For its October meeting, the NPC Book club has selected Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn. This is the second book by Quinn that the club has reviewed. The first book was The Rose Code, which told the story of female codebreakers for England during World War II. Quinn is known for finding previously overlooked stories of important women in history and creating a fictional world with them at the center.
Diamond Eye is also set in World War II and is based on a true story. In 1937 in the snowbound city of Kiev (now known as Kyiv) in Ukraine, 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 and becomes a lethal hunter of Nazis known as Lady Death. When news of her 300th kill makes her a national heroine, Mila finds herself torn from the battlefields of the eastern front and sent to America on a goodwill tour.
Still reeling from war wounds and loss, Mila finds herself isolated and lonely in Washington, DC until an unexpected friendship with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and an even more unexpected connection with a 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.
Will you have a harder time than usual getting through this book given the current events unfolding in Ukraine? Possibly, but the book is a testament to the loss and destruction the people of Ukraine have endured in the past and unfortunately continue to endure.
The October book club meeting is on the 11th at 7 p.m. via Zoom. To join, please contact Gwen Aumann (email@example.com) for the link. All are welcome on the call, even if you have not finished the book. It’s a very friendly group that welcomes suggestions for future reading.