Book review: The Debt of Tamar by Nicole Dweck


Book Synopsis:

Bestselling author Nicole Dweck brings to life one of history’s greatest yet overlooked stories of love and resilience.

In 2002, thirty-two-year-old Selim Osman, the last descendant of Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, flees Istanbul for New York. In a twist of fate he meets Hannah, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor and an artist striving to understand a father she barely knows. Unaware the connection they share goes back centuries, the two feel an immediate pull to one another. But as their story intertwines with that of their ancestors, the heroic but ultimately tragic decision that bound two families centuries ago ripples into the future, threatening to tear Hannah and Selim apart.

From a 16th-century harem to a seaside village in the Holy Land, from Nazi-occupied Paris to modern-day Manhattan, Nicole Dweck’s The Debt of Tamar weaves a spellbinding tapestry of love, history, and fate that will enchant readers from the very first page.

Buy the book:   Amazon     Barnes & Noble

Link to my review in The Jewish Voice 

About the author:

Nicole Dweck hd8f0b3_da3e4f98261f40c5b764ac27c550a320.jpg_srz_p_357_238_75_22_0.50_1.20_0olds a BA in Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Global Affairs from NYU. When The Debt of Tamar, her debut novel, was self-published, it was a USA Today bestseller and received honorable mention in Writer’s Digest’s Self-Published Book Awards. She lives in New York City with her husband and their son.

Connect with the author:    Website     Facebook


As I finished reading the last page of The Debt of Tamar, I had goosebumps.  A good story will draw you in and touch you emotionally and this book did exactly that.  Nicole’s poetic and descriptive writing transports you directly into the scenes of her characters.  You become a personal spectactor in her story.  Her narratives are simply beautiful.

The storyline begins in 1544 in Portugal with Dona Antonia, Jose and Reyna. Fearing for their lives, they must flee the Inquisition.  Their story then picks up in Istanbul where their lives become intertwined with the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.  After an interval of 400 years, the thread of the story emerges in Paris, France and later returns to Istanbul. You are curious as to exactly how the storylines of the two families, one Jewish and one Muslim will finally meet and bring a debt or release to a final close.

One of my favourite passages in the book:

Through it all, the very same sun and moon and stars never wavered, never once failed to rise and fall and shine their light upon the world.  And though mankind itself had run amok, the universe never once collapsed in on itself.

As a history buff, I enjoy good historical fiction.  Nicole ranks along some of my other favourite authors such as Indu Sundaresan.  I look forward to reading more of Nicole’s work in the future.


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