The Diamond Eye
New York Times Bestseller
The bestselling author of The Rose Code returns with an unforgettable World War II tale of a quiet bookworm who becomes history’s deadliest female sniper. Based on a true story.
In 1937 in the snowbound city of Kyiv, wry and bookish history student Mila Pavlichenko organizes her life around her library job and her young son—but Hitler’s invasion of Ukraine and Russia sends her on a different path. Given a rifle and sent to join the fight, Mila must forge herself from studious girl to deadly sniper—a lethal hunter of Nazis known as Lady Death. When news of her three hundredth kill makes her a national heroine, Mila finds herself torn from the bloody battlefields of the eastern front and sent to America on a goodwill tour.
Still reeling from war wounds and devastated by loss, Mila finds herself isolated and lonely in the glittering world of Washington, DC—until an unexpected friendship with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and an even more unexpected connection with a silent fellow sniper offer the possibility of happiness.
But when an old enemy from Mila’s past joins forces with a deadly new foe lurking in the shadows, Lady Death finds herself battling her own demons and enemy bullets in the deadliest duel of her life.
Based on a true story, The Diamond Eye is a haunting novel of heroism born of desperation, of a mother who became a soldier, of a woman who found her place in the world and changed the course of history forever.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This World War II thriller is based on the incredible true story of history’s greatest female sniper. Lyudmila “Mila” Pavlichenko, a young Russian mother and student, must put her skills with a rifle to the test when the Nazis invade her country. Mila’s prowess as a sniper makes her a valued fighter and an international celebrity, leading to a thrilling goodwill tour of the United States that’s filled with romance, unexpected friendships, and some dangerous intrigue. Best-selling historical fiction author Kate Quinn based her novel on Pavlichenko’s own memoir, and she expertly draws us into the sights and sounds of the World War II era. She intersperses Mila’s fascinating story with notes from First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who became Mila’s confidante. We loved how much this woman’s thrilling story taught us about war, diplomacy, and overcoming our differences for the greater good.
Quinn (The Rose Code) draws on a historical female sharpshooter from WWII in her exciting latest. In 1937, Mila Pavlichenko studies history at Kiev University and raises her five-year-old son, Slavka. She's estranged from her husband, Alexei, a surgeon whom she met when she was 15. When the Germans invade Russia, Mila, who's already trained at a marksmanship school, enlists in the army, is assigned sniper duty, and earns the nickname "Lady Death" for her high number of kills. In battle, Mila is steadfast about completing her missions with her partner, Kostia, and also finds time to write letters to Slavka. In 1942, Soviet leaders send Mila with a delegation to Washington, D.C., to meet with President Roosevelt in a bid to seek American support. The trip has its highs and lows, as Mila unexpectedly develops a friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt, but faces a threat from a misogynistic male marksman who sends her threatening notes. Quinn humanizes Mila by showing how she and Kostia use humor along with a healthy amount of vodka to cope with their risk-taking, and she convinces with her description of Eleanor's political savvy and influence on the president. Historical fiction fans will be riveted.
The story is completely captivating from beginning to end!
Captivating from start to end
Again Kate Quinn gives us an outstanding story demonstrating her great mind and heart. Couldn’t put book down. I cried and laughed with the rich characters especially Mila. You will experience the horrors and unselfish actions of people on the frontline in WWII …… it made me wonder……what would I do?
The Diamond Eye
Although the story of Mila Pavilchenko is a fascinating one, I found the book deteriorated dramatically once the storyline shifted to America. The plot became somewhat unbelievable and with a very predictable ending. The weakest of Quinn’s books by far.