13 May 2009

Tamar by Mal Peet

This novel of adventure, wartime, love, and consequence is well worth the time it takes to wrap yourself around it. The story is told in alternating time periods: Tamar is an English spy working with the Dutch Resistance against the Nazi Regime; Tamar is a fifteen-year-old girl struggling with her family's secrets and her grandfather's death in 1995. An intricate weave of mystery and adventure, love and family, and hidden histories, the story is both intense and delicate and won't soon leave your mind.

The note on the back cover from the Carnegie Medal committee (2007) describes it well:
"Tamar is a powerful and moving story that cleverly connects the present with the past. Peet's is a broad canvas; his writing is beautifully controlled as he unravels the complex historical and personal aspects of the story of sixty years ago and today. He has an assured lightness of touch and his book is rich with imagery, simile, and strong characterisation . . . Dark and moving, it is a compelling read that ultimately offers a sense of optimism."

Recommended to all adults and high school readers.
Call number: YA PEET (Teen Room)

Reviewed by kate the librarian

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