disclosure: we were sent the item mentioned in exchange for an honest review
I’ve got a thoroughly intriguing book to share with you today. The Diplomat’s Wife by Michael Ridpath was published earlier this year through Corvus and it’s a thrilling page-turner.
It’s 1979 and we meet Phil, who’d been planning on going on a gap year adventure with a friend until he prangs his Dad’s car and is left to foot the repair bill. His grandmother, Emma Meeke, steps in and offers him the chance to repay his debts whilst also still having a trip around Europe. As a young woman, Emma had been a diplomat’s wife and she wishes to revisit places where she’d lived with her husband.
It all seems simple until we revisit 1934 when Emma’s older brother Hugh Brearton was killed in a car accident which changes her life forever. As the family deal with his loss and plan the funeral, Emma meets a young diplomat called Roland Meeke who listens to her and is there to support her when she needs it most. At Hugh’s funeral, Emma is introduced to a woman called Kay Lesser and she discovers that this woman had been proposed to by her brother shortly before his death. A woman she knew nothing about.
By 1936 Emma has married Roland and the Diplomat’s Wife has moved to Paris with her husband as he’s working at the Embassy there. Emma and her brother had both had communist leaning but she’s had to keep her views to herself for the sake of her husband and his career. When she discovers that her husband has been unfaithful and not just with anyone, but with her own mother, her life is shattered. When she’s offered the opportunity to spy on her husband and other Embassy staff for the cause close to her heart she sets herself on a path that she hopes her brother would have been proud of. But who is really betraying who?
The Diplomat’s Wife moves between the 1930s and 1979 as we learn more about Emma’s background story and how her grandson learns about her past and the truths left hidden for so many years as they drive around Europe together.
It’s a beautifully written book, with plenty of twists and turns to keep you interested from one chapter to the next. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading the story and was totally absorbed in the characters and the story they unravelled.
I’ve included my Amazon Affiliate link (I do earn from qualifying purchases) below for your reference. You won’t be disappointed with this novel.