Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Tulip Eaters by Antoinette van Heugten

3 Star

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.

Sabrina-Kate - 3 Star

I wanted to like The Tulip Eaters so very much as I thought that the idea of it was interesting, but I guess I really was not in the mood to read something of this type. I am not a fan of books having to do with war either. Though it wasn't entirely set during war time, that was a large part of the story which possibly made the story less interesting to me to begin with.

I didn't particularly enjoy the writing, finding it lacked some depth of emotion in a story that definitely should have been able to convey a lot more due to the subjects it addressed. I am not saying that emotions were not expressed but something about the way they were conveyed just didn't seem realistic or true to me somehow. 
I wish I could explain why but it often would take me several tries to get through a chapter. There just seemed to be something lacking in the storytelling. It almost felt clinical, somewhat cold and impersonal.

The story definitely didn't lack in descriptions and sometimes I even felt they went overboard or were not entirely realistic. For example, when the main character is at the crime scene where she has discovered her murdered mother, the author went into what I almost felt was strange detail and I felt myself questioning whether such things were even possible.

I even questioned things like why they would be allowed to remain in the home where someone was murdered while the investigation was new and even ongoing and then even why they would want to.

Unfortunately, The Tulip Eaters seemed like it would be much more interesting to me, but I felt that I was too often wondering about things that were going on, and sadly not in a "great story" kind of way, but more that I questioned the realistic nature of the novel.

Thank you to Harlequin MIRA for our review copy. All opinions are our own. 

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