Monday, March 28, 2016

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

            The Hiding Place is such a great novel. It is written by Corrie Ten Boom, and is a personal narrative and biography of her experience during World War II and the Holocaust. It is nonfiction, but written as a story and in a way that makes it very easy to read and understand. The story takes place in Holland, which is occupied by Germans. Corrie Ten Boom and her family (who are devout Christians) become leaders in the Dutch Underground, and are hiding Jewish people in a special room in order to aid in their escape from the Nazi’s.  Eventually Corrie and her family are imprisoned and find themselves in a concentration camp. During their time at the concentration camp, they share the gospel with the other prisoners. Corrie and her family suffer many hardships, first in prison, then in concentration camps, extermination camps, and for many of her family, death. Yet they never lose their hope or their deep rooted faith in God.

I remember reading this book years ago, around 9th grade, when we were required to pick one of four books to read and write a book report on. I was one of the only students who chose to read this, and I remember that after I had finished it, I wanted everyone to be required to read this book, because it is that good. Honestly, it is a heart breaking and painful story. As I re-read it this time around, there were many times when the tears flowed down my cheeks, and I found my heart literally hurting for these people and what they had to endure.  What I loved the most was the incredible faith that Corrie showed throughout the book. She had such obedient love for God and even for other people. There are parts when she thanks God for the hardships she has to endure, and where she prays for the guard that is beating her. I am a Christian, and I found myself wondering what I would do in the same situations. This book is absolutely beautiful, profound, and so very emotional. Definitely a must read for all, Christian and non-Christian alike.

As a few other readers and reviewers have said, one of the favorite quotes I read in the book was: Today I know that such memories are the key not to the past, but to the future. I know that 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”.  
Note: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review from Chosen. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Prophetess by Jill Eileen Smith

The Prophetess, written by Jill Eileen Smith, is the second book in the Daughters of the Promised Land series. It is the story of Deborah from the book of Judges in the Old Testament. Having taking an entire class on Judges/Ruth when I was an undergraduate, it was interesting to read the author's take on the story, especially when there is very little to go on. The story begins when young Deborah, who is unmarried and unsure of herself, is married off to a man named Lappidoth. During the time frame of this book, a Canaanite named Sisera is capturing and killing the Israelites, and everyone is filled with fear and hiding from Sisera. Ten years after her marriage to Lappidoth, the Lord calls on Deborah to be a judge and to lead His people away from the evil idols of other nations back to Him.

Overall, I thought this was a fantastic book. I absolutely love biblical fiction, and I greatly enjoyed reading it. I also think that Jill did an awesome job at retelling the story in a way that was fiction, yet still stuck to the biblical version of the story. Everything that is in the book comes from the Bible, except for the occasional new characters and of dialogue, but that is to be expected of a fiction novel. I also enjoyed following along the growing relationship between Deborah and Lappidoth, and the relationship between the other main female characters and their prospects. All in all, this is a terrific book that absolutely must be read by all lovers of Christian fiction!

Note: I received this book for free from Revell in exchange for my honest review.