Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars
The New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Code returns with an unforgettable World War II tale of a quiet librarian who becomes history’s deadliest female sniper. Based on a true story.
In the snowbound city of Kiev, wry and bookish history student Mila Pavlichenko organizes her life around her library job and her young son—but Hitler’s invasion of 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.
Yes, it’s true that I’ve become a die-hard fan of Kate Quinn’s solidly amazing female historical protagonists—and BONUS—based on true stories!
I always appreciate her notes regarding the extensive and fascinating research into the woman that becomes the legend. And then Kate performs her magic.
In this case, the storyline surrounds the growth of young Mila Pavlichenko from single mother to storied war sniper. Mila carefully strives to be both mother and father to her young son after she splits from a domineering, (mentally) abusive husband. Thinking that a young man should be taught about weapons as a father would do his son, she seeks to learn enough about guns that she can share the respect as well as the skill with him.
But she quickly learns she is good at it.
And when war with Hitler finds Russia, she joins the fight—not as a nurse or admin assistant—but as a sniper and is soon known as Lady Death.
While she decries her count, the record of 300 does not go unnoticed, by either her own country or the Nazis. It is decided she might be better (safer) sent with a delegation to the US in an effort to enlist the efforts to set up another front.
The characters are amazing. From Mila to her lovers (the soon-to-be ex, the perfect foil), as well as the snippets of Eleanor Roosevelt. The descriptions of the isolation, the targets, the atmosphere draws you in.
Much of the narrative is posed as fiction and then juxtaposed against a “memoir” that sounds directly from Mila’s pen. The difference in interpretation of the event produces a few lighter moments although this storyline presents a somber telling devoid of much of the humor found in either The Rose Code or The Huntress. I learned as much about war and what women are capable of in this as the former two novels.
I listened to The Huntress in January and was totally sold on this author’s dedication to writing strong and dedicated women warriors. They are gripping and engaging entertainment and I can’t wait until the next one. The narrator is amazing.
I downloaded a copy of this audiobook from my local well-stocked library. These are my honest thoughts.
Genre: World War II Historical Fiction, War & Military Fiction, War Fiction
Listening Length: 12 hrs 51 mins
Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld
Publication Date: March 29, 2022
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Diamond Eye [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble
The Author: Kate Quinn is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. A native of southern California, she attended Boston University where she earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Classical Voice. She has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga, and two books in the Italian Renaissance, before turning to the 20th century with “The Alice Network”, “The Huntress,” “The Rose Code,” and “The Diamond Eye.” All have been translated into multiple languages. Kate and her husband now live in San Diego with three rescue dogs.
The Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld is an experienced audiobook narrator and voice-over actress based in New York City. Raised in New Zealand and France, she is highly skilled with accents and dialects, and many of her books have been narrated entirely in accents other than her own. In addition to audiobooks, Saskia’s voice can be heard in animation, video games, and commercials. She attributes her love and understanding of reading books aloud to coming from a large family where audiobooks were the only way to get through car rides without fighting! Visit saskiamaarleveld.com to learn more.
©2023 V Williams
2 thoughts on “The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn – #AudiobookReview – #WWIIHistoricalFiction”
Such a marvelous book!
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Indeed! loved it–now listening to The Alice Network.
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