A classic. I saw the TV miniseries starring Anthony Andrews years ago--it didn't make that great an impression on me--but I"d never read the book. Whe...moreA classic. I saw the TV miniseries starring Anthony Andrews years ago--it didn't make that great an impression on me--but I"d never read the book. When Amazon offered it for a reasonable price, I got it.
The story starts in World War II, when the hero is stationed at one of England's manor homes. It happens to be one he's very familiar with, and thus the recollections of events between the two world wars are jarred. He was at school with the younger son of the manor's family and despite a relative's warning, took up with him. Visits to the manor bring him in contact with the dysfunctional family. Mother is wedded to her Catholic religion, father lives abroad with his mistress, older brother is pompous, the sister... Our hero falls in love with the sister. Not surprising since he's been so taken with her brother from the start. But the romance is eventually doomed.
The writing is wonderful, the descriptions lyrical, but the story's kind of blah. In the end, religion wins out and leaves everyone pretty unhappy. I was relieved to be done with it.(less)
I wanted to give TAMAR five stars, it was that good a read. I thought about it off and on for days after finishing. (And normally I forget a book once...moreI wanted to give TAMAR five stars, it was that good a read. I thought about it off and on for days after finishing. (And normally I forget a book once it's read, except when I buy it again and realize after a couple of chapters I've read it before!)
TAMAR grabbed me right away, when an old man asks his son to name his coming baby Tamar. The son conmplies and the stage is set for the story to unfold. When Tamar is fifteen, she sets out on a journey up the Tamar River in England, going to places her grandfather marked for her. She hopes to discover his past.
Part of the book is written from her POV on her journey. The other parts come from the POV's of two Dutchmen, code names Tamar and Dart, who were parachuted into Nazy occupied Holland during WWII to aid the resistance. The switch between present and past is effortless, probably because Tamar always uses first person for her accounts.
Peet gives a moving picture to life in Holland under the occupation. An unwed mother serving as a courier. The fearful heroism of people who risk their lives to keep radio signals between England and Holland alive. The food shortages. The soldiers' threat.
We follow Tamar and Dart's mental processes, watch them deteriorate, panic, rise up in heroism. And there's a love story, between Tamar and the namesake Tamar's grandmother.
The one thing that disappointed me was that the plot came apart toward the ending. Present day events came about that depended on events during the war being known to the current cast, that (unless I missed something and I very well could have) we the readers knew, but left us puzzled as to how the others not involved knew them.
If it hadn't been for that, the plot coming apart toward the end, I would surely had given it five stars.
This book's for anyone who likes history, romance, and good writing.(less)
When Massachusetts attorney Paul Forte is subpoenaed to go before a grand jury investigating unreported contributions, he assumes he's just a small fi...moreWhen Massachusetts attorney Paul Forte is subpoenaed to go before a grand jury investigating unreported contributions, he assumes he's just a small fish caught up in the net. He testifies truthfully about his golfing dates with lobbyists, assuming that the reciprocal policy golfers always use - I'll pay for you to play my course, you pay for me to play yours - will keep him safe.
Not. Seems the prosecutor has a grudge against Paul. He's indicted, subjected to arrest and put in a holding cell. All without knowing why.
Paul displays humor, vulnerability, and decency in an impossible situation where the bureaucratic process could easily grind him down. We cheer for him because we like him.
The book is funny, with crisp dialogue and good characterization.
No murders, but if you're tired of the same old legal thrillers, give this a try.