Book Review: Journey Through the Night

Most of my friends have heard me talk about this amazing series of books by Anne DeVries. It has been in my top five favorite series of all time list as long as I can remember, and its not going anywhere! For some perspective, the list also includes the Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, the Zion Covenant/Chronicles (yes, I know, two series but by the same author and concerning consecutive time periods so I cheat and put them as one), and the Sacketts.
The four book series is entitled Journey Through the Night and contains four books: Into the Darkness, The Darkness Deepens, Dawn’s Early Light, and A New Day. The story follows a young man named John as he fights to survive the Nazi regime living in Holland. DeVries lived in Holland during the war and takes much of his story from actual events in his life and the lives of people he knew.
What sets this series apart from the hundreds (if not thousands) of other books about the second World War? First, because it follows only one character. Most novels have several main characters and move back and forth between them throughout the corse of the book. The fact that this series focuses only on John provides more of a unique point of view that is not often offered readers.
Second, because John is by no means a classical ‘hero.’ He is merely a young man, not even sixteen in the first book, fighting to stay alive through a war determined to result in otherwise. There are no glamorous battle scenes. There are no cunning plots or thrilling escapades. There is no gore, no romantic portrals of death. The book is down-to-earth and believable. You never find yourself wondering if a sixteen year old would really say or feel that. You will never think “Hmm, that sounds like something a mature twenty-five year old would do, how old is this guy again?” And you never wonder if any of it is made up.
Finally, and most importantly, because the heart of the series is not John or war or Hitler. The heart of the series is a young Christian’s faith being tested by circumstances – and thriving in them! John has been raised in a Christian home by godly parents. Over and over again, the war challenges a belief that John has, and instead of despairing of his faith, John chooses consistently to obey and honor his Lord.
How would you respond if a war came to our country? How would you respond if you were forced into hiding from the government? How would you respond if your father was sent away to a concentration camp? If you had to change your name every few weeks? If you couldn’t see your family or risk endangering their lives? If you had to choose between your life and the lives of others?
Most of us have never had to endure any of these hardships. You may not always agree with the decisions that John makes. But you will appriciate and respect the effort he puts into honoring and obeying God’s Word in every decision he makes. You will be encouraged by his reliance on Scripture verses he has memorized.
Journey Through the Night is a series for all ages. My parents both read them as adults and loved them. I read them as a young girl, seven or eight, and loved them. For those of you who don’t know, I am a firm believer in reading good books more than once. I usually make it through this series every year and a half or so. And each time I enjoy it more than the last. I cannot recommend these books enough.

Comments

  1. Nichole-
    I would love to read these books, and actually have the time now, believe it or not. When I see you next would you lend them to me? That is, if you haven’t lent them to someone else already???
    Love you,
    Brit
    P.S. You are a really good writer. I love to read what you write, because you express yourself so well.

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