Reviewed by Debs Carr
It’s 1919 and twenty-year-old, Margot is staying in Paris with her father, an ambassador working for the German government on the Treaty of Versailles. She is bored and lonely, until she makes friends with Krysia, a mysterious musician. Margot inadvertently repeats secret information putting her father’s reputation in jeopardy. George Richwalder, a handsome naval officer, also working for the German government, offers her work as a translator. Margot can't help being attracted to the emotionally damaged, but charismatic officer and ends up having to question her feelings for her fiancé, Stefan, a soldier slowly recovering from his catastrophic wounds back home.
As Margot wrestles with her conscience for the man she hardly recognizes, as well as the man she’s unexpectedly falling in love with, she’s put in a devastating position where she had no option but to choose between loyalty to her father and what is expected of her. She has to find ways to keep those close to her safe, while working out what she wants for her own future, and when secrets are revealed Margot is forced to make decisions that will end up devastating at least one of the men in her life.
I love this period in history, so was looking forward to reading The Ambassador's Daughter. I found it a little slow to get into, but once I’d become involved in Margot’s story I didn’t want to stop reading. In fact, I was so intrigued by Captain Richwalder that I bought Pam Jenoff’s previous book – based in the Second World War – The Kommandant’s Girl, where his character reappears. The unexpected twists in this book are shocking and the ending wasn’t at all what I’d expected. Beautifully atmospheric, this book brings to life what it must have been like to live in that era and cope with the difficulties endured by those living in Paris in the aftermath of the Great War.
Pam Jenoff's Website