Jewish Values: Tamar

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424 p.
Filled with suspense from beginning to end, this dark novel for older teens and adults combines two stories, both about people named Tamar. One is set in wartime Holland and it involves espionage, resistance, and a passionate love affair. Two young men, code named Tamar and Dart, have been trained by the British SOE (Special Operations Executive), parachuted into Holland, and charged with coordinating the fractured and fractious Dutch underground. Their lives and those of the people they work with are lived at the edge, with the danger of discovery by the Nazi always present. The modern day story is about a teenage English girl who has been named Tamar after the heroic Tamar of the resistance. Knowing nothing about her grandfather’s wartime activities, she is left to unravel his secrets after he dies, a probable suicide. There are many characters in the novel, all so well drawn that they can never be confused with one another except when that is the author’s intention. The plot and setting are perfectly realized and the style is clipped, as befits a novel so full of suspense, danger, and secrets. The Jewish content is very slight, almost nil, but the place and action are of Jewish interest. Tamar won England’s Carnegie Award and it is hard to put down.
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