I have a very fascinating book to share with you called The Tulip Eaters written by Antoinette van Heugten.
In a riveting exploration of the power the past wields over the present, critically acclaimed author Antoinette van Heugten writes the story of a woman whose child's life hangs in the balance, forcing her to confront the roots of her family's troubled history in the dark days of World War II…This book is part history, part thriller of what happens when someone carries a grudge for over thirty some odd years. I really did love this book, but did have 2 issues with it that really doesn't make it any less a good book, I just wish it had explained it better for me.
It's the stuff of nightmares: Nora de Jong returns home from work one ordinary day to find her mother has been murdered. Her infant daughter is missing. And the only clue is the body of an unknown man on the living-room floor, clutching a Luger in his cold, dead hand.
Frantic to find Rose, Nora puts aside her grief and frustration to start her own search. But the contents of a locked metal box she finds in her parents' attic leave her with as many questions as answers—and suggest the killer was not a stranger. Saving her daughter means delving deeper into her family's darkest history, leading Nora half a world away to Amsterdam, where her own unsettled past and memories of painful heartbreak rush back to haunt her.
As Nora feverishly pieces together the truth from an old family diary, she's drawn back to a city under Nazi occupation, where her mother's alliances may have long ago sealed her own–and Rose's—fate.
Those 2 issues were: How did Isaac find Nora's mother after those 30 some years? It really bugs me when I don't have answers to minor things, but it sticks in mind. Secondly, Why would she return to Amsterdam to live with her daughter, in the same place where she let that evil woman go free without having her arrested? She is supposedly very wealthy so it made no sense to me why you would move to the very city where someone tried to kill you several times and you let this person go without any punishment.
But, other than my silly little obsessions with those 2 issues, this is a very good book. The whole thriller aspect will keep you up all night just like it did me to see what happens next. So, it is worth it to read the book and you may not have the same crazy notions that I do because I want everything explained or put into context.
The history part of the book was fascinating as I never knew that the people living in Holland during the war had to eat their tulips to survive! I can't imagine eating flowers, especially tulips because I know some of them are toxic. But, I guess since they are the tulip capital, they knew which ones not to eat. I also did not know that there were Dutch people who turned the Jews in and took over their houses and even the very furnishings including their dishes and silverware! I just couldn't imagine doing that to someone.
Eating off of their dishes after you sent them to their death in the concentration camps would haunt me for the rest of my life. I guess I don't understand the logic. They were so evil that they had to die but you are living and eating off of their property. So, how does that make you any better? You are in essence being contaminated by the very people you despise. That is how I would have looked at it if I had lived during that time.
So, to me, these people were really very delusional and out of their minds! I would have understood it better if they had burned it all down to the ground rather than live in their houses. Sort of makes you a second rate Jewish person if you want their property, don't you agree? Sounds like they were jealous of what they had, not because of them being Jewish.
Anyway, you really need to read this book. You will learn some things you didn't know about the war and the plot is really going to keep you up until you know how it all ends. I recommend this book to anyone who loves reading thrillers or mysteries.
A former international trial lawyer, van Heugten spent 15 years practicing all over the world, primarily in Scandinavia, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as in Houston, her hometown. She's a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, where she earned her undergraduate and law degrees.
The Tulip Eaters is van Heugten's second novel. Her debut novel, Saving Max (MIRA Books, October 2010), was a USA Today bestseller, translated into six languages and received much critical acclaim. Inspired by her real-life experience as the mother of two autistic children, Saving Max follows a single mother whose teenage son has Asperger's syndrome and becomes the primary suspect in a gruesome murder case.
In her latest book, The Tulip Eaters (MIRA Books, November 2013), van Heugten follows Nora de Jong as she returns home from work to find her mother brutally murdered and infant daughter missing. The only clue is the body of a dead stranger, clutching a Luger in his hand. Launching a frantic search for her missing daughter, de Jong is forced to confront the roots of her family's secret past in World War II, leading her to Amsterdam, where her own haunting memories flood back.
When not thinking up new ways to kill off her characters, van Heugten enjoys long hikes with her dog, gardening and traveling. She is currently working on her next novel, Finding Marianne, the sequel to Saving Max. She lives in Fredericksburg, Texas, with her husband, a former prominent oil and gas trial lawyer.
I think this book is so good and someone else besides me needs to read it, so I will be giving my hard copy to one of you! Open in the U.S. only. Good Luck Everyone!
Disclosure: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours.