For ten year-old Jeremiah Prins, the life of privilege as the son of a school headmaster in the Dutch East Indies comes crashing to a halt in 1942 after the Japanese Imperialist invasion of the Southeast Pacific. Jeremiah takes on the responsibility of caring for his younger siblings when his father and older stepbrothers are separated from the rest of the family, and he is surprised by what life in the camp reveals about a woman he barely knows—his frail, troubled mother.
Amidst starvation, brutality, sacrifice and generosity, Jeremiah draws on all of his courage and cunning to fill in the gap for his mother. Life in the camps is made more tolerable as Jeremiah’s boyhood infatuation with his close friend Laura deepens into a friendship from which they both draw strength.
When the darkest sides of humanity threaten to overwhelm Jeremiah and Laura, they reach for God’s light and grace, shining through his people. Time and war will test their fortitude and the only thing that will bring them safely to the other side is the most enduring bond of all.
This novel is set in WWII and focuses on the life of 10 year old Jeremiah Prin as his life of privilege is taken away in one swift motion as the Japanese invade his country. It follows him into an internment camp and we get a realistic look what it was like to live in that environment with all the struggles and heartache. While there is too much horror revealed to be considered a “feel good” read, the author offers us hope and a light at the end of a very dark tunnel. The reader will find inspiration to fight through the hard times and to stand strong realizing that God is there, even when the world is ugly.
~Reviewed by Rosie B.