Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Friday, 12 July 2013

Book Beginnings (4) - The Ambassador's Daughter by Pam Jenoff

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays

The idea, as stated on the host's blog, is 'to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.' There's a hash tag #BookBeginnings for twitter etc too, and a master linky list on the host's blog. I've got a couple of books on the go at the moment so I've just picked one out to mention here.

My Book Beginning

The Ambassador's Daughter by Pam Jenoff

Published by Harlequin Mira

'The sun has dropped low beneath the crumbling arches of Lehrter Bahnhof as I make my way across the station. A sharp, late-autumn breeze sends the pigeons fluttering from the rafters and I draw my coat closer against the chill. The crowds are sparse this Tuesday evening, the platforms bereft of the usual commuter trains and their disembarking passengers. A lone carriage sits on the track farthest to the right, silent and dark.'

This is a very atmospheric opening passage, it really sets the scene. I wonder who the narrator is as we know little yet. I'm excited that the setting is Germany (Berlin, in fact) and I wonder who might emerge from the lone carriage in the dark. I'm about a third of the way through this book so far and I'm finding it interesting and easy to read.

Here's the synopsis from goodreads:

Paris, 1919.The world's leaders have gathered to rebuild from the ashes of the Great War. But for one woman, the City of Light harbors dark secrets and dangerous liaisons, for which many could pay dearly.

Brought to the peace conference by her father, a German diplomat, Margot Rosenthal initially resents being trapped in the congested French capital, where she is still looked upon as the enemy. But as she contemplates returning to Berlin and a life with Stefan, the wounded fiancé she hardly knows anymore, she decides that being in Paris is not so bad after all.

Bored and torn between duty and the desire to be free, Margot strikes up unlikely alliances: with Krysia, an accomplished musician with radical acquaintances and a secret to protect; and with Georg, the handsome, damaged naval officer who gives Margot a job—and also a reason to question everything she thought she knew about where her true loyalties should lie.

Against the backdrop of one of the most significant events of the century, a delicate web of lies obscures the line between the casualties of war and of the heart, making trust a luxury that no one can afford.


  1. I loved this book Lindsay, I'm glad you're enjoying it too :)

    1. Thanks for commenting Kate. :) I think I read your review but I will read it again on finishing the book. Glad you enjoyed it too!

  2. Ooh, I do love how the author drew the setting and scene for us....and I love that time period. Enjoy!


    1. Thanks for commenting Laurel-Rain. Lovely opening isn't it.

  3. I read and enjoyed this book in April - I think the author does this time period very well. Enjoy :)

  4. Interesting......thanks for sharing!

    Here is my post

  5. The opening is so well written--I feel as if I am part of the scene. I will be adding this one to my TBR list. thanks for bringing it to my attention and for visiting my blog.

  6. Terrific setting for a novel! And that is definitely an atmospheric beginning. It sounds like it is going to be a lot of fun. And it can be added to the extremely long list of books titled The ________________'s Daughter. :-)

    Thanks for posting your opening passage on Book Beginnings!

    Rose City Reader

  7. That beginning is very atmospheric. Thanks for sharing!

  8. + do you want to follow each other?


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