REVIEW: THE TULIP EATERS, BY ANTOINETTE VAN HEUGTEN

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In November, 1980, Nora De Jong, a young pediatric neurosurgeon arrives home from work, in the home she shares with her mother and daughter in Houston, Texas, to discover her mother’s dead body. And that her six-month-old daughter Rose is missing.

What the reader learns, in alternate chapters narrated from different perspectives, is that, presumably, Nora’s mother Anneke had an unsavory past in Holland, as a member of the Dutch Nazis during WWII. And that some of those from that very past may be bent on revenge.

From Houston to Amsterdam, we follow Nora’s quest to find her daughter. While the detectives at home believe that she is foolish, Nora has a sense that in Amsterdam, she will find answers.

What unexpected facts will Nora learn as she pursues unknown persons who may have her daughter? How will her reunion with Nico, the love of her life and Rose’s father, figure into the quest? And what final secrets will she discover back home in Houston again? What is the significance of the book’s title?

A fast-paced story that kept me rapidly turning pages, The Tulip Eaters is a reminder that the past informs the present, and that sometimes, the secrets from the past can bring peace. 4.5 stars.

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