The Sun's Companion by Kathleen Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is my kind of book - clear, understated, chronological, full of little details that bring the immediate pre World War 2 era to life. Anna's and Tamar's lives are given alternate attention so that the gradual unfolding of the story retains my interest. Although they enter the book as barely-teenagers and are shown as relatively powerless in their society/families due to youth and being girls, neither of them is a cypher and they each have distinct characters and ambitions.
In many ways this novel is about the shadows that lie beneath each character's story. Tamar is never quite sure whether she is Sadie's legitimate daughter or not; Anna takes years to recover from her childhood rape in Germany. Kathleen made me deeply sympathetic towards both of them as they journey into the war years and womanhood. The people they meet, love and hate are all solidly realised and have their own motivations. Anna and Tamar are not high minded fantasy heroines, but real and believable people who cope in realistic ways with the necessities of wartime life.
I shall look forward to reading the sequel.
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Kindle Edition, 439 pages
Published September 8th 2012 by The Book Mill
It's 1935. Tamar Fell has no family - or so she's been told - and she relies on the friends she makes as she's dragged from lodging house to lodging house by her mother - the reckless, beautiful Sadie. Then Tamar meets Anna Weissmann, exiled from her own family by European politics, and they forge a friendship that will last through bereavement, failed love affairs, internment, betrayal, and the dislocations of war.