Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Ambassador's Daughter by Pam Jenoff

This was the last Jenoff title that I read and my least favourite.   However, it might just be because I read it last - her stories are very similar and I was less into this one.

This is a prequel of sorts to The Kommandant's Girl.  It takes place shortly after World War I and begins in Paris where we meat Margot, a young German woman who has accompanied her father, the titular ambassador, to the conference of world leaders attempting to draw up the terms of the new Europe.

Margot has been educated by her father, a single parent, but coddled by him too.  She spent the war in London and is reluctant to return to her fiancé in Berlin who is a wounded war veteran.  Instead she is excited by the new friends she has made - Krysia, a Polish pianist, and Georg, a German naval officer who is part of the German delegation.

Through these friendships Margot is introduced into a web of spying as well as various visions of the future of Germany.  Georg begins broken by the war, especially the loss of his brother, but hopeful for a peaceful resolution to Germany's historical conflicts.  When the terms of the armistice are negotiated, he becomes bitter and disillusioned, leaning toward the National Socialist party in the 1919 elections.

After webs of secrets about her father, Krysia, her fiancé, and Georg are revealed, Margot learns the best path will be to strike out on her own and find herself.

Both Krysia and Georg reappear in Jenoff's first novel which takes place during World War II.

While not the best of her books, I was still entertained and not sorry I read this one.

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