Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Book Review for The Boy with the Star Tattoo by Talia Carner

 The Boy with the Star Tattoo by Talia Carner

Published January 30, 2024 by William Morrow Paperbacks


 As the Vichy government hunts for Jews across France, Claudette Pelletier, a young and talented seamstress and lover of romance novels, falls in love with a Jewish man who seeks shelter at the château where she works. Their whirlwind and desperate romance before he must flee leaves her pregnant and terrified.

When the Nazis invade the Free Zone shortly after the birth of her child, the disabled Claudette is forced to make a heartbreaking choice and escapes to Spain, leaving her baby in the care of his nursemaid. By the time Claudette is able to return years later, her son has disappeared. Unbeknown to his anguished mother, the boy has been rescued by a Youth Aliyah agent searching for Jewish orphans.

1968: When Israeli naval officer Daniel Yarden recruits Sharon Bloomenthal for a secret naval operation in Cherbourg, France, he can’t imagine that he is the target of the agenda of the twenty-year-old grieving the recent loss of her fiancé in a drowned submarine. Sharon suspects that Danny's past in Youth Aliyah may reflect that of her mysterious late mother and she sets out to track her boss’s extraordinary journey as an orphan in a quaint French village all the way to Israel.

As Danny focuses on the future of his people and on executing a daring, crucial operation under France’s radar, he is unaware that the obsessed Sharon follows the breadcrumbs of clues across the country to find her answers. But she is wholly unprepared for the dilemma she must face upon solving the puzzle.


My Thoughts:  A dual timeline story that tells of a young woman that must make the hardest decision a parent would ever have to make and then never see her baby again.   The story continues with Danny and Sharon working to find Jewish children lost and bring them back to their country and their people. 

There is so much amazing history in this book.  For me, there is nothing better than reading a historical fiction book and as I read the last page realizing that I have learned so much.   That is what happened with this book.   I had not heard much about the people looking for the young Jews who were placed with families of other faiths to keep them safe and the people who would look for them after the war. 

 Along with the history there is the story of a young mother who only wants to protect her son as many parents were forced to do.   Her story broke my heart, the choices she made were made out of necessity but that did not make it an easy choice.   I connected with that mother and felt her pain.   


Thank you William Morrow for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

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Meet Talia Carner
(taken from her website):  Talia Carner was the publisher of Savvy Woman magazine. A former adjunct professor at the Long Island University School of Management and a marketing consultant to Fortune 500 companies, she was also a volunteer counselor and lecturer for the Small Business Administration and a member of United States Information Agency’s (USIA) missions to Russia. She participated in the 1995 International Women’s Conference in Beijing, where she sat on economic panels and helped develop political campaigns for Indian and African women. Ms. Carner’s first novel, PUPPET CHILD, was listed in “The Top 10 Favorite First Novels 2002” and launched a nationwide legislation–The Protective Parent Reform Act–which became the platform for two State Senatorial candidates. CHINA DOLL made Amazon’s bestsellers list and served as the platform for Ms. Carner’s presentation at the U.N. in 2007 about infanticide in China—the first ever in U.N. history. Her novel, JERUSALEM MAIDEN, (HarperCollins 2011,) won the Forward National Literature Award in the Historical Fiction category, and HOTEL MOSCOW, (HarperCollins 2015) won USA Book News award in the Multicultural category. Her most recent novel, THE THIRD DAUGHTER, (HarperCollins September 2019,) is a daring exposé of sex trafficking and was named Finalist in the 2019 National Jewish Book Council Award in the Book Club category.

Ms. Carner’s sixth novel, THE BOY WITH THE STAR TATTOO, a historical fiction set in France, will be released by HarperCollins on January 30, 2024.

Over 70 of Carner’s award-winning short stories, articles, and personal essays have appeared in anthologies, literary magazines, and leading websites.

In November 2023, Algemeiner magazine named Talia Carner as one of the Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life 2023.

Ms. Carner is a board member of HBI, a research center for Jewish women’s life and culture at Brandeis University. She is also an honorary board member of several anti-domestic violence and child abuse intervention organizations and sits on committees of organizations that work toward Israeli causes. She is married to Ron Carner, former president of Maccabi USA. The couple has four grown children and resides in New York and Florida.

Talia Carner’s addictions include chocolate and social justice.

Talia’s YouTube Channels




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