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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin MIRA; Original edition (January 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778315096
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778315094
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #626,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Fans of Kate Morton and Alyson Richman should reach for popular Jenoff’s latest historical romance. Naive German national Margot Rosenthal arrives in 1919 Paris prepared to play the dutiful daughter to her sweetly absentminded diplomat father as he attends a peace conference. Engaged to Stefan, a soldier wounded in the war, Margot holds fast to the flame of his love while trying to enjoy some brief freedoms before marriage. Instead, she discovers a Paris vibrant with people, parties, and unexpected complications as the simple reality she thought she knew morphs into a murkier place of secrets, betrayal, cunning, and lies. She meets intriguing musician Krysia Smok, a Polish woman who instantly takes Margot under her wing and introduces her to a less-sheltered worldview. Yet it’s when Margot meets Georg, a German naval officer, that her heart fiercely demands a life she hadn’t realized she was longing for. Framing Margot’s personal story with the larger scope of the early twentieth-century world, Jenoff (The Kommandant’s Girl, 2007) ably plumbs the concepts of courage, faith, and love against a dramatic backdrop. --Julie Trevelyan

Review

"With luminous simplicity, Jenoff's breathtaking debut chronicles the life of a young Jewish bride during the Nazi occupation of Krakow, Poland, in WWII...This is historical romance at its finest."-Publishers Weekly starred review on The Kommandant's Girl

"In her moving first novel, Jenoff offers an insightful portrait of people forced into an untenable situation and succeeds in humanizing the unfathomable as well as the heroic."-Booklist on The Kommandant's Girl

"Beautifully researched, with realistic dialogue, The Kommandant's Girl is impossible to put down. Don't miss this terrific novel!"-Romance Reviews Today

"I have not been so moved by a book in quite some time as I was by The Kommandant's Girl...The remarkably accurate account of a world at war, and the repercussions of that war, make this a brilliant debut novel...Historical fiction at its best. I could not put the book down, yet was sad to see it end."-Historical Romance Writers

"[The Diplomat's Wife], Jenoff's stirring sequel to her debut...Historical romance fans will be well rewarded."-Publishers Weekly starred review

"In [her] successful and satisfying second novel...Jenoff explores the immediate aftermath of World War II with sensitivity and compassion, shedding light on an often overlooked era of European history. She expertly draws out the tension and illustrates the danger and poverty of Eastern Europe as it falls under communism. Highly recommended for all fiction collections."-Library Journal on The Diplomat's Wife

More About the Author

Pam Jenoff is the author of several novels, including The Kommandant's Girl, which received widespread acclaim, earned her a nomination for the Quill Awards and became an international bestseller. She previously served as a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. State Department in Europe, as the Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army at the Pentagon and as a practicing attorney at a large firm and in-house. She received her juris doctor from the University of Pennsylvania, her masters degree in history from Cambridge University and her bachelors degree in international affairs from The George Washington University. Pam Jenoff lives with her husband and three children near Philadelphia where, in addition to writing, she teaches law school. Pam would love to skype with your book club or library group!

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 57 customer reviews
This book is for anyone who loves to read historical romance books.
bassgiraffe
The story had a few twists and turns including an interesting web of lies that pull the characters together beautifully.
Diane Rothman
And The Not So Much: *This book moves at a slow pace, and it took me awhile to settle into the story.
Heidi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Julie Merilatt VINE VOICE on January 29, 2013
Format: Paperback
I gravitated towards this book because it takes place during the peace conferences in Paris after World War I and thought there would be some intriguing political commentary about reparations. Told from the perspective of a delegate's daughter, Margot is not directly involved in any of the political goings-on, but gets second-hand information from her father. Margot is not an entirely reliable narrator because she is a very conflicted character for a number of reasons. For one, she is a German Jew who spent the war in England while her father was a professor at Oxford. She has a fiancé who was gravely injured in the trenches, but she hasn't seen him in 4 years and she is very hesitant about her future with him. Her father encourages her to think for herself and to be independent, but within the guidelines of propriety. She meets a German naval officer at the conference and is immediately attracted to him, and though she admits her feelings to herself, outwardly she adamantly denies them. Margot is often disloyal and contradictory, but despite her flaws, she was a fallible and believable character, especially since she was not a conventional woman for 1919, disliking formality and yearning for independence.

Even though this book wasn't as much about the post-war negotiations as I had hoped, I still enjoyed it. I appreciated that there were a number of surprising revelations that were brought to light throughout the story. Jenoff captures the atmosphere of Paris and Versailles during the conference and the dejected mood of Germany when Margot returns home. There is a good balance of historical fiction, intrigue, self-discovery and romance that will appeal to a wide range of readers.

I received a complimentary copy of this book via Media Muscle.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sonoma Lass on February 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This was a problematic book for me. There were things I really enjoyed about it, and things that hampered that enjoyment and left me ultimately a bit frustrated.

I liked the setting, the Paris talks that resulted in the treaty that ended WWI. That's a period I'd like to see more of in historical fiction, especially fiction with strong romantic elements. The "war to end all wars" was unlike anything before it, and the terms of the treaty shaped much of what came after. Plus it is an important period in the history of women's rights, the beginning of widespread women's suffrage in the Western world.

What frustrated me was how limited the book's view of all this was, largely due to narration in the first person and present tense. Margot is excluded from much of what's going on at the peace conference; instead, she's focused on her own feelings and conflicts, about which she is mostly passive. To be honest, I found her whiny at times, unwilling to take the difficult steps to change her life and her future, but also unwilling to make the best of what she chose not to resist. She's also naïve, and because of the narrative voice, there are very few opportunities for the reader to see beyond Margot's narrow view.

The book is written well, from the point of view of language use, but I had to struggle to finish it, mostly because I didn't care about the characters all that much for most of the book. Towards the end I was more invested, but then came a series of reversals and revelations that seemed too sudden, too close together, and just too much after the rather slow development earlier. Especially without any narrative insight into Georg's real character, I wasn't sure whether to root for them as a couple or not.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Susan Johnson VINE VOICE on February 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
2.5 stars
This novel had a different perspective that could have been quite interesting. Unfortunately, for me, it never delivered its promise. Set after WW1 in Paris, Margot arrives at the famous Reparations Conference with her father, an university professor who is a delegate to it. Although German and Jewish, they spent the war at Oxford University in England and so avoided many of the hardships their fellow countrymen endured.

Margot is engaged to a wounded soldier. After four years apart she no longer is in love with him. She meets and falls in love with a German naval officer. She also meets a reactionary group of friends who long to influence the conference with their view of the future. They want Margot to be a spy for them.

This could have been interesting but is basically a dressed up romance novel. It's better than a romance novel but not as good as a literature novel. I think if you are fans of Nora Roberts or Danielle Steele, you might really enjoy this. Unfortunately, it's just not my cup of tea.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. McGee TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was drawn to this book by the setting and premise: the talks that culminated in the Versailles peace treaty of 1919, that definitively shaped the rest of the 20th century and the world we live in today, just as did the First World War. After spending two summers as a tour guide at a WW1 battlefield in northern France as a teenager, the question of what happened next is compelling, and I figured that any story with that backdrop would grab my attention.

It turns out that I was wrong. Margot Rosenthal is a namby-pamby heroine, driven home to the reader by the fact that the author has chosen to tell this story in the first person. Even at 20, it's hard to imagine anyone being quite so naive as to do some of the things that Margot does, such as chattering away about all the gossip surrounding the conference at a louche Left Bank cafe among people she just met. Whether it's implausible behavior or just something that is supposed to reflect the sheltered upbringing that Margot had, it makes her a less than appealing protagonist. Similarly, she seems astonished to recognize just how bad the trenches had been, which suggests not just being sheltered but a willingness to don blinkers.

Even with an exasperating heroine, this could still have been a more interesting novel than it was. But attempts to introduce more serious themes are just feints; a way to put Margot in a new romantic situation. I enjoy historical romance as much as many of the readers that are likely to pick this up, from the novels of Jane Aiken Hodge to Lauren Willig's Regency-era romps, but the romantic plight of the characters needs to be convincing to me. As do the surrounding details, and this time I found lots of distractions in the form of small historical details that didn't ring true.
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