Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Tulip Eaters by Antoinette van Heugten

This is a novel that revisits the Nazi occupation of Holland during World War 2, and how it effects people 30 years later and a world away.

Move forward to 1980.  Nora de Jong returns home from work as a pediatric surgeon in Houston, Tx,  to find her mother murdered and her baby, Rose, missing.  Her mother has been shot in the head and her hair hacked off.  There is also a dead man lying in the house; someone Nora has never seen before.  The police quickly descend and try to discover just who this man is, and who would want her mother dead.  First and foremost, however, is Rose.  Obviously there were two people involved in this murder; why take Rose?  Nora is frantic to find her daughter and uncover her mother's murderer.

Nora's parents both came from Holland after World War 2, and never talked about their life in Holland, or their families.  Nora discovers  a metal box containing evidence that puts her mother in the dreaded NSB, a Nazi organization Nora's grandfather helped run with a ruthlessness towards Jews living in Amsterdam.  Was Anneke, Nora's mother, really part of this group?  And Nora's father--accused of murder and condemned to death after the war.  What happened?  

Nora quickly realizes the answer to her daughter's disappearance is tied to her parent's past, and she goes to Holland.  Of course, the father of Nora's baby lives in Holland, and he's the only person who can help Nora uncover her family's mysterious past.  

Meanwhile, the kidnapper is a bit of a bumbling person, terribly unsuited for the drama he's been thrust into.  And he has a nasty woman, literally scarred from her experiences in World War 2, bent on revenge and determined to stop Nora from finding her daughter.  

The novel is fast paced, a bit brutal in a few spots, and full of information about  Holland and Amsterdam's occupation by the Nazis during World War 2.  I think the novel being set in 1980 kept the bitter feelings of Nazi survivors  alive and   revenge stewing until it reached a boiling point.  The war wasn't so far away then as it is now in 2013.  Anyone who likes contemporary novels with a bit of a historical mix, anything about World War 2, or just a good novel about a women determined to find her daughter will enjoy this quick read.  

Rating:  7/10 for the historical background of Amsterdam and Holland during Nazi occupation; quick pace, and strong female character.  

Available in paperback and e-book.  Thanks to Harlequin/Mira for a review copy!


  1. Sounds good...thanks for the review! I love finding books to add to the "to-read" pile.

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