- 27,99 zł
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.
When bohemian artist Miranda falls in love with Finn, the British ambassador to an Arab country, she finds herself thrust into a life for which she has no preparation. The couple and their toddler daughter live in a stately mansion with a staff to meet their every need, but for Miranda even this luxury 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 and forced to give up work she loves, she finds her world shattered when she is taken hostage, an act of terror with wide-reaching consequences.
Diplomatic life is a far cry from Miranda’s first years in Mazrooq, which were spent painting and mentoring a group of young Muslim women, teaching them to draw in ways forbidden in their culture. As the novel weaves together past and present, we come to see how Finn and Miranda’s idealism and 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 shares her captivity, it is not clear that even being set free would restore the simple happiness that once was hers and Finn’s. Suspenseful and moving, The Ambassador’s Wife is a story of love, marriage, and friendship tested by impossible choices.
Steil, (The Woman Who Fell From the Sky) worked as a journalist in Yemen, and that experience clearly paved the way for her excellent debut novel. Miranda, an American artist, has recently married Finn, the British ambassador to Mazrooq, an impoverished, desert Arab nation (and fictional stand-in for Yemen) on the Arabian peninsula. Miranda is adjusting to her pampered and protected life as an ambassador's wife, complete with servants, bodyguards, visiting dignitaries, and diplomatic social events, in a violent country beset by poverty, illiteracy, civil strife, and terrorist attacks. She clandestinely teaches oil painting to Muslim women, a taboo act in Mazrooq. Finn also has a guilty secret, related to a disastrous event during a previous posting in Afghanistan. Miranda is kidnapped by terrorists while on a hike, beginning a horrifying ordeal of captivity; Finn is replaced as ambassador, but he refuses to leave without his wife, frantic with worry and despair. Miranda is only kept alive to breastfeed a tiny, malnourished baby girl, not knowing the significance of the child. Months pass without any word no ransom demands, no claims. The story becomes increasingly high-stakes, culminating with betrayal and violence. This is a well-crafted, fast-paced novel, packed with ample suspense to keep the pages turning.