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Monday, February 4, 2013

Review: The Ambassador's Daughter by Pam Jenoff

The Ambassador's DaughterPublisher: Harlequin MIRA
ISBN: 0778315096
Pages: 336 pages
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's


Paris, 1919.

The world's leaders have gathered to rebuild from the ashes of the Great War. But for one woman, the City of Light harbors dark secrets and dangerous liaisons, for which many could pay dearly.

Brought to the peace conference by her father, a German diplomat, Margot Rosenthal initially resents being trapped in the congested French capital, where she is still looked upon as the enemy. But as she contemplates returning to Berlin and a life with Stefan, the wounded fiancé she hardly knows anymore, she decides that being in Paris is not so bad after all.

Bored and torn between duty and the desire to be free, Margot strikes up unlikely alliances: with Krysia, an accomplished musician with radical acquaintances and a secret to protect; and with Georg, the handsome, damaged naval officer who gives Margot a job—and also a reason to question everything she thought she knew about where her true loyalties should lie.

Against the backdrop of one of the most significant events of the century, a delicate web of lies obscures the line between the casualties of war and of the heart, making trust a luxury that no one can afford.

My Review:

It's been a long time since I've read a straight historical fiction. It's been mostly historical romance lately and I do find myself missing plain old historical fiction. This one seemed like the perfect book to bring me back into historical fiction.

I spent much of the time reading this book wanting to shake and/or slap Margot. Does this woman ever make a decision for herself based on her own wants and desires? She is lead around by everyone else's expectations. She becomes engaged to a man based solely on the expectations of others. It was frustrating mainly because I liked her and wanted her to be a bit stronger. She was also a bit static. Nothing that happens to her has any sort of effect. I was hoping for some growth with her but I don't feel as if I got any.

There were many things about The Ambassador's Daughter that worked for me. First of all, I had no idea when I picked up this book that it was a prequel. I found that I was able to pick this one up easily without having read The Kommandant's Girl. I also loved the France post-World War I setting. Jenoff captured the setting well and I loved the detailed descriptions. There were, however, some things that did not work well for me at all. I was never really able to make a connection to Margot at all. I wanted to like her and I tried to but I couldn't and I can't even put my finger on why. I also wish there had been more historical detail. Much of the focus was on Margot and her relationship with Georg. Being a historical romance reader, I never thought I would say that but I did want more historical detail with this one. 

If you're looking for a historical fiction about World War I with a nice romance storyline, definitely give this one a try. 


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