Format: ARC Paperback, 336 pages
First line: The sun has dropped low beneath the crumbling arches of Lehrter Bahnhof as I make my way across the station.
From the back cover: 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 thoughts: This is the first book I've read by Pam Jenoff and I really enjoyed it. When I first accepted this book for review, I thought that her other two books, The Kommandant's Girl and The Diplomat's Wife actually came first and was going to try to read both before reading this one. Due to other reading commitments, that never came to be, which ended up being a good thing as The Ambassador's Daughter is actually a prequel to The Kommandant's Girl.
The Ambassador's Daughter is told from the perspective of Margot, a young German woman who comes to Paris with her father, a professor and delegate, during the peace conference following the end of WWI. Margot is faced with change as the end of the war has brought home her fiance, Stefan, now a broken man, and a virtual stranger, being gone four years. She accompanies her father from London to Paris as a way to buy herself time to figure things out.
Margot's father encourages her to be a free thinker and she wants nothing more than to gain her independence. But, at the same time, he at times imposes rules on her as to where she goes and who she sees. She meets some interesting people while in Paris and eager to spread her wings, ends up revealing confidential information that could put her father, and herself, in danger.
Then Margot meets Georg, a young German Captain, sent to Versailles, where Margot and her father have moved to. There is clearly something between Margot and Georg from their very first meeting and as their friendship develops while she works as a translator for him, so do their feelings for each other. Of course, Margot adamantly tries to deny anything going on - not only to her father and her friend Krysia, but to herself as well.
This is a riveting novel with many unexpected twists and turns. It is set during a time that I have not read much about and enjoyed the little tidbits of history thrown in. It has definitely let me wanting to read more about this time period. There is a little something for everyone in this story- romance, history and even spies. There are quite a few secrets exposed along the way, and it is their exposure that adds to the complexity of the book. I really enjoyed this story and am looking forward to reading Pam Jenoff's other two books, The Kommandant's Girl and The Diplomat's Wife, which include some of these characters.
“My skirts swish airily as I climb the bike, thankfully free of the crinolines that used to make riding so cumbersome. The buildings on the Rue Cambon sparkle, their shrapnel-pocked facades washed fresh by the snow. I stare up at the endless apartments, stacked on top of one another, marveling at the closeness of it all, unrivaled by the most crowded quarters in London. How do they live in such space? Sometimes I feel as though I am suffocating just looking at them.”
I received a complimentary copy of The Ambassador's Daughter by Pam Jenoff from Liz at Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc.
Giveaway Information (CLOSED):
Thanks to Liz at Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, I have one copy of The Ambassador's Daughter to give away to my readers.
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