Friday, 1 September 2017

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
First published by Hodder and Stoughton in November 1971. Written with John and Elizabeth Sherrill. Blackstone Audio edition narrated by Wanda McCaddon published in 1993.

One of my WorldReads from the Netherlands

Where to buy this book:

How I got this book:
Downloaded as part of the 2014 AudioSYNC season

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As the Nazi madness swept across Europe, a quiet watchmaker's family in Holland risked everything for the sake of others, and for the love of Christ. Despite the danger and threat of discovery, the ten Boom family courageously offered shelter to persecuted Jews during the Nazi occupation of Holland. Then a trap brought about the family's arrest. Could God's love shine through, even in Ravensbruck?

The Hiding Place is another triumph for the AudioSYNC audio book download series. I'm so glad to have discovered it! I was already aware of Corrie Ten Boom's autobiography but had bypassed it in favour of others, primarily because it is always publicised as a Christian book. I think this does the work a disservice because, although Corrie's faith is fantastically important to her, there is much more to her story.

The Ten Booms were watchmakers in Haarlem, an extended family living in a fairly small house over their shop. They were already known for helping the less fortunate throughout the district and I enjoyed reading about their pre-war lives. The horrors of the war are often told, but small details get overlooked. In The Hiding Place, the accumulation of such detail made for an interesting listen. I liked the way events were told with an eye to humour, especially as the little house begins to fill with strangers passing though. Listening had the cosiness of a aging relative telling stories and it was easy to see Corrie's attraction as a speaker post-war.

A theme she often returned to was how only looking within a small sphere makes huge events less mind-blowing, and this is essentially how Corrie kept her sanity despite the horrors she endured. Her prop was the religious belief she had been taught since earliest childhood, and the autobiography does overplay everything potentially miraculous, but Corrie also shows how quiet organisation, determination, kindness and consideration can mould many small deeds into a truly inspirational life.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Corrie Ten Boom / Biography and memoir / Books from the Netherlands

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