A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

Posts Tagged ‘Tara Ison’

Author Photo of Tara Ison

Tara Ison On Finding The Emotional Logic Beneath Her Characters

In the stunning At The Hour Between Dog and Wolf, Tara Ison dives into the psyche of an unforgettable character, immersing the reader in the everyday lives of French citizens in World War II. When Danielle Marton’s father is killed during the early days of the German occupation, her mother flees Paris and drops Danielle off with a family in a rural village near Limoges. Here, the twelve-year-old becomes a “hidden child,” shedding her past life and adopting the persona of Marie-Jeanne, an orphan living with relatives. For the next few years, Danielle must navigate the challenges of adolescence and also her dual identity, where the slightest mistake could place her and her adoptive family’s lives in peril. As the Nazi occupation takes hold of France, the teenage Danielle/Marie-Jeanne loses hold of her original values, embracing the antisemitic ideology that is becoming increasingly more popular in her new hometown. Through it all, Ison’s masterful control of character and tone plunges the reader into the young woman’s life, as Danielle/Marie-Jeanne must confront the cost of her new beliefs. The result is a compassionate depiction of hope amid seemingly hopeless circumstances.  Critics have showered At The Hour Between Dog and Wolf with praise. In its starred review, Kirkus stated, “Ison is unflinching in her depiction of the self-inflicted corruption that replaces the character’s moral core with a twisted version of Christianity,” while Publishers Weekly called it “a chilling psychological portrait…This challenging work stands out among historical fiction of the period.”