Book Review: The Hiding Place
Author: Corrie ten Boom
Published: 1984 (Original 1971)
Number of Pages: 241
My Rating: 5
Summary from GoodReads.com:
At one time Corrie ten Boom would have laughed at the Idea that there would ever be a story to tell. For the first fifty years of her life nothing at all out of the ordinary had ever happened to her. She was an old-maid watchmaker living contentedly with her spinster sister and their elderly father in the tiny Dutch house over their shop. Their uneventful days, as regulated as their own watches, revolved around their abiding love for one another. However, with the Nazi invasion and occupation of Holland, a story did ensue.
Corrie ten Boom and her family became leaders in the Dutch Underground, hiding Jewish people in their home in a specially built room and aiding their escape from the Nazis. For their help, all but Corrie found death in a concentration camp. The Hiding Place is their story.
Let me start off by saying that I have read many, many Holocaust memoirs and this is by far one of my favorites. A huge thing that makes this book stand out from others about this awful time in human history is that Corrie ten Boom was not even Jewish- she was a Dutch Christian woman in her 50s when Nazis occupied her homeland in Holland and changed her world forever.
Corrie, and the authors that helped her, give you some background about her family members and allow you to get to know them and their personalities a little bit before the main part of the war begins. I am happy that they did this because it makes the reader feel closer to these people and connect with them first instead of just rushing to the main events of the story.
I also enjoyed Corrie’s perspective, as she is not coming from the point of view of someone typically involved in the Holocaust. She did not feel that she was an adventurous or brave person by any means but she proved this over and over again as she hid and rescued countless Jews from an otherwise unspeakable fate. She suffered, too, but did not falter from her beliefs in God.
I love this book. I love Corrie’s strength and I love her heart. If you are looking for an inspiring story that shows you that people can fully trust in God, look out for each other, find light and hope in dark, miserable times, then this is the one for you. If you only ever read one book about the Holocaust, try this one. I promise, you will love it.