Our Story BEFORE The Story ~ Tamar Kaplan & Neelie Visser ~ A Song for her Enemies by Sherri Stewart

Hallo. That’s hello in the Nederlands language, but a lot of people call it Dutch. My name is Tamar Kaplan. I really don’t like to say my name. It seems to evoke the most puzzling reactions. The worst was the time my so-called friends at school burst out laughing at some private joke when someone called out, “Tamar.” I asked my mother about it later that night while she was doing dishes. I said, “Eema, what’s wrong with my name?”

She dried off her hands on a dish towel and took off her apron. “Nothing, sweetie. It’s a lovely name from the Bible.” When I pressed for more information, she waved a dismissive hand and said we’d talk about it when I was older.

Well, I’m older. And I’m facing the biggest challenge of my life in less than an hour. As the understudy for La Traviata’s Violetta, I’ll be playing the lead soprano role, since Margot huffed out of rehearsal when the producer made a comment about her weight.

I’ve been waiting for this night forever. Nerves invade every part of me. The producer doesn’t think I’ve experienced enough angst in my twenty-one years to play the role of a middle-aged courtesan. Angst? Sure I’m young and still live with my parents and brother, Seth, above the family’s jewelry shop in Haarlem, but there’s something about my religion that makes people back away. And I’ve seen the word, Juden, written across shop windows as if it were a terrible thing. And there’s those Nazi soldiers standing on street corners. Papa says not to worry about them. They mean no harm.

Fifteen minutes to curtain. I need to focus on playing Violetta, and I should pray, though it seems God is so distant. Maybe He doesn’t care about Nederland. Still, I will pray for angst, and maybe He will answer my prayer.


My name is Neelie Visser. Ever since Frans died last year, I’ve been wandering aimlessly around our house on the canal, wishing I had someone to talk to, something worthy to do with my free time. I still chat with Frans as if he were in the room, but my words seem to echo off the walls. Jan comes home once in a while. He’s always in such a rush, but I make him sit for a meal because he’d getting much too thin for a nineteen-year-old college student.

Jan is involved in something dangerous. Mothers know things like that. I’d bet a plate of boterkoeken he’s involved with the Resistance. It doesn’t surprise me since he always had a heart for the underdog, even if he got in trouble for defending them.

There’s talk among the other violinists at the opera that things are going to get worse here in our country. How could they get any worse? The ration card is depleted in a month. And neighbors are afraid to stop for a chat—they just hurry past with their heads down. I’ve seen the debris outside looted shops on the Barteljorisstraat, and nobody does anything. Haarlem has always been a proud and tidy town. Well, I will do something. But what can a forty-two-year-old second-chair violinist do? Maybe Jan will have some ideas when he comes for tea.

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My Story Title:   A Song for her Enemies

My Story Genre:  Historical Romance

My Story Released:   March 1, 2021 

                                   NEW RELEASE

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The Author of My Story:    Sherri Stewart

Sherri Stewart writes historical and contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She’s authored five novellas and a dozen novellas.
Her former careers as principal, French teacher, flight attendant, and immigration attorney have provided many storylines for her books. 
Sherri’s passion is traveling to the settings of her books—Israel, the Netherlands, France, and closer spots around the US. 
A recent widow, she lives in the Orlando area with her strong-willed dog, Lilith, and her son, Joshua, who can fix anything. 
She shares recipes, tidbits of the book’s locations, and pix in her newsletter. Subscribe at http://eepurl.com/gZ-mv9

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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7 thoughts on “Our Story BEFORE The Story ~ Tamar Kaplan & Neelie Visser ~ A Song for her Enemies by Sherri Stewart”

  1. Thank you so much, Sherri, for bringing two of your characters to visit here at journeystojoy.Your ability to write them in the vernacular and dialect is superb.I could easily picture them each in their roles.NICELY DONE!Blessings,


  2. CONGRATULATIONS to Jenny – Gonna need you to private message me on FB, Jenny, so I can get your address for our author to send you THE BOOK!I AM SO HAPPY YOU CAME BY!BLESSINGS,


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