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The Diplomat's Wife [Paperback]

Pam Jenoff
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
Price: 5.24 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

15 Feb 2008
“How have I been lucky enough to come here, to be alive, when so many others are not? I should have died... But I am here.” Surviving the brutality of a Nazi prison camp, Marta Nederman is lucky to have escaped with her life. Recovering from the horror, she meets an American soldier who gives her hope of a happier future. But their plans to meet in London are dashed when his plane crashes. Devastated and pregnant, Marta marries a caring British Diplomat and glimpses the joy that home and family can bring. But her happiness is threatened when she learns of a communist spy in British intelligence, and that the one person who can expose the traitor is connected to her past...

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The Diplomat's Wife + Kommandant's Girl (MIRA) + The Ambassador's Daughter
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: MIRA (15 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778302008
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778302001
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 208,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Pam Jenoff is the internationally bestselling author of Kommandant's Girl, The Diplomat's Wife, The Officer's Lover and A Hidden Affair. She received her Bachelor's Degree in International Affairs from George Washington University, her Masters Degree in History from Cambridge University and her Juris Doctor Degree in Law from the University of Pennsylvania.

Pam served as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army and as a Foreign Service Officer with the State Department. She presently teaches on the legal writing faculty at Rutgers School of Law.

Pam lives near Philadelphia with her husband and children. She would love to skype with your book club!

Product Description


'...a compelling tale...I couldn't stop turning the pages' --Young Lawyer/ The Legal Intelligencer on Kommandant's Girl

'…well constructed and a real page turner.' --Birmingham Jewish Weekly

'...poignant and intense story of loyalty, duty and betrayal' --Good Book Guide

About the Author

Before becoming a writer Pam Jenoff began her career working for the U.S. Consulate in Krakow, Poland. It was during this period that Pam developed her expertise in Polish -Jewish relations and the Holocaust, working on matters such as preservation of Auschwitz and the other former concentration camp sites, and the restitution of Jewish property in Poland. Pam left the Foreign Service in 1998 to attend law school. When not writing novels or practicing law, Pam enjoys spending time with her family and friends, going to the beach, reading, travelling and participating in sports. She is a second degree black belt in karate! Her stunning debut, Kommandant s Girl, was a UK bestseller. The Diplomat s Wife is Pam s second novel.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Where was the editor???? 19 April 2009
Real shame as the earlier book was promising but this is spoiled by ridiculous coincidences, flat and superficial characterisation and mostly by, as others have noted, ludicrous mistakes. How come everyone is using duvets in the UK when they weren't seen till the 70s or common till the 80s? Who told the author that the English for 'bathroom' is 'toilet (or lavatory or WC) without explaining the subtleties that though we relieve ourselves in toilets, we do actually use bathrooms to wash; so having a bath in a toilet just isn't on! I have asked my mother about the chances of finding an ice-cream vendor outside Westminster Abbey in September 1945 and she is still laughing - sweets were still rationed until the early 50s so getting an icecream sold openly days after the war ended seems unlikely - I could go on... But I don't blame the author for this, what on else was her editor doing not to have had an English person who had some idea of recent history read it before it went to print? I kept reading because it was an interesting story and the actual prose flowed quite well, but the book was thrown across the room a few times!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars removed from reality 15 Nov 2010
I bought this book and the Kommandants girl together as they looked very promising. How wrong was I. This book, the Diplomats Wife I found to be slightly more interesting than the Kommandants Girl. However I am barely half way through and it is driving me mad. There are so many glaring factual errors. Marta the Polish Jewish refugee /ex partisan is in France immediately after the war and sheltering in a church when some women enter the church to pray "removing their kerchiefs" A glaring mistake they would have covered their heads on entering the church! Marta gets to London staying with a wealthy old woman and her butler. They have a full English breakfast every morning, and the woman buys her new clothes and shoes. No mention of shortages and rationing. Marta is taken on a sightseeing tour of London to see all the major tourist attractions. Not one mention of the devastation and aftermath of the Blitz only tea at Harrods and browsing antique stalls. She goes to Kings Cross station and in the pub "in the station" there are women factory workers drinking pints of beer! Never at that time! It fleetingly crosses her mind that her hostess and Londoners must also have suffered in the war listening to "Nazi bombers which roared overhead" No mention of the bombs that dropped. She has been in London a while when she suddenly looks up at the ceiling "noticing for the first time the places where the plaster had shaken loose from the bombing. They suffered here too"! Don't think I can finish it. The only consolation is I can donate these books to a charity shop.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a waste of space 14 Dec 2008
I found myself becoming increasingly irritated by the number of mistakes in this totally unbelievable concoction. For example, a transistor radio was mentioned at one point, whereas as far as I know they did not become available until the 1960's. And were married women with young children allowed to stay on at work in the British Civil Service in the 1940's? As for the story line, the more I read the more unbelievable it became, until I finally gave up at page 261. What a waste of my time!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Diplomat's Wife 2 Feb 2009
A good follow on to previous book but as an American author not quite getting the dialogue right for English characters, particularly of the post-war period.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Many Mistakes... 9 Aug 2008
Too many mistakes made this potentially excellent sequel into a farce.
While I enjoyed the first book (Kommandant's Girl) immensely I found that The Diplomat's Wife was flat with unbelievable characters and was badly researched. It was hard to concentrate on the story while being annoyed with small details which were wrong (even in the late 1940's there is no way that Luton Airport could be reached from central London in twenty-five minutes by road!), Americanisations used in the speech of supposedly English characters and the English using metric weights and measurements. Most of us still avoid that even now thirty odd years after it was officially introduced but it certainly wasn't common usage then. Call me picky but..!
As an earlier reviewer has commented, the back cover just about spills the whole story anyway, which is a shame so yes, avoid reading that if you can.
I suppose if the last three chapters are totally ignored as the silly ending that perhaps was rushed to meet a deadline or written for a bet then I have to admit that I did read the book in virtually one sitting.
But having enjoyed Kommandant's Girl so much, the disappointment with this sequel lingers, sadly.
Perhaps if the reader is not British or has no notion whatsoever of anything British at all it might sit easier.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An easy read 5 May 2008
By Roman Clodia TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is almost a direct follow-on from Kommandant's Girl and I think you probably need to have read that first. It's shame that the back cover gives away a major plot point so if it's possible try to avert your eyes from that!

I really enjoyed Kommandant's Girl (although was very uncomfortable with the ethics of building what is essentially a love story on a charismatic and sexy Nazi...) and I don't know whether other people felt the same way but certainly here Jenoff has an American as her 'hero' fighting the Soviets in the aftermath of WW2/start of the Cold War.

Marta is far less interesting as a character than Emma/Anna and her narrative voice is the same; and many of the plot points remain unchanged: the woman pregnant by one man, married to another; the idea of a woman 'forced' into a sexual relationship (although both the reasons and the emotions are very different here) etc. So this is a kind of re-run of the first book in my view but with all the moral ambiguities that made the KG so interesting now ironed out. The plot also unfortunately gets increasingly silly so that it was quite difficult to stifle the giggles at the end...

This is an easy and engaging read, but while KG resonated in my mind after finishing it, this one is quite forgettable. However it does bring a closure to the story started in KG so if you want to know how Emma/Jacob's story ends, it's here.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Page turner
If like me you like a good yarn and not bothered (like some reviews) as to when duvets were introduced into Britain, then you will like this book a lot... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Dafadowndilly
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, addictive reading!
While some of the storyline was a little far fetched at times, I loved this book.

I love reading about anything to do with this period and Pam Jenoffs books are always a... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Caitlin
2.0 out of 5 stars A good idea but badly written.
I think Pam Jenoff has some excellent ideas but she is not a good writer. I thought The Kommandant's Wife was stronger and this started off well but the quality of the writing is... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mrs. D. W. Bowgett
5.0 out of 5 stars The Diplomat's Wife
Very good storyline and excellent ending with twists and turns galore, could n't put it down. Do read the prequel The Kommandents Girl first however.
Published 19 months ago by JANIS WILLIAMSON
2.0 out of 5 stars History reworked!
I am a hugh fan of Elizabeth George, so I know that American writers can produce very convincing books based in Britain - this isn't one of them. As a light holiday read it's fine. Read more
Published on 11 July 2012 by Blumble
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I read Kommandant's Girl and I thought that Pam Jenoff had created an interesting but flawed book. The writing jarred with me at times, such as the repetition of cliched phrases... Read more
Published on 4 Jun 2012 by Nic 7
4.0 out of 5 stars The Diplomat's Wife
I enjoyed this book quite a lot, but found it a bit far fetched in some of the coincidences when people met other people after previously parting. Read more
Published on 30 Jan 2012 by Christine Lillington
1.0 out of 5 stars Too many mistakes - badly researched
This book had lots of potential but I found it hard to finish due to error after glaring error. Pam Jenoff is apparently an expert on Poland and the Holocaust but obviously didn't... Read more
Published on 11 Jan 2012 by Cath
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Brilliant
I have just one word of warning. Do not pick this book up if you need to do any work around the house, cook the dinner, bath the kids. Once picked up you can't put it down!
Published on 30 Jan 2011 by Chattyali
3.0 out of 5 stars Far-fetched!
On the whole I found this book quite entertaining, but as I read on I became increasingly annoyed with how easily and neatly the strands of Marta's life seemed to fall into place... Read more
Published on 26 Aug 2010 by trudieliz
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