by Mal Peet


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"This beautifully structured and highly suspenseful story of the Dutch Resistance is positively Hitchcockian in its examination of the darker reaches of the human heart." – Booklist

When her grandfather dies, Tamar inherits a box containing a series of clues and coded messages. Out of the past, another Tamar emerges, a man involved in the terrifying world of resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied Holland half a century before. His story is one of passionate love, jealousy, and tragedy set against the daily fear and casual horror of the Second World War – and unraveling it is about to transform Tamar’s life forever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781613837979
Publisher: Perfection Learning Corporation
Publication date: 03/26/2013
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 654,119
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Mal Peet's first novel for young adults, KEEPER, won the prestigious Branford Boase Award and was selected by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Young Adults. He lives in Devon, England.

Read an Excerpt

Tamar had not been able to drift clear of the surface of the water that rushed up to meet him. He was already fumbling with the harness release when he felt the cold shock of contact; he was terrified the chute would drag him under. He was thigh deep before he felt something more or less solid – a mass of sludge and submerged branches – beneath his feet. With a moan of relief he got free of the chute and saw it settle onto the black water like a gigantic water lily. Then he began to struggle towards the denser shadow of the bank. His flailing right arm struck something hard, and he grabbed at it. It shifted in the water. A boat? Yes.

He was pulling himself along it, looking for where it must be moored to the bank, when he heard someone speak.

"Welcome to Holland, Tamar."

He looked up. On the bank, distinct against the lesser darkness of the sky, was the unmistakable silhouette of a German soldier. The long field-service coat, the jackboots. Cold moonlight glinted from the steel helmet and the snout of a submachine gun.

Even before fear took hold, Tamar was filled with a great and bitterdisappointment, a sense of ridiculous failure. He stood away from the boat, feeling broken, and raised his arms above his head.


TAMAR by Mal Peet. Copyright © 2007 by Mal Peet. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.

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Tamar 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 64 reviews.
Yosuico More than 1 year ago
Tamar is a thrilling novel all the way to the end. I think one of the main themes is the humanity of war. I think the author¿s purpose was to show how war actually affects people: what decision¿s you make, the thoughts you have, the mental and emotional effect on those involved. The year is 1945. World War II is coming to a close. Tamar is a Dutch spy fighting for the British to free his homeland, Holland. He is accompanied by another Dutch soldier, Dart. They are stationed in a small isolated farm, to lower their visibility from the Germans. Tamar falls in love with a young woman living on the farm, Marijke. Unfortunately, Dart is also in love with her, and becomes jealous when Tamar and Marijke begin to have a relationship. Meanwhile, in 1995, a young woman by the name of Tamar is living in England. Her grandfather recently committed suicide and leaves behind a box filled with unusual contents. She begins to discover the meaning of the items left behind, and with it discovers the truth behind her grandfather. "We tell ourselves we're different from them. But this morning, I watched them while they murdered a hundred and sixteen people. So I wanted to kill them. The sickness in those men, those Germans? It's in me, too." That is the quote behind which my thesis is based. I find that it explains how war plays games with your head and makes you think differently. I think this book achieves its goals and the author¿s purpose. It does show how the war affected the characters in this story. Some of the damage was permanent, some wasn¿t. I think the author does in fact show how war actually affects your head: what decision¿s you make, the thoughts you have, the mental and emotional effect on those involved. War is a tough battle, and it affects everyone. Tamar is a very good novel, and I would recommend it to those old enough to understand it. It is very deep and thrilling, and the ending will surprise you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My dad and I were shopping and he saw this book on a shelf. I was reluctant to get this book, but I bought it anyway. I really loved this book from beginning to the very end. I would very much reccommend this book to anyone: it has everything that a good story needs, romance a thrilling plot and interesting twists.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was wonderfully written. Mal Peet weaves an intricate plot around the lives of two men during the war that has consquences on his grandaugter 50 years later. It grabs your attention right away and doesn't let it go until the last word. At first I thought this novel may turn out to be boring but by the end I felt as though i was part of the experience they were having. I started reading it as an English Assignment but finished it as a book I sincerely enjoyed reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was wonderfully written. The story¿s plot is so intricate and descriptive you feel as if you are actually going through the experience and emotions with the characters. I started it as reading for an English assignment but finished it as a book I sincerely enjoyed reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tamar is one of the best works of storytelling I have read this year, maybe in my entire life. Its an intricate blend of relationships, war, betrayal, and modern life. I was extremely suprised at how good a book it was, and it met my high expectations. The ending was very shocking, and somehow ruined it for me :0 but I still love it anyways. This story will definitely stick with me!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow, this book was very entertaining that I read it all in one day. This story about Tamar is just... insiteful and very interesting. It really brings the past forward into a story you don't quite expect and one that surprises you at the end. You should read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was wandering the shelves of the books store, and this caught my eye. I read a few pages, and I wasn¿t entirely sure. It seemed too expensive and I was afraid that it would ramble too much. But, I bought it anyway. I finished the book that night and when I reached the page, and if you have read the book you might know which one I was talking about, I literally screamed. The author has woven a net of perfection inside me and made me fall in love with all the characters of the book. It was amazing and so inspiring that I have no words that can describe my feeling for it. It is a wonderfully written story that deserves to be read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It really makes you think and is just amazing!! I read it in a day.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I started reading Tamar in a Barnes and Nobles bookstore and I couldn't put it down I spent the next 4 hours sitting on the floor reading it.The story was written in such detail that you feel as if you experience every emotion the characters go through. The story is divided into two time periods, 1945 and 1995. Perhaps the Tamar of 1995, wasn't given enough character development, but I didn't really connect with her character. However, the story was still wonderful. When I was reading, it was as if I were watching the scenes unfold before my eyes. Even after I finished reading it, I kept on thinking about the story all day. I can see this book becoming an award winning movie. Tamar will become a favourite with anyone who reads it.
kelley_townley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good - as a adult book, but why is it teen? They should have just cut the poor teen 'add-on' bits in my opinion.
megmcg624 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This novel switches between the Netherlands in the 1940s, where two Dutch resistance fighters fall in love with the same women, and England in the 1990s, where a teenage girl named after one of those fighters puzzles out the meaning of a box of memorabilia left to her by her grandfather. The bulk of the narration is devoted to the horrors of life under Nazi occupancy, with a fairly predictable plot twist. The themes are very adult matters of jealousy and betrayal, and the novel features mass executions, starvation, drug addiction, and mental illness. Tamar is a grim novel, and should be recommended only to very mature high school readers.
yellowoasis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Carnegie winner 2006, and not the kind of book I¿d normally choose ¿ war story, airplane on front cover etc.Story of two SOE operators in occupied Apeldoorn, conveniently code-named Tamar and Dart. This is a plot point. They both fall in love with the same Dutch woman, and one of the men is killed. The story rests on playing out the plot to work out which one died and how. It turns out that Dart betrayed Tamar to a psychotic resistance operative, knowing that he would be killed. Dart `rescues¿ Marijke, now pregnant with Tamar¿s child, and they escape back to Britain. The story is intertwined with the present day story of Tamar, the granddaughter of Marijke. Her father disappeared mysteriously some years ago, and now her grandfather has committed suicide through grief at what he did all those years ago.The book effectively evokes the terror of war, of working in secrecy, the horror of the Nazis. However I found some parts a little dull, and the ending was not quite satisfactory. Tamar is given the clues to a mystery ¿ actually the location of her father. This was a little too low-key for me.
AAlibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Highly recommended. Set in England and the Netherlands, the present and the past this story invokes the horrors of German occupation and resistance during the second world war.Well drawn characterisation
Lizzybeth23 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not very good. Kinda got boring by the middle of the book.
Liz_S on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I cant even begin to describe how much I loved this book! I couldnt put it down! Fast paced and thought provoking, I had to know what happened next! Although I figured out the ending in the middle of the book I still had to read on! Very well put together! You can tell Mal Peet did his research on this subject! Fascinating to the very end!
LCSDLibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A well-written book spanning 3 generations. Tamar is a 15-year old looking for clues about her grandad upon his death, realizing she didn't really know him. Tamar is also the codename her grandfather uses in 1944-45 as he works to bring the many factions of the Dutch resistance to cooperate under one command against the Nazis. The tale weaves in and out of both stories, unraveling the mystery of who Tamar really is.
fr3dt3ch on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great story that blends history, action, and mystery together.
mschwander on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An intriguing account of the WWII Nazi occupation in Holland is unfolded through the spellbinding story of two Special Operations Executive (SOE) agents who are given the code names of Tamar and Dart. As they risk their lives to aide the underground resistance against the Germans, Dart must also come to battle with his hateful feelings of jealousy: it is with great remorse that Dart learns of the secret, passionate relationship that Tamar has with Marijke, the attractive and genial farm-owner who supplies them with shelter and food. In intermittent chapters, we are fast-forwarded to 1995 England as Tamar¿s namesake granddaughter follows a trail of obscure clues left by her deceased grandfather. These clues lead to a shocker ending revealing the truth behind the events that took place back in 1945. Though the chapters about the teenage granddaughter¿s quest read much like a YA novel, the predominant chapters which take place during the war are intense and riveting, reading much more like an adult novel.
meteowrite on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A good story, overall. I had a sense of what was going to happen on about page 75. The "betrayal" on the cover gave it away. I was ready for it to end several days before I finished it, but I think that says more about the amount of time I was able to spend with it than it does about the story itself.
JohnD4 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Shows how hard it is to be in the secret service in anothere country. This book is about two Americans who are going to holland to send back information about the Germans.I would recommend this book to people who like adventure.
MrsBee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have mixed feelings about this book but rate it highly because of the emotions I'm still feeling after having finished reading it. I guessed the ending about midway through and hoped and hoped that it wouldn't come to pass. It did, and my heart ached. In fact, my heart was being tugged at throughout the book, and this is why I will recommend it to others. A mediocre book with no lasting impression goes nowhere, but this book is definitely going places. It's already won a Carnegie Medal to prove it. Though filled with adult language and situations, Tamar is geared toward young adults and justifiably so, for older young adults at least. I wouldn't give it to just anyone.
emitnick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A teenage girl in 1995 England tries to unravel a mystery about her beloved grandfather - but most of the action takes place in the Netherlands during WWII, when that same grandfather was working on behalf of Britain for the Dutch resistance movement against the Nazi occupation. This is a romance and a tale of friendship and betrayal. The characters are all complex, with competing motivations and impulses, making this an absorbing and heartrending read.
TammyPhillips on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I very much enjoyed reading Tamar. It was a sophisticated read for a young adult novel. This story reveals how the evils of Hitler's Nazi regime infected not only Germany, but many countries and even members of the Resistance. I appreciated the authenticity of the wartime situations and I was moved by how the author was able to relate the generational effects of the tragedy of the holocaust.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first picked up this book as it was on the recommended shelf at my local library, and me being the historical fiction lover that I am, I took it home to read. At first, it took me a bit to understand the plot and what was happening, I had to reread the first part of the story, the chapters before it jumps to the female lead. The book as a whole was a bit hard to follow plotwise, but it does flow better later in the book. The main part that bugged me is that the "main" character, the soldier's granddaughter Tamar, was said to be a major character in the book. She was, but I think that that whole plotline could have been left out of the book if it needed to be. However, it does add a nice mystery element and a neat side story, and ties up the other storyline's loose ends in a neat little package. My favorite thing about this book, however, is the fact that it was suprising. It suprised me in the intricacy of the plot, the excellent portrayal of the characters, and the fact that war indeed is not always a happy ending. Peet is very good at describing the environment, I was filled with fear every time the Nazis were close, and filled with horror when de Vries led hundreds of people to their deaths. I thought many times throughout the book, "oh, this is how it will end for sure," or "this book is so predictable". I almost put the book down because the first hunded or so pages, I thought I had the mystery solved and didn't need to read any farther. However, I kept going, and in a surprising turn of events the ending slapped me across the face. When I went back and reread it it was as clear as day what the character would do, although you don't immediately understand when first reading through. That's the part I love, without spoiling too much, that the soldier's stories don't end happily. Although the epilogue of the book left it on an optimistic note. In all, this was an enjoyable read and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good sit-down, detail-oriented book. It does have some steamy parts and some language, so I would save this for late middle to high schoolers. If the middle of the book seems to drag, keep going, and you won't be disappointed!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has really stuck with me. It's been years since I read it but usually I have to read a book more than once to remember the equivalent of what I read in this book. Excellently written. Well developed characters. Great imagery. 5/5 stars. Highly recommended. If you liked The Book Thief or any other WWII piece of literature/movies you'll probably love this book too!