My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A story set over two timelines, one in 1945 and the other in 1995, Peet introduces us to Tamar and her grandfather and a group of Dutch resistance fighters in World War Two – one of whom is codenamed Tamar. It’s not until the end though that we realise the connection between the two timelines – and the role Tamar’s grandfather played in both.
Gritty, powerful, and heartbreaking, Tamar is outstanding. I have written before of the wonders of Peet and his quietly immense epics and when he writes these sorts of books, it is a thrilling thrilling thing to witness. He has a skill to balance the very small moments of life, the love and loss of everyday existence, against massive world-shifting events – and to do so without losing the impact of each. It is ridiculously exciting to read a world into existence and that’s what you do with this book.
There are some similarities with Life : An Exploded Diagram in that both books are intense, dense novels. Tamar in particular requires some reading into, but it’s an effort that pays off with some stunning rewards.
(Now, if somebody could clear up just how to pronounce Tamar for me, that would be perfect!)