During the second half of the 16th century, a wealthy widow by the name of Doña Antonia Nissim is arrested and charged with being a secret Jew. The punishment? Death by burning. Enter Suleiman the Magnificent, an Ottoman “Schindler,” and the most celebrated sultan in all of Turkish history. With the help of the Sultan, the widow and her children manage their escape to Istanbul. Life is seemingly idyllic for the family in their new home, that is, until the Sultan’s son meets and falls in love with Tamar, Doña Antonia’s beautiful and free-spirited granddaughter. A quiet love affair ensues until one day, the girl vanishes.
Over four centuries later, thirty-two year old Selim Osman, a playboy prince with a thriving real estate empire, is suddenly diagnosed with a life-threatening condition. Abandoning the mother of his unborn child, he vanishes from Istanbul without an explanation. In a Manhattan hospital, he meets Hannah, a talented artist and the daughter of a French Holocaust survivor. As their story intertwines with that of their ancestors, readers are taken back to Nazi-occupied Paris, and to a sea-side village in the Holy Land where a world of secrets is illuminated.
Theirs is a love that has been dormant for centuries, spanning continents, generations, oceans, and religions. Bound by a debt that has lingered through time, they must right the wrongs of the past if they’re ever to break the shackles of their future.
Publication Date: February 4, 2013
Devon House Press
Devon House Press
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I LOVE the cover for this book! If that doesn't shout 'read me you won't regret it', I don't know what does.
Reading this book I had a hard time believing this was Nicole Dweck's debut. She has a writing style like that of a seasoned writer, knowing how much information to give and how much to withhold. I thought the theme of this book was quite original and the sequence of these stories (within the book) flawless. In fact at times it was almost poetic and had me totally mesmerized right to the very end.
Beginning in the year 1542 in Lisbon, Portugal then continuing on to Istanbul, Nazi-occupied Paris and then to Israel and the US (present day), this book moves at a pace that always had me wanting to read just another chapter. The story lines moved smoothly with just the right amount of time spent in each place. Yes there were times that I wanted to hang around a little longer and get to know the characters better before moving on in time and destination.
This book is historical, some might feel more historical details would have been nice, but I loved it the way it is, given the feel for this story I think too much historical details might have detracted from the theme here (just my opinion). There is romance, mingling of religions and family dynamics (whether by blood or not), healing and forgiveness and more.
This book will stay with you long after you are finished and will appeal to those that love historical fiction, duel time period books and beautiful covers.
As a descendant of Sephardic (Spanish) refugees who escaped the Inquisition and settled on Ottoman territory, Dweck has always been interested in Sephardic history and the plight of refugees during the Spanish Inquisition. The Debt of Tamar, her debut novel, was a two-time finalist in the UK’s Cinnamon Press Novel Award Competition. It has also received an honorable award mention in the category of Mainstream/Literary Fiction from Writers Digest and was the highest rated book for two weeks running on the Harper Collin’s “Authonomy” website. It has claimed a #1 Bestseller spot in the Amazon Kindle Middle East Fiction category, a #1 Bestseller spot in Amazon Kindle Jewish Fiction category, and has been included as one of the “Hot 100″ Kindle bestsellers in the category of Historical Fiction.
Dweck holds a BA in Journalism and a Masters Degree in Global Studies with a focus on Middle East Affairs (NYU) . Her non-fiction articles have appeared in several magazines and newspapers including The New York Observer and Haute Living Magazine.
She lives in New York City with her husband and son.
For more information visit Nicole’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and
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