I am really enjoying Mal Peet’s latest book, Life: An Exploded Diagram. However, if you compare it to Tamar, which I also enjoyed, you’d be hard pressed to say it was written by the same author. They are soooooooooo different.
Life, so far, is a rambling story of a man from his birth in 1945. So far, I’m in the early 1960s and he’s going through what every teenage boy goes through. He thinks about sex. But the way Peet describes his life and that of his family, the surroundings in which he lives, the girl he falls in love with, is unique, in my opinion. But, I’ll tell you more when I finish the book.
Tamar, on the other hand (the full title is Tamar: A Novel of Espionage, Passion and Betrayal), is just what the title suggests. It takes place during World War II and involves the Resistance, love and betrayal.
From the publisher: “When her grandfather dies, Tamar inherits a box containing a series of clues and coded messages. Out of the past, another Tamar emerges, a man involved in the terrifying world of resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied Holland half a century before. His story is one of passionate love, jealousy, and tragedy set against the daily fear and casual horror of the Second World War — and unraveling it is about to transform Tamar’s life forever.”
Tamar is full of mystery and suspense and action, unlike Life which, so far is much more laid back. Tamar was a book I considered worthy of shelf space at home, so now it proudly sits in my own personal library. I think it’s time for everyone to catch on: Mal Peet is a great author.