Title: The Hiding Place
Author: Corrie ten Boom
Major Themes: Jews, Jewish History, Nazis, World War II, Family Life, Christian Living
Synopsis: Corrie ten Boom shares her story of working in the Dutch underground to hide Jews during the Second World War.
Corrie ten Boom’s fascinating memoir The Hiding Place has a dear place in my heart. I first heard it several years ago, and each successive read and listen makes the story all the sweeter. Corrie’s struggles to accept God’s plan for her life—and then live the life He had called her to—are always very real and challenging to me.
From page one, Corrie presents her wonderful, sometimes almost crazy, fun-loving family. In careful detail, she shares some early memories, describing her sick mother—who loves and cares for others even in her sick condition—eccentric aunts, and loving father. Then comes the war, changing their lives and home forever. When Jews start disappearing, her sister Betsy, Father (“Opa”), and she realize they have a responsibility towards their Jewish friends. They begin taking in Jews—both old and young—hiding them in other places, if possible, and if no one wants them, keeping them at the Baja. Their work in the underground is very dangerous, however—and when they are finally caught, is there any hope that any of them will get out of prison alive?
The Hiding Place is full of faith and vivid characters. Betsy’s faith in God is manifested time after time, and we have the privilege of watching Corrie’s faith grow throughout the book, too. Being a Christian family, the ten Booms are often shown together, meditating on God’s word. This was the foundation that held them true throughout those dangerous years. A tribute to Opa, Betsy, and the others who passed on during the war years, this book shares the richness of God’s care and protection. The Hiding Place is a treasure to have on the shelf.
WARNING: There is lying through the later part of the book, as Corrie tried to protect the Jews she was in charge of. In chapter two, Corrie and her father briefly discuss sex (in a very clean way), and this is briefly mentioned later when Nollie got married. Some of the tortures used in the prisons and concentration camps may be too graphic for younger listeners.
Read Aloud—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 13, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 10 – 12, 12 – 15, 15 and Above, Adults