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The Ambassador's Wife: A Novel by…

The Ambassador's Wife: A Novel (2015)

by Jennifer Steil

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A very contemporary story of the wife of a British ambassador to a Middle-Eastern country who is kidnapped by extremists and finds herself caring for a motherless infant while being held captive. The fictionalized country is vividly portrayed as a place of extreme beauty and extreme attitudes, and could easily stand-in for any number of countries in the Middle East. A very human depiction of a story seen too often on the nightly news. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Feb 12, 2017 |
There were a couple of things that grabbed me immediately when I saw the publisher’s description of The Ambassador’s Wife by Jennifer Steil. The first was that Jennifer actually is an ambassador’s wife, so I thought it would be very interesting to read a novel by someone who had lived that life. The second was that the main character is an artist turned ambassador’s wife in the Middle East. To me, that seemed to have all kinds of potential for making an interesting tale. I’m so glad I offered to read The Ambassador’s Wife and I’ve been itching to share it with you. It’s a thriller but it’s also a story about diversity, about cultural misunderstandings and connections, and about the power of compassion. Read the rest of my review at http://popcornreads.com/?p=8705 ( )
  PopcornReads | Nov 19, 2015 |
Miranda is a free spirited American living in the fictional country Arab country of Mazrooq. She is a bisexual artist, who paints nudes. An ideal candidate for living in a Muslim country. She becomes enthralled with the country and despite being a liberal feminist she finds herself at home in a world that represses its women. She starts teaching a small group how to draw and paint. Then one day she falls in love with a man she meets walking around the old city. Little does she know how much this man will change her life – for he is the British Ambassador. Their relationship follows the normal course and soon she is living at the Residence and she finds herself the Ambassador’s wife with all of the security restrictions that brings.

Miranda has always lived a life of unfettered freedom so she feels very constrained in her new life. As much as she loves her husband Finn and then her child she misses her ability to do what she wants when she wants. She does go out on a hike with some women friends and her bodyguard and the worst happens – she is kidnapped. This leads to the odd part of the book. It’s also the driving part of the plot and I don’t want to spoil the story. I was just a bit confuses as to the whole of the kidnapping scenario. Some questions are answered at the end but others just hang in the desert.

I was intrigued by the two lead characters but they were almost impossible to believe. Miranda has a little anxiety about fitting into the life she has now chosen but she moves into what is generally a closed, tight society with minimal problem. Finn is the perfect diplomat in every way, never taking a wrong turn until he did – once – and it seemed designed to only serve the plot further down the line. I’m still confused about some things that went on in the book and Miranda for all her outward support and supposed love for the women of this suppressed country was very selfish in her motives in my opinion. Her actions hurt far more people than they helped. ( )
  BrokenTeepee | Sep 4, 2015 |
After marrying Finn, the British ambassador to Mazrooq, Miranda must adjust to the diplomat lifestyle of large homes, staff members, and bodyguards. Her former artist lifestyle left little room for comfort and luxury, as she took risks in teaching Muslim women to paint and draw. Just as she starts to feel comfortable with her role as the ambassador’s wife, Miranda is kidnapped while on a hiking trip, throwing her family’s life into chaos and the women she has helped into ultimate danger.

At 400 pages, The Ambassador’s Wife does feel a bit overlong, particularly toward the beginning, but it is rarely dry. Even in its setup, there is enough tension to keep the pages turning, and by the midpoint the novel truly takes off. By blending Miranda’s past and present, Steil weaves a compelling, suspenseful story about much more than the kidnapping it centers on.

More at rivercityreading.com ( )
  rivercityreading | Aug 10, 2015 |
The Ambassador’s Wife by Jennifer Steil is the story of Miranda, wife of a British Ambassador, who faces challenges beyond her worst nightmares when she is abducted by terrorists. Her life in the Middle East, while enviable to many, had its drawbacks: surrounded by staff and bodyguards wherever she ventured, her autonomy was sacrificed, challenging her very sense of being. In a twist of irony, the life that she so longed to lead was swept away by kidnappers who would stop at nothing to fulfill their agenda. Steil, through her carefully crafted and atmospheric writing, effortlessly draws readers into this suspenseful story about relationships and the ultimate challenges faced by one woman. Steil further solidifies her place in the genre with this thought provoking, high-tension, and, at times, heartrending novel. The Ambassador’s Wife is an excellent choice for those who enjoy well written, thought provoking suspense novels and it would make an excellent book discussion group pick. ( )
  knittingmomof3 | Jun 16, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385539029, Hardcover)

From a real-life ambassador's wife comes a spectacular novel about the brutal kidnapping of an American woman living with her diplomat husband in the Middle East and the heartbreaking choices each must make in the hopes of being reunited

     Finn and Miranda waited a lifetime to find love and now they are living a fairy tale. In Mazrooq, where Finn is the British ambassador, the couple and their toddler daughter have a staff of servants to meet their every need and a stately mansion with all the modern comforts. But while their lifestyle affords them luxuries that the majority of citizens in the desperately poor country will never know, for Miranda it comes at a price: the loss of freedom. Trailed everywhere by bodyguards to protect her from the dangers of a country wracked by civil war, forced to give up work she loves, struggling to master a bewildering role as ambassador's wife, her world is shattered when she is kidnapped, an act of terror that has complex and far-reaching consequences. 
     Diplomatic life is a far cry from Miranda's previous life as a free-spirited Seattle artist. After following her girlfriend to Mazrooq, she spent years wandering the labyrinthine streets of the ancient capital, finding inspiration for her art and befriending a group of young women, teaching them to paint in ways their culture has forbidden. As the narrative weaves past and present, we come to see how Finn and Miranda's idealism, and darker secrets they have each sought to hide, have placed them and those who trust them in peril. And when Miranda grows close to a child who joins her in captivity, it is not clear that even her freedom can restore the simple happiness that once was hers and Finn's. Suspenseful and moving, The Ambassador's Wife is a harrowing story of love, marriage, and friendship tested by impossible choices.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:43 -0400)

From a real-life ambassador's wife comes a harrowing novel about the kidnapping of an American woman in the Middle East and the heartbreaking choices she and her husband each must make in the hope of being reunited.

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