The Diplomat's Wife

The Diplomat's Wife

by Pam Jenoff

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781459248366
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 08/15/2012
Series: The Kommandant's Girl , #2
Sold by: HARLEQUIN
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 35,643
File size: 623 KB

About the Author

Pam Jenoff is the author of several novels, including the international bestseller The Kommandant's Girl, which also earned her a Quill Award nomination. Pam lives with her husband and three children near Philadelphia where, in addition to writing, she teaches law school.

Read an Excerpt



I do not know how many hours or days I have lain on this cold, hard floor, waiting to die. For some time, it seemed certain that I already was dead, shrouded in the dark stillness of my grave, unable to move or speak.

A sharp pain shoots through my right side. It is not over. Sound comes back next in tiny waves: rats scratching inside the walls, water dripping beyond my reach. My head begins to throb against the icy concrete.

No, not dead. Not yet, but soon. I can take no more. In my mind I see the guard standing above me, an iron bar raised high above his head. My stomach twists. Did I talk? No, a voice within me replies. You said nothing. You did well. The voice is male. Alek, or Jacob perhaps. Of course, it could be neither. Alek is dead, captured and shot by the Gestapo. Jacob might be gone, too, if he and Emma did not make it across the border.

Emma. I can still see her face as she stood above me on the railway bridge. Her lips were cool on my cheek as she bent to kiss me goodbye. "God bless you, Marta." Too weak to reply, I nodded, then watched as she ran to the far end of the bridge, disappearing into the darkness.

After she was gone, I looked down at the bridge. Beneath me a dark red stain seeped into the snow, growing even as I watched. Blood, I realized. My blood. Or maybe his. The Kommandant's body lay motionless just a few meters away. His face looked peaceful, almost innocent, and for a moment I could understand how Emma might have cared for him.

But I had not; I killed him.

My side began to burn white-hot where the bullet from the Kommandant's gun had entered. In the distance, the sirens grew louder. For a moment, I regretted telling Emma to leave, rejecting her offer to help me escape. But I would have only slowed her down and we both would have been caught. This way she had a chance. Alek would have been proud of me. Jacob, too. For a moment I imagined that Jacob was standing over me, his brown hair lifted by the breeze. "Thank you," he mouthed. Then he, too, was gone.

The Gestapo came then and I lay with my eyes closed, willing death to come quickly. For a moment, when they realized that I had shot the Kommandant, it seemed certain that they would kill me right there. But then one pointed out that bullets were scarce and not to be wasted, and another that I would be wanted for questioning. So instead I was lifted from the bridge. "She'll wish we had killed her here," one said as they threw me roughly into the back of a truck.

Remembering his words now, I shiver. Most days he is right. That was some months ago. Or even years; time here blends together, endless days of loneliness, starvation and pain. The solitude is the hardest part. I have not seen another prisoner the whole time I have been here. Sometimes I lie close to the wall, thinking that I hear voices or breathing in the next cell. "Hello?" I whisper, pressing my head against the crack where the wall meets the floor. But there is never any response.

When the footsteps in the corridor do come at last, I am always filled with dread. Is it the kitchen boy, who stares at me with dark, hollow eyes as he sets down the tray of moldy bread and brown water? Or is it one of them? The torture sessions come in sudden, unpredictable bursts, none for days or weeks, then several in rapid succession. They ask the same questions over again as they beat me: Who were you working for? Who ordered you to shoot Kommandant Rich-walder? Give us the names and we'll stop, they promise. But I have not spoken and they do not stop, not until I have passed out. Once or twice they have revived me and begun again. Most times, like today, I wake up back in my cell, alone.

Yet despite everything, I have said nothing. I have done well. I smile inwardly at this. Then my satisfaction disappears. I thought, almost hoped, that this last beating would mean the end. But I am alive, and so they will surely come again. I begin to tremble. Each time is worse than the last. I cannot take any more. I must be dead before they come.

Another sharp pain shoots through my side. The Nazis operated on me shortly after I arrived at the prison, removing the bullet. At the time, I didn't understand why they would try to save me. Of course, that was before the interrogations began. The pain grows worse and I begin to sweat. Suddenly, the room grows colder and I slip from consciousness once more.

Sometime later, I awaken. The smell of my own waste hangs heavy in the air. In the distance, I hear a low, unfamiliar rumbling sound. Through my eyelids I sense light. How much time has passed? I raise my hands to my face. My right eye is sealed shut by a fresh, round welt. I rub my left eye, brushing away the thick crust that has formed in the outside corner. Blinking, I look around the cell. The room is blurry, as everything has been since they confiscated my glasses upon arrival. I can make out a pale beam of daylight that has found its way in through the tiny, lone window by the ceiling, illuminating a small puddle on the floor. My parched throat aches. If only I could make it to the water. But I am still too weak to move.

The rumbling sound stops. I hear footsteps on the floor above, then on the stairwell. The guards are coming. I close my eye again as the key turns in the lock. The cell door opens and I can hear low male voices talking. I force myself to remain still, to not tremble or give any indication that I am awake. The footsteps grow louder as they cross the room. I brace myself, waiting for the rough grasp and blows that will surely come. But the men pause in the middle of the room, still talking. They seem to be having a disagreement of some sort. They aren't speaking German, I realize suddenly. I strain to listen. "…too sick," one of the voices says. The language is not Russian or Slavic at all. English! My heart leaps.

"She must go." I open my eye quickly.Two men in dark green uniforms stand in my cell. Are they British? American? I squint, trying without success to make out the flag on their sleeves. Have we been liberated?

The shorter man has his back to me. Over his shoulder, I can see a second man, pointing toward the door. "She must go," he repeats, his voice angry. The shorter man shakes his head.

I have to get their attention. I try to sit up, but the pain is too much. I take a deep breath and cough, then raise my arm slightly. The man who had been pointing looks in my direction. "See?" he calls over his shoulder as he races toward me. The other man does not reply, but shakes his head and walks out of the cell.

The soldier kneels beside me. "Hello."

I open my mouth to respond, but only a low gurgling sound comes out. "Shh." He puts a finger to his lips. I nod slightly, feeling my cheeks redden. He reaches out to touch my arm. I jerk away. For so long, human contact has only meant pain. "It's okay," he says softly. He points to the flag on his sleeve. "American. It's okay." He reaches out again, more slowly this time, and I force myself not to flinch as he lifts my arm, pressing his large, callused fingers against my wrist. I had nearly forgotten that a person could touch so gently. He feels for my pulse, then brings his other hand to my forehead. His brow furrows. He begins to speak quickly in English, his blue eyes darting back and forth. I shake my head slightly. I do not understand. He stops mid-sentence, a faint blush appearing in his pale cheeks. "Sorry."

He pulls a metal bottle from his waistband and opens it, pouring some liquid into the cap. Then he takes one hand and places it behind my neck. I allow myself to relax against the warmth of his touch. His sleeve gives off an earthy scent that stirs a childhood memory, pine needles on the forest ground. He lifts my head slightly, cradling it as one might an infant's, bringing the cap to my lips. "Drink." I swallow the water he pours into my mouth. It has a salty, slightly metallic taste, but I do not care. I drink all that is in the first cap and a second, too.

As I drink, I study his face. He is no more than a few years older than me, twenty-three or twenty-four at most. His dark hair is very short on the sides but wavy on top. Though his expression is serious now, the crinkles at the corners of his eyes make me think he has smiled a lot. He looks kind. And handsome. I am suddenly aware of my soiled prison dress and matted curls, caked thick with dirt and blood.

I take one last sip. Then, exhausted from the effort, I go limp as he gently lowers my head to the floor. Don't, I want to say, as he slides his hand out from under my neck. His touch is familiar now, comforting. Instead I smile, trying to convey my gratitude. He nods, his eyes wide and sad. I can feel him wondering how I have come to be here, who would do this to me. He starts to stand. Panicking, I struggle to reach up and grab his hand.

"It's okay." He kneels beside me once more, gesturing toward the door of the cell with his head. "Doctor." He means to bring me help. I relax slightly, still clinging to him. "It's okay," he repeats slowly, squeezing my hand. "You will go." Go. My eyes start to burn. The nightmare is over. It is almost too much to believe. A single tear rolls hot down my cheek. He reaches out to brush it away.

He clears his throat, then touches his chest with his free hand. "Paul."

Paul. I stare up at him, repeating his name in my mind. I do not know if I can speak. But I need for him to know my name, too. I swallow, then take a deep breath. "M-Marta," I manage to say. Then, overwhelmed by the effort and all that has happened, I collapse into darkness once more.

"Awake now, are we?" A woman's voice, brisk and unfamiliar, cuts through the darkness. Have the Germans returned? I inhale sharply. Something is different. The air is no longer thick with waste, but with smells of rubbing alcohol and fresh paint. Gone are the sounds of the rats and dripping water, too. They have been replaced by gentle rustling, voices talking softly.

Snapping my eyes open, I am stunned to discover that I am no longer in my cell, but in a large room with bright yellow walls. Where am I? A woman stands by the foot of the bed. Though her face is blurry, I can see that she is wearing a white dress and cap. She comes up beside me and touches my forehead. "How are you feeling?" I swallow uncertainly. There is still pain in my side, but it is duller now, like a toothache. "My name is Dava. Do you know where you are?" She is not speaking Polish, but I understand what she is saying. Yiddish, I realize. I have not heard it since leaving the ghetto. But Yiddish is so close to German, and the woman speaks it with some sort of an accent. Perhaps this is just another Nazi trick to get me to talk. The woman, seeming to notice my distress, quickly answers her own question. "You are in a camp run by the Allies for displaced persons, just outside Salzburg."

Camp. Salzburg. My mind races. "Nazis…?" I manage to say. My throat aches as much from saying the word as from the effort of speaking.

"Gone. Hitler killed himself and what was left of the German army surrendered. The war in Europe is over." She sounds so sure, so unafraid. I relax slightly, letting her words sink in as she reaches above my head to a window and adjusts the curtains to block some of the sunlight that is streaming through. Don't, I want to say. I have lived in darkness for so long. "There, that's better." I look up at her. Though her full figure gives her a matronly appearance, I can tell by her face that she is not more than thirty. A lock of brown hair peeks out from beneath her cap.

Dava pours water from a blue pitcher into a glass on the low table beside my bed. I start to sit up, but she presses against my shoulder with her free hand. "Wait." She takes a pillow from the empty bed beside mine and, lifting me up slightly, places it atop the one already beneath my head. I notice then that I am wearing a hospital gown made of coarse, light-blue cotton. "Your body has been through a great deal. You need to move slowly." I lift my head as Dava brings the glass to my lips. "Slowly," she repeats. I take a small sip. "That's good, Marta." I look up, wondering how she knows my name. "It was written on your forehead when they brought you in," she explains. Then, noticing my surprise, she adds, "The soldiers who are liberating the camps often write things, names or conditions directly on the patients. They either don't have paper or they're afraid the information would be lost on the way in."

I take another sip, then lay my head down on the pillow once more.

Suddenly I remember the soldier helping me drink on the prison floor. "How did I get here?"

Dava replaces the glass on the table. "The Americans found you in the Nazi prison when they liberated Dachau, just outside Munich. We're just two hours south, not far from the German border, so many of the liberated are brought here. You've been unconscious since they brought you in more than a week ago. Your wound was infected and you had a very high fever. We weren't sure if you were going to pull through. But you're awake now, and the fever is gone." Dava looks over her shoulder across the room, then turns back to me. "You rest for a few minutes. I'm going to let the doctor know you're awake."

As she walks away, I lift my head again. Although my vision is blurry, I can make out two rows of narrow, evenly spaced beds running along the walls of the long, rectangular room. Mine is in the farthest corner, pressed against a wall on one side. All of the beds seem to be filled, except the one beside me. Several women dressed in white move briskly between them.

Dava returns a few minutes later carrying a tray, an older man with thick glasses in tow. He picks up my wrist with one hand and touches my forehead. Then he lifts the blanket and reaches for the corner of my gown. Surprised, I recoil.

Dava sets down the tray on the empty bed behind her and steps forward. "He just needs to examine the wound to make sure it is healing properly." I relax slightly and let the doctor lift my gown, trying not to feel his cold, unfamiliar hands as they press on my stomach. Then he pulls the gown back farther, revealing the wound. I am surprised to see fresh stitches along the incision line. "They had to operate again when you first arrived here," Dava explains. "There was a piece of bullet still inside you and you had developed an infection." I nod. In prison I often wondered why my side still ached so long after the Nazis operated on me. Now, not long after the second surgery, it already feels much better.

The doctor replaces my gown and turns to Dava, speaking to her in German too brisk and accented for me to comprehend. Then he hurries away. "He said you're healing really well. And that you should try to eat something. Are you hungry?" Before I can answer, Dava picks up a bowl from the tray behind her. "Soup," she announces brightly. I sit up slowly and this time she does not stop me, but brings the bowl close under my chin. A rich aroma wafts upward. Nausea rises in me and a cold sweats break out on my forehead. Noticing, Dava sets the bowl down on the table and picks up a cup and saucer from the tray. "Let's just start with some tea."

I swallow, my stomach calmer now. "I can hold it."

Dava hands me the cup and I take a sip. The liquid is lukewarm and soothing to my throat. Cradling the cup in both hands, I look upward. The ceiling is high and decorated with a pattern of some sort. I squint to try to make it out.

"This used to be a formal dining room," Dava explains. "The whole camp is housed on the grounds of Schloss Leopoldskron, which was one of the Hapsburg palaces. The Nazis confiscated it from its previous owners, and we took it from them. The palace is very beautiful, as are the grounds. I'll give you a tour when you are well enough."

"Thank you." I take another sip of tea.

Dava points upward. "If you look there, you can see the Baroque influence. The detail is really quite extraordinary."

"I can't…" I begin, then hesitate. "That is, I can't see it."

"What do you mean?" Dava's voice is heavy with concern. "Did the Nazis do something? A blow to the head, perhaps? Or did you fall?"

I shake my head. "Nothing like that," I reply quickly, though of course they had struck me in the head many times. "It's just that I am very nearsighted. And my glasses were confiscated when I was arrested."

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Diplomat's Wife 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 57 reviews.
jackie2366 More than 1 year ago
I am one of those who judges a book by its cover. As I was walking through the book store I notice the cover and I was immediately intrigued. After reading the excerpt I decided to read it and couldn't put it down. The story grabs you from the very beginning. You feel like you in living during that time until something out of the ordinary brings you back to reality. Some parts are too unreal, but after all...IT IS A NOVEL. Great story line. I really recommend this book. It is a great historical fiction novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book interesting from beginning to end. Very well written and one that is hard to put down.
Cassandra Boisjolie More than 1 year ago
I love to read this story even its companion. Its so exciting.
lovemathematically More than 1 year ago
This book should be a movie!! It keeps you guessing and hoping the entire time.
Tammi Martin More than 1 year ago
loved the book and couldn't put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just grabbed this off the shelf of my school library to have something new to read and was immediately surprised at how good it was. I couldn't stop reading--my teachers got mad because I wasn't paying attention. If you like romance and war stories, this one is a must. Although it takes after the war, it shows how it changed everything for everyone. It is a touching, heart-wrenching story that will make you really think about how great it is to be alive. I loved it! :)
nyc_trace More than 1 year ago
I had no idea this was a sequel to another Pam Jenoff book (the Kammandant's Girl). However, the story-line still made incredible sense and was a great read. I would always lose track of time and crave to find out where the story takes me next. The story-line moves along smoothly and takes unexpected twists and turns until the very end. I loved Paul's character, the dialogues between him and Marta certainly tugs on my heart strings. My only pseudo-complaint is that the development of Marta (the main female character) was a bit contradicting. The author seems as if she couldn't decide on whether Marta would be a weak or strong character. For example, Marta is constantly in need to be rescued, yet could fight against a Russian assassin. All in all, I loved it, I didn't want the book to end. My heart would skip a beat chapter after chapter! Now I must read the Kammdant's Girl (reading in reverse order..yikes!)
Chrissy63 More than 1 year ago
First of all, you must read The Kommandant's Girl FIRST (written by the same author) which is also an absolutely amazing book. I ride the train every day to work, which is my time to read -- both The Kommandant's Girl and The Diplomat's Wife almost caused me to miss my train stop because I became so engrossed with both stories! These two books capture you from the very beginning to the very end with its characters, plots, romance, and suspense exceptionally captured, and well written by the author. I highly recommend this book!
popular_darling More than 1 year ago
This story took me over a day to read. I loved everything about the love story and terror Ms. Jenoff tells in her tale.
kiminiminy More than 1 year ago
This is one of the few books I buy on a whim and not from my list. However, I read it in 2 days and absolutely loved it! With every page there is a new twist and new challenge for the characters. This is best read after "The Kommandant's Girl".
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful read. One of those books that leave you thinking about it long after you put it down. I loved it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The plot has so much potential but fails to really grab the reader. The twists are predictable and main character (Marta) weak. It was simply not believable that a woman of her hesitance would work for the resistance, survive a Nazi prison, and a well known assasin.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wonderful story,one recommendation,read the Kommandant's Girl,before reading this book.It is by the same author.
harstan More than 1 year ago
During WWII Marta Nederman was an active member of the Polish resistance until she was caught by the Nazis. They sent her to Dachau to be tortured by the Gestapo in case she had useful information on her comrades and ultimately to die. She offered nothing that would threaten her brothers and sisters in arms.-------------- When the ally armies capture the concentration camp, they are stunned by the horrific sights that greet them. Besides the mass of dead bodies and many dying shortly, few show any resemblance of good physical health including Marta. American GI Paul Mattison gives Marta her first water since the Gestapo captured her. Marta eventually goes to an Austrian refugee camp where she meets an ailing camp survivor Rose, who soon passes away. Marta takes Rose¿s visa to go to London on her trek across the continent she meets Paul in Paris where they make love. They vow to rendezvous in London in two weeks, but Paul¿s plane crashes in the Channel. Pregnant Marta meets and marries diplomat Simon Gold. As the Communists are putting down an iron Curtain across Eastern Europe, Marta undertakes a dangerous mission in Poland with roots in her past.-------------- This excellent histroical sequel to THE KOMMANDANT¿S GIRL brings alive 1945 Poland as the Cold War is about to begin. The story line is fast-paced but driven by the cast especially the heroic Marta who realizes that she might have to sacrifice her happiness to expose a traitor. Fans of historical thrillers will appreciate Pam Jenoff¿s terrific thriller as she brings alive the tension of battered Europe carved between the victors even as a war between former allies seems imminent.------------------ Harriet Klausner
ParadisePorch on LibraryThing 25 days ago
rom Patty Engelman at Booklist: After working in the Jewish resistance in Kraków, Poland, Marta Nedermann is rescued from a Nazi prison by American soldiers. A simple gesture of human comfort by a soldier named Paul is etched in her mind, and when she sees him again in a camp for displaced persons in Salzburg, Marta is overjoyed. They meet again in Paris and become engaged, only to have Paul die in a plane crash. Marta is now scared, pregnant, and alone in a strange city. Simon Gold, an English diplomat, needs her language skills, and he wants her as well. They marry, and two years later, the English government taps Marta for help in finding a traitor in the British intelligence corps, sending her on an undercover mission. From Publishers¿ Weekly: Marta goes on a dangerous mission to Poland, where a Communist takeover is imminent and where the seesaw plot takes more than one surprise twist.I didn¿t quite know what to expect from The Diplomat¿s Wife, having not read Jenoff before.The mystery was more than decent: although the identity of the mole was not difficult to figure out, the `hows¿ and `whats¿ were not so evident¿in fact, were a complete surprise.But, at its heart,The Diplomat¿s Wife is a historical romance. And that is my only complaint: the accidental meetings between Marta and Paul were just too numerous to be believable. But then, I don¿t care for romances and have a very low tolerance level for such devices.If you do like historical romance, then you¿re in for a treat with this. Enjoy!
Shuffy2 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
WWII is over but how do you get on with your life when you lost everyone you love and almost your own life?Marta is rescued form a Nazi prison camp by Paul, an American soldier, and sent to a hospital in Salzburg, Austria. There she recovers from the brutal interrogations and an old gunshot wound she received when caught working with the resistance. The personal connections she makes with fellow patient Rose, her nurse Dava, liberator Paul, and a stranger she meets on a boat to England will change her life forever. The novel, even though the storyline was a bit predictable, was an intriguing, quick read. Overall I felt the beginning was a bit rushed and had a hard time feeling any connection to the love story aspect of the book. A fast, simple read for an escape with history and romance...
4kids4us on LibraryThing 25 days ago
I read this after finishing The Kommandant's Girl which is sort of a prequel to this book. This book tells the story of what happens to a minor character from Kommandant's Girl. The book had lots of twists with many interesting characters and certainly held my attention. I didn't want to put it down. However, the ending was a little predictable and I wasn't surprised (my neighbor read it though and didn't suspect how it would end). I really enjoyed this piece of historical fiction and look forward to reading more from this author. I recommend reading The Kommandant's Girl first - I thought that book was even better.
ladybug74 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
The first half of this book was exactly what I expected it to be, but the second half was completely different than I expected. It actually had a good bit of action and suspense toward the end. There were several twists that kept the story interesting. Not everything that happened was completely believable, but it was still a very good book.
ForeignCircus on LibraryThing 25 days ago
I read this one because the title caught my eye, and was seriously disappointed. The beginning of the story tracing Marta's ordeal with the Gestapo and her subsequent time in a refugee hospital was by far the best part of the story, but once Paul's plane crashed, both the story and the book headed downhill. Thought it opened strongly, the book never really took off for me- neither of the two big shockers were at all surprising to me because they were so telegraphed ahead of time (though knowing they were coming didn't make them any more realistic or believable...) The book had potential, but I feel like it just glossed over the issues it raised, and I never really connected with any of the characters. I certainly won't be rushing out to pick up the Kommandant's Girl because I fear it will be an equally shallow treatment of a potentially interesting story.
pmla1028 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
I enjoyed this novel, set around the end of WWII. It follows Marta Nederman as she is rescued from prison, where she had been since being arrested for aiding in the resistance effort in Poland. She recovers, and travels to England using someone else's identity. She finds love and eventually is married to a member of the staff at the British foreign office where she works as a secretary. She settles into an ordinary life, raising her daughter & attempting to build a happy home for her family. When the office needs someone with her experience in the resistance movement to reach contacts in Prague she volunteers to carry out a covert mission, surprising her husband. She thinks that she is the one with something to hide, but she soon realizes that she isn't the only one in her life with secrets.
kibosa on LibraryThing 25 days ago
I loved this book. The story picked up where The Kommandant's Girl left off with the character of Marta-just after World War II. Marta survives a German prison, finds and loses true love and starts a new chapter of her life as a British diplomat's wife. The story is fast paced and left me wanting more. Although not necessary to read the Kommandant's Girl first, I would suggest it as there are some spoilers to that story.
schatzi on LibraryThing 25 days ago
I was really looking forward to reading this book because I had enjoyed The Kommandant's Girl so much. It started out rather promising, although about thirty or so pages into the book I began to realize that I wasn't going to enjoy this book nearly as much as I had enjoyed The Kommandant's Girl.First off, Marta just isn't...Marta. She spent the war being brave and fighting in the resistance, but in this book she was terribly co-dependent. I could understand that a little, considering what she had gone through, but she had never struck me as that type to such a degree. It gets plain ridiculous after a while, and it's sad to watch a character that I had previously admired in The Kommandant's Girl to self-destruct.The book relies on a mind-numbing series of unbelievable coincidences. Now, I was kind of expecting some unbelievable coincidences to happen, since the author pulled the same trick in The Kommandant's Girl; however, these were just bad. I know that it's fiction and the book doesn't have to be completely believable, but come on here, give the reader some credit. The last time I checked, this was marked "fiction" and not "completely unrealistic fantasy." I can't go into too much detail without giving away spoilers, but anyone who has read the book knows what I'm talking about.This book was a big disappointment, especially since I had just finished The Kommandant's Girl the day before and was so eager to read this book. I'll be hesitant to read another book by this author.
crazy4reading on LibraryThing 25 days ago
This is my first book by Pam Jenoff and it won't be my last. I decided to read the Diplomat's Wife because I had seen a notice at my local library that she was going to be there for a signing or question and answering. I didn't make it to the engagement but I am very glad that I decided to pick up her book.The Diplomat's Wife is a novel with everything. Mystery, suspense, thrills and chills, and romance. The story is set in the year 1945. Marta has survived a Nazi prison camp and is rescued by an American Soldier named Paul.You follow Marta through her life of recovery, loss of true love and so much more. I am afraid I might give away too much of the plot if I say any more.Pam Jenoff does a superb job of keeping the reader enthralled in the story. I give Pan Jenoff five stars for keeping me entranced and going to bed late just so that I could finish the book.If you need a new author than check out Pam Jenoff!!
dasuzuki on LibraryThing 25 days ago
It started off a little slow for me but I eventually got into it. It wasn¿t one of those you can¿t put down books but I was satisfied when I was done reading.Marta is a Jewish member of the Krakow resistance who gets captured after shooting a Kommandant to rescue a friend, Emma. Emma escapes but Marta is taken to a camp and tortured to try and get information about the resistance. She is eventually rescued after Hitler kills himself and the Americans liberate the camp she is in. Two soldiers find her and one wants to leave her behind saying she is too sick but the other one insists that they take her. Next thing Marta knows she wakes up in a make shift hospital. She befreinds another rescuee named Rose and their nurse, Dava. While recuperating she meets the soldier that rescued her and finally finds out his name, Paul Mattinson. She feels an instant connection with Paul but his unit is due to deploy to the Pacific. Marta convinces Dava to let her off the grounds to spend one evening with Paul. Paul and Marta get stranded in an old gardner¿s shed due to an unexpected downpour.The next day Paul leaves and Marta finds out Rose passed away from a high fever. Dava tells Marta that Rose¿s aunt had sent her a visa to come to England. Rose had asked for one for Marta as well but did not get a reply yet. Dava tells Marta the visa is only good until the next day so Marta should use it to go to England and justifies it by saying she can return Rose¿s belongings to her aunt in person.Marta finally agrees and departs for England. Unfortunately the train she is riding runs into track problems and are forced to detour through Paris. Due to the delay Marta¿s visa expires and she is stranded in Paris. She goes to the consulate but they say they cannot extend her visa without the original applicant applying for an extension, in other word¿s Rose¿s aunt. Disheartened Marta starts looking for a Red Cross shelter to stay at while she tries to figure out what to do. She doesn¿t have enough money to return to the hospital or to even buy food for herself. As she is wandering through Paris she is shocked to see Paul sitting in a cafe with another soldier and two women. She is so hurt to see Paul with another woman she immediately tries to run away but runs into a waiter. Paul spots Marta and chases her down. He explains that the other soldier had a sweetheart in Paris and the other women was her sister or cousin. He helps her get her visa extended, they go out for dinner and eventually end up staying at the servicemen¿s hotel that Paul is checked into. While wandering around Paris they hear the Japanese have surrendered and the war is officially over. Paul ends up proposing to Marta and she accepts. They agree that Marta will go deliver Rose¿s items to her aunt and then Paul will meet up with Marta in England in two weeks time and then they will go to the United States.Marta makes it to England meeting Simon, a British diplomat, on the trip. When Simon finds out Marta is from Poland he offers her a job with the consulate to help translate Polish and help them against the Soviets trying to take over Eastern Europe. He is disappointed when she tells him she is engaged to a US soldier and will be moving to the States.Once Marta is in England she meets Rose¿s aunt, Delia, and the butler, Charles. Delia thanks Marta for bringing Rose¿s belongings and takes a liking to Marta. She insists that Marta stay with her until Paul¿s arrival. They become close companions during the two weeks. On the day of Paul¿s arrival Marta goes to the designated train station and waits and waits and Paul never shows up. Charles shows up and insists that Marta come home since Paul does have Delia¿s address and no other trains would be arriving that night. Eventually Charles notices a story in the paper about a US military unit¿s airplane suffered engine troubles and crashed into the ocean killing all on board. Of course that turns out to be Paul
kimreadthis on LibraryThing 25 days ago
This book was an interesting read, covering a time period frequently used in books in a slightly different way. The post-war story was a bit unbelievable. I have not read "The Kommandant's Wife," but this title led me to believe that the previous title includes characters from this book and leads right up to this book in chronology, so I may check out the previous title. (I had no trouble reading this book without having read the first.)