mean death for someone who has trusted them!
The second part is all about how they devote their lives to the rescue of Jews from the enemy.
That's the best I can do on a book that came highly recommended and that I read with relish as I had just been to Amsterdam and surrounding areas, visited the Museum of the Resistance and the old Jewish Synagogue referred to in the book. The father figure was an admirable man, a man of principle who lived truly an exemplary life and imparted his teachings to not only his family, but all who surrounded him. The book was written a full 25 years after the facts, and I think it shows. Corrie was in her late 70's when the book was written, and it was written by two people who weren't there. I think the old saying that "time heals everything" clearly applies to this book, as it seems to be a bit whitewashed in the veil of faith in Jesus to solve all, in prayers that constantly come through and in the miracle of the never ending vitamins.
"The Hiding Place" is the story of a Dutch family who helped Jews hide from Nazis during World War II. After finishing the book, I can understand why my mother was so captivated by Corrie's story. My mom was also strong in her Christian faith, and she had a longtime fascination with World War II, always trying to understand how such a tragedy could have happened.
Its also full of faith, strength, kindness and perseverance. As conditions become increasingly worse for the unfortunate people in her beloved town, she decides to put her life in danger in order to save those of others. Their faith makes up a big part of who they were and how they managed to make it through the inhumane conditions.
Corrie ten Boom and her family were Christians who were active in social work in their home town of Haarlem, the Netherlands. She was also knighted by the Queen of the Netherlands in recognition of her work during the war, and a museum in the Dutch city of Haarlem is dedicated to her and her family.