Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Although The Hiding Place does not elaborate on all of the circumstances surrounding the death of Corrie ten Boom's mother, it does provide clues. In chapter four of the novel, it is 1918, and Corrie's mom is peeling potatoes in the kitchen. Corrie hears her mother cry out and catches her before she collapses of what is called in the novel a brain hemorrhage but may have been a stroke. Corrie's mom lies in a coma for two months but slowly recovers part of her mobility, although she never regains her speech. Her family communicates with her through a series of questions.

In 1921, Corrie's mother watches her daughter Nollie get married and is able to sing her favorite hymn, which the family sees as a gift from God. Corrie's mom dies in her sleep in 1921, about four weeks after Nollie's wedding. It is presumed she died of another hemorrhage or stroke, but again, the book does not elaborate.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The book does not give us a specific cause of death for Corrie’s mother. We do know that she had a least one recurring health problem, which was gallstones. In those days they performed surgical procedures to try and alleviate the pain of the stones, but the issue would often reoccur. The book tells us that she had several surgeries for gallstones, and after the last one had suffered a minor stroke. They considered this fact a reason not to undergo additional surgeries, so her mother was often in a great deal of pain after that.

Then, she suffered a major stroke that put her into a coma for two months. This also resulted in the paralysis of most of her body and the loss of speech. She lived in this way for three more years, but it certainly would have taken a great toll on her body. Four weeks after the marriage of her daughter Nollie, she passed away peacefully in her sleep.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial