Friday, November 16, 2007

What Mrs. N's Been Reading - Tamar

I just finished reading Mal Peet's, Tamar. It's another one of those books told from alternating points of view. Part of it is the story of Dutch resistance fighters during the last part of World War II. This was the part of the book that I liked best. It gave you a look at what day-to-day life was really like for those folks who were essentially spies and/or terrorists, in Holland during the war. It was not nearly as glamorous and exciting as a lot of movies make it seem. Frequently it was long periods of incredible boredom, punctuated by moments of sheer terror, with a steady dose of deprivation and near starvation throughout. The other part of the book followed a young girl named Tamar, in 1995, as she sets out to follow what appears to be encoded instructions, left to her by her grandfather after his suicide, which may explain the parts of his life that no one in the family ever talked about. The two stories come together in the end. I basically had the ending figured out pretty early on, but kept reading because I wanted to find out what happened in greater detail, and because it was a very well written, engaging novel. The subtitle for the book is, A Novel of Espionage, Passion, and Betrayal. That pretty much sums it up. Again, it's an engaging book that gives you a different look at World War II, and makes you think about things like loyalty and survival. I'd recommend it.

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