Friday, March 24, 2023

The Watchmaker’s Daughter by Larry Loftis


Thank you, Partner @bibliolifestyle @williammorrowbooks for the review copy of this book.

What do you think of the trend of naming books with relationships such as someone’s daughter, wife, sister, etc.?  I’ll admit, I am not a fan.  In this book in particular, Corrie Ten Boom was the first female licensed watchmaker in Holland.  Why is she regulated to being The Watchmaker’s daughter?

The Watchmaker’s Daughter is subtitled The True Story of World War II Heroine Corrie Ten Boom.  At the start of World War II, Corrie Ten Boom was a fiftyish watchmaker living above her family’s watch shop in Haarlam in the Netherlands.  She was a devout Christian and couldn’t believe the treatment she saw of her fellow human beings because they were Jewish, old, or disabled.  She became part of the resistance and her and entire family worked to help everyone that they could.  They also hid Jews and “divers” (young men trying to avoid conscription by the Nazis) in their home.  The day came that they were discovered and Corrie Ten Boom’s life changed forever.

I had read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom a few years ago for Rogue Book Club and it was inspiring.  It was her autobiography of these years in World War II working for the resistance and then being in a concentration camp.  What is different about The Watchmaker’s Daughter is that author Larry Loftis has put together the complete story from not only The Hiding Place, but Corrie Ten Boom’s other books as well as publications from other family members.  Into the story he also weaves other famous Dutch people at the time – Anne Frank and Audrey Hepburn, and relevant political events.  It was fascinating story and I couldn’t put this book down.  I stayed up too far into the night to finish it.  This is one of those rare non-fiction books that reads like fiction to me.  I also loved all of the pictures that were part of the story too.  I had never seen them before. 

What amazed me again in this narrative as it did in her autobiography was Corrie Ten Boom and her family’s great faith.  When Ten Boom and her sister Betsie were together in the concentration camp, they preached the word of God and kept their faith through the most trying of times.  They also were kind of like Pollyanna, always striving to look for the good and for what to be thankful.  They weren’t perfect, but they really tried. My favorite part was when Ten Boom and her family talked to the person in charge after they were first arrested.  They all discovered he was a person to witness to and got him thinking about Christianity, God, and the work that he was doing.  It was a nice wrap-up to discover that Corrie Ten Boom met him again after the war and he had completely changed his life around.  This was a great book to read during Lent and it made you think about keeping your faith through all of life’s trials.

I really liked at the end of the book that there was a section called “The Rest of the Story” that went into what happened to a variety of the people mentioned in the book complete with pictures.  This is always what I wonder about after a book ends, especially a nonfiction book.  The Author’s Note was also interesting.  This was my first book by Larry Loftis, but this book and his Author’s Note definitely made me want to check out more of his nonfiction books.


Favorite Quotes:

Corrie Ten Boom’s father was going to be released from jail as they said he could die in his own bed.  Opa responded, “If I go home today, tomorrow I will open my door again to any man in need who knocks.”

“We have learned so much here and now we must go all over the world to tell people what we now know – that Jesus’ light is stronger than the deepest darkness.  Only prisoners can know how desperate this life is.  We can tell from experience that no pit is too deep, because God’s everlasting arms always sustain us.”

“Each had a hurt he had to forgive, the neighbor who had reported hi, the brutal guard, the sadistic soldier.  Strangely enough, it was not the Germans or the Japanese that people had most trouble forgiving; it was their fellow Dutchmen who sided with the enemy.”

Overall, The Watchmaker’s Daughter is a book not to be missed.  I highly recommend it.  Corrie Ten Boom’s story is one that everyone should know.

1 comment:

  1. I so want to read this book! I love The Hiding Place, and I actually got to visit the Ten Boom watch shop years ago when I went to The Netherlands. Her story is such an amazing one.