Tamar Book Cover Tamar
Mal Peet
Fiction, Young-adult fiction, War novel, Historical novel, Speculative fiction
Walker Books

Tamar and Dart, two Dutch men, are part of a branch of British secret service, and are dropped into Holland in 1944 during World War II. Dart helps Tamar receive instructions from their English commanders under the identity of Dr. Ernst Lubbers and Tamar tries to unite the resistance leaders in as a farmer by the name of Christiaan Boogart. They stay at the Maartens’ farmhouse, where Dart falls in love Marijke, the woman who lives there, but Marijke and Tamar are in a relationship that is unbeknownst to Dart. Dart has three different locations for receiving codes from England, one is in the barn at the Maartens’ farm, another a secret room in a puppet shop, and one at an asylum. While Dart is sitting in the room at the asylum one day, a leader of a resistance group finds his way to the asylum with multiple gunshot wounds. The man believes that Tamar and Dart betrayed his group’s location to the Germans.  As the story progresses, it branches off to 1995, where Tamar, a Dutch girl who is the granddaughter of William and Marijke Hyde. William commits suicide and leaves Tamar a box of clues for her to follow. Tamar  and her cousin Yoyo follow the clues to the river Tamar where they meet her father whom had left her for a long time. The story of the two Dutch men from 1944 picks back up with Tamar’s father recalling certain events and ends with a surprising twist.

This book is a complicated book, because the author dives deep into World War II history and he also uses very descriptive and sophisticated language. The plot of the story was a little confusing at first, but as I continued to read on into the book, it began to make more sense. The author also alternates between two timelines, one in Holland in World War II and another in England in 1995, so I had some difficulty jumping from one and back to the other. The author might have wanted to explain and give some information about the war because I feel that if I did not have background information about the war, I would have been lost in the book. I would recommend this book to middle school and high school students because it contains some explicit language and requires some background information about World War II. Overall, I would rate this book an eight out of ten stars.



1. Who is William Hyde’s wife?
1a. His wife is Marijke. (4)
2. Where did Tamar and Dart stay when they were dropped into Holland?
2a. They stayed at the Maartens’ farmhouse. (23)
3. What is Dart’s false identity?
3a. His false identity is Doctor  Ernst Lubbers. (41)
4. Who is Trixie Greydanus?
4a. She is a runner for Tamar and Dart and assists in helping them past German checkpoints and delivering supplies. (48)
5. What is the name of the man in charge of Tamar and Dart’s reception into Holland/?
5a. His name is Koop de Vries. (31)

paraffin (pg. 11)
cryptology (pg. 15)
Gestapo (pg. 21)
itinerant (pg. 23)
asylum (pg. 88)


6. Why does Dart start acting bitter towards Tamar?
6a. Because Dart loves Marijke and he saw Tamar and Marijke kissing in the kitchen, which caused him to turn bitter towards Tamar and begin to hate him. (189)
7. In 1995, who does Tamar travel with to the river Tamar?
7a. She travels with her cousin “Yoyo” Johannes. (207)
8. Where is Dart brought to by German soldiers on his way back to the Maartens’ farmhouse?
8a. He is brought to a small square called Westerplein and is told to treat a German major’s bite wound inflicted by a young Jewish boy. (228)
9. Who does Koop de Vries and his resistance group kill with their trap on the road?
9a. They killed SS Lieutenant General Hanns Albin Rauter. (273)
10. How many people did Rauter order to be executed due to him being almost murdered by Koop?
10a. He ordered 243 people to be executed. (284)

fiendish (pg. 198)
incessantly (pg. 222)
primitive (pg. 255)
bungalow (pg. 292)
shambolic (pg. 311)


11. What happened while Dart was receiving codes from England?
11a. German SS troops storm into Bibi and Peter Grotius’ house in which Dart was using as a station to receive codes. (328)
12. How was Koop almost shot to death?
12a. Someone betrayed his group’s location to the German troops and the Germans found them and killed all of them except for Koop. (343)
13. Who breaks into the asylum while Koop is recovering from his bullet wounds?
13a. The Germans storm into the asylum and Dart has to drag Koop into a secret room to hide. (361)
14. Who shot and betrayed Tamar?
14a. Dart betrayed Tamar and Koop shot Tamar as he was climbing up a ladder. (403)
15. What is the big surprise that the author reveals near the end of the book?
15a. The author reveals that William Hyde, who is also Dart, is not Jan’s father. Tamar is Jan’s real father, but he was shot to death by Koop and Marijke married Dart while bearing Tamar’s child. (410)

hysteria (pg. 333)
snivelling (pg. 362)
advert (pg. 387)
grimacing (pg. 400)
obscene (pg. 417)