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Tamar: A Novel of Espionage, Passion, and Betrayal Hardcover – January 23, 2007
"Salt to the Sea" by Ruta Sepetys
Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival. See more
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Top Customer Reviews
Very little information is given about the characters beyond their duties as spies. Both are Dutch, but it is never revealed how they came to be recruited by the British or what their lives were like before they were spies. It is almost as though their choice to become spies has erased all other sense of identity. They have no past and no future beyond their present mission, even as personal feelings begin to color their relationships to one another and the organization they serve.
Approximately 50 years later, a teen girl, also named Tamar, inherits a mysterious box from her grandfather. She and her cousin Yoyo take a trip into the British countryside seeking the origins of the Tamar river and the answer to a family secret that has remained hidden for generations. The two stories dovetail in a compelling novel about the legacy of a world at war, binding people across borders and generations.
World War II happened so long ago that it is beginning to pass from memory into history. The world of TAMAR's spies is so different from our own that it might as well be an imaginary world.Read more ›
I quickly grew attached to most of the primary characters, especially both Tamars. Dart was more difficult to like, but I appreciated the risky job he had and the toll it took on his personality and reasoning. The plot took a few unexpected turns as I read it, reminding me that first impressions and assumptions aren't always correct. The novel presented a few suprises along the way.
I suggest anyone with interest in history-based fiction read this book. Most of the WWII stories I have read focus on the Jewish experience in Holland. I felt like I learned a great deal about the Resistance and the Winter of Starvation.
"In the end, it was her grandfather, William Hyde, who gave the unborn child her name. He was serious about names; he'd had several himself."
One day, out of the blue, William Hyde asks his son to name his daughter Tamar. He explains that when he was a Dutch resistance fighter working for the British during WWII, their code names were taken from rivers in England. His son assumes it was his father's code name and agrees to name her Tamar.
After this brief introduction, the story jumps back in time to follow two young Dutch secret agents, code names Dart and Tamar. The two friends parachute into the occupied Netherlands in the dead of night. Tamar is charged with organizing the fragmented resistance efforts. Dart is his wireless operator. When they arrive, Tamar finds he is based out of the farm where a young woman named Marijke lives. It turns out the two met and fell in love a year ago but never thought they'd see each other again after Tamar was sent back to England. As they rekindle their romance amid the terror and starvation gripping the country, Dart is not so lucky. Based out of an insane asylum, he poses as a doctor, making trip after treacherous trip into town to relay encrypted messages and receive directions from headquarters in England. The events that overtake these two friends combine to create a web of deception and anger that reaches out to cover three generations.
This story is bleak. The focus is on the horrors of war and what they do to the men and women involved, the indelible mark left on their lives long after the guns are silenced and the violence is over. In the WWII chapters, the writing is coolly objective.Read more ›
The details about the horrors the Dutch endured under the Nazi occupation educated me about something I never knew.
I believe Peet's handling of the material is well-suited for both adults and young people.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This story really allows you to feel the deprivation and human emotions of World War II. A poignant story, 3 stories actually. We never know our motivations... Read morePublished 2 days ago by NY teacher
I good book. Ann exciting read, although I didn't like the ending I suspected something similar would happen...Published 25 days ago by Sharon Priest
The book was very fascinating! I wanted to know more about "William" life with his wife after the War.Published 26 days ago by Lisa Hale
This is the most amazing book. I was impressed with the great emotional depth of it and the tense plot that never let you go . What a ride and what raw spots it opened up!Published 1 month ago by Elaine Nudd
I love stories about WWII, but only if they are very well written and edited and very realistic. I read many of the Amazon reviews on this book before buying it, always starting... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Tom Johnson
Love it, the ending was very different then I had imagine. The reading was fluid with some historical fact. Very interesting!!!Published 2 months ago by Jo
Great story line with plenty of WWII history in Holland. I was very taken with the characters and their surprises, which take place all through the story. Strongly recommended.Published 2 months ago by AUtigerinnc
Everyone should read a book about life in a war torn country.
Our everyday small problems are almost comical in comparison to the lives many have endured.