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Four hundred years before Oskar Schindler there was Suleiman the Magnificent, an Ottoman sultan who rescued thousands of Jews from the fires of the Inquisition. Inspired by this amazing and little-known moment in history, Nicole Dweck has imagined an enchanting family saga where the kindness of one man is repaid generations later.
It's 1544, and young José Mendez and his family escape the Inquisition in Portugal with the aid of Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Yet it's only just before fleeing that José even finds out he's Jewish--and that his own parents died for their faith. As he makes a new life in Istanbul, he yearns to feel connected to the parents he lost, digging deeper into his Jewish roots. But when his own daughter secretly falls in love with the sultan's Muslim grandson, José finds himself in a life-changing dilemma, one that will shape generations to come.
Centuries later, when Selim Osman, the last living descendant of the sultan, is diagnosed with a fatal condition, he abandons the only life he's ever known and flees Istanbul, taking refuge in a New York hospital. In a twist of fate, he meets Hannah, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor and an artist striving to understand a father she barely knows. Unaware the connection they share goes back centuries, they feel an immediate pull to one another. But when something from Selim's past comes to light, the act that bound two families centuries ago ripples into the future, threatening to tear them apart.
From the 16th-century harem to WWII Paris to modern-day New York, Nicole Dweck's The Debt of Tamar weaves together a spellbinding tapestry of history with transcendent love and spirituality that will absorb readers from the very first page.