Thief of Glory is set during WWII (quite possibly my favorite era) in the Dutch East Indies which I must admit is an area of the world I wasn't very familiar with in regards to the impact of WWII on its inhabitants. Almost immediately I was drawn to 10-year old Jeremiah Prins and his fondness for marbles. A game which one might attribute to mostly luck was clearly a well-honed skill developed by Jeremiah during his childhood and one that served him well during his time in a Japanese camp in the years to follow. In the first game we are privy to, Jeremiah is introduced to the young American, Georgie Smith. He promptly denies Jeremiah the opportunity to play since their game has already begun despite the local boys protests to allow Jeremiah to join. It is during this altercation that he meets the lovely Laura and is immediately drawn to her. Unfortunately after this day he believed he would not see Laura again after hearing that she has left on a ship to return home.
As his world is upended and his family is torn apart by the Japanese invaders his father tasks him with looking after his mother and three younger siblings when it becomes clear that his father and stepbrothers will soon be taken away to work in a camp. For a time he, his mother, and younger siblings are left in their home before they are hauled away to camp and the real struggles begin. Just when Jeremiah thinks that he might lose his mother Laura and her grandmother re-enter his life by appearing in the camp and save him in more ways than one.
For me this story seemed to touch on a different area of the world whose repercussions of the war I knew little about. I really enjoyed the story and the vivid descriptions made me feel as though I was there. The fact that the author brought the story to an end during the current time was one of my favorite aspects of the book because with historical fiction we are often left to wonder what happened to these people later on in life. With a bulk of the story taking place in the Japanese camp we are given a harsh look into what was reality for so many people during one of the darkest hours in history. Unfortunately for many of these people the war affected them for the duration of their life as it did Jeremiah and Laura. I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys historical fiction and World War II in particular. I don't believe you'll be disappointed! If you'd like to read more about the book you can do so here. You can also get more information on the author and read chapter one.
I received this book free of charge from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.