Everything about “The Tulip Eaters” was excellent! A murder mystery and love story based on events that occurred decades ago during World War II, this wasn’t just another WWII novel. The story began when Nora arrived home to find her mother murdered and her baby kidnapped. The author used her Dutch background as a platform to provide a unique perspective on survival, love, and hatred. The Dutch people’s involvement with the Nazis was examined through family secrets that Nora stumbled upon as she attempted to make sense of the nightmarish scene in her home.
The writing was direct and flowed very well. There was never a lull in the story, which developed in a realistic way. There was an array of dastardly characters, and the author provided enough background information for each of them to make their actions understandable. Nora was enjoyable to follow because she displayed a mix of emotions. She was determined and fearless, but also had moments where she broke down and cried over her daughter’s kidnapping. I thought the decades old grudges held by Jewish family members was an excellent motivation for their behavior. The book brimmed with both action and emotion, which made this a hearty read. I wished there had been a few chapters from the point of view of Nora’s mother during the war, but the story was good even without it. I especially liked the ending, which examined themes of vengeance, forgiveness, and love.
This was such a great read! I’ve put the author’s other books on my to read list and highly recommend this.