The Diamond Eye; Kate Quinn
William Morrow and Harper Collins Audio - 2022
(combo - read/listen)
I don't read a lot of historical fiction but, I always seem to enjoy it when I do. I was drawn to this recent release mostly because it was inspired by a true story about a female Russian sniper in WWII. Lydia Mila Mikhailovna, Pavlichenko known as "Lady Death", (Mila) in this story, was credited with killing some 300 Nazis in WWII. She was just 16 years old when her son was born, subsequently divorced and a student of history at a Ukrainian University when she enlisted in the Russian Army and was given a rifle to fight.
This story was a nice blend of fact and fiction and the chilling winter setting in Kiev seemed ideal as well. The storyline gave much insight to what war is like on the frontline. It made it impossible for me not to relate some of what happened in this story to the current ongoing crisis in Ukraine today. I liked how former President Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor were written into The Diamond Eye. Mila came to the US on a goodwill tour and these two strong women were able to forge a lasting friendship. A story featuring strong women is always a bonus for me. Although the storyline felt a bit heavy at times, war never being an easy topic to balance in fiction, this novel did have some lighter moments and even a bit of romance as well. The characters, Mila, her former husband Alexei and her partner Kostia were well crafted as well.
This was a combo read/listen for me. The eGalley was sent to my by the publisher at no cost and the audiobook was downloaded by me from the public library. I thought the audio reader - Saskia Maarleveld did a very good job. I now look forward to trying Quinn's book, The Rose Code soon as well.
Rating - 4/5 stars