Alison's Reviews > The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
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Feb 10, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, religion, biography
Read in January, 1986 , read count: 1

I got this book as my confirmation present from the Anglican church I was a congregant of at the time. It was a good choice - I suspect it kept me identifying with the Church for a few years longer than I would have otherwise. It is a powerfully written book, with a compelling message about the power of forgiveness and the importance of doing what is right. Ten Boom appears almost to emotionally float through the Holocaust protected by her faith, taking enormous risks to operate an underground network for Jews, and eventually ending up imprisoned. Her moments of human weakness seem far and few between, and her sister Betsie is presented as saint-like figure whose own complete faith enables her to be constantly serene and at peace.

The book has some contradictory messages for budding feminists. Even at 13, enthralled by the heroism, I could see that Corrie's practicality and supreme organisational skills saved more lived than Betsie's saintly passivity. I could also see Corrie's personal fulfilment came through her work, he faith inspired her, but alone did not satisfy her.

Re-reading the book 25 years later, as an athiest, the book still holds up. Contrasting with most works published by religious publishers, Ten Boom's humility shines through the book. Religion and faith are used by many to justify discrimination, persecution and abuse. Ten Boom is an example of someone using faith to sustain herself in a fight for human solidarity, and against discrimination, abuse and genocide.
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06/16 marked as: read

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