Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Blog Tour: The Girl Who Married an Eagle by Tamar Myers

Author: Tamar Myers
Publisher: Avon
Date of publication: April 2013

Based on actual events in Tamar Myers's life, The Girl Who Married an Eagle is a beautiful addition to her Belgian Congo mystery series

When Julia Elaine Newton, a young, pretty Ohio girl, volunteered to go on a mission to the Belgian Congo, she knew it was going to be a huge change. But she never expected to wind up teaching at an all-girls boarding school that consisted mostly of runaway child brides!

Much to her chagrin, Buakane was born beautiful. If only she'd been ugly, Chief Eagle would not have noticed her. Escaping from an arranged marriage, the scrappy young girl finds her way to Julia Newton and the school. But this time her jilted husband will not be denied. Now it's up to Julia and Buakane to try to save the school as Congolese independence looms and Chief Eagle is set on revenge.

I had to take a bit to think about this book and decide if I liked it.  The Girl Who Married an Eagle is apparently the fourth book in a series about the Belgian Congo in the 1950s.    I haven't read the first three books, but I didn't really feel like I was missing anything.  The book is beautifully written.  I enjoyed the descriptions of the landscape and life in that time as a missionary.  The author did a wonderful and realistic job of portraying the brutality and harshness of tribal life.  No doubt this comes from her experience as a missionary child during that time period.  My favorite character was Clementine.  She is only 9, but she is very mature and wise.  I loved what she did for Julia and the school in the end.

Overall, I liked the book.  It is a quick and pretty easy read.  I wouldn't classify this as a mystery.  There really wasn't one.  I think the problem I had with the book was there was almost no interaction between Julia and Buakane.  The book really seemed to focus more on Nurse Verna than on anyone else. In the afterword, it is mentioned that the way Buakane made it to nursing school would take a whole book.  That is the book I thought I was getting.  The conflict with Chief Eagle was over so quickly, I never really felt the threat.  I think fans of the series will enjoy this finale.
About the author:

Tamar Myers was born and raised in the Belgian Congo (now just the Congo). Her parents were missionaries to a tribe which, at that time, were known as headhunters and used human skulls for
drinking cups. Hers was the first white family ever to peacefully coexist with the tribe, and Tamar grew up fluent in the local trade language. Because of her pale blue eyes, Tamar’s nickname was Ugly Eyes.

Tamar grew up eating elephant, hippopotamus and even monkey. She attended a boarding school that was two days away by truck, and sometimes it was necessary to wade through crocodile infested waters to reach it. Other dangers she encountered as a child were cobras, deadly green mambas, and the voracious armies of driver ants that ate every animal (and human) that didn’t get out of their way.

In 1960 the Congo, which had been a Belgian colony, became an independent nation. There followed a period of retribution (for heinous crimes committed against the Congolese by the Belgians) in which many Whites were killed. Tamar and her family fled the Congo, but returned a year later. By then a number of civil wars were raging, and the family’s residence was often in the line of fire. In 1964, after living through three years of war, the family returned to the United States permanently.

Tamar was sixteen when her family settled in America, and she immediately underwent severe culture shock. She didn’t know how to dial a telephone, cross a street at a stoplight, or use a vending machine. She lucked out, however, by meeting her husband, Jeffrey, on her first day in an American high school. They literally bumped heads while he was leaving, and she entering, the Civics classroom.

Tamar now calls Charlotte, NC home. She lives with her husband, plus a Basenji dog named Pagan, a Bengal cat named Nkashama, and an orange tabby rescue cat named Dumpster Boy. She and her husband are of the Jewish faith, the animals are not.

Tamar enjoys gardening (she is a Master Gardner), bonsai, travel, painting and, of course, reading. She loves Thai and Indian food, and antique jewelry. She plans to visit Machu Pichu in the near future.

1 comment:

trish said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it overall. I like books that are part of a series but can stand alone. I've discovered some great series' that way!

Thanks for being on the tour!