Review of “The Diplomat’s Daughter” by Karin Tanabe

Tanabe, Karin. The Diplomat’s Daughter. New York; Washington Square Press, 2017. ISBN-13: 978-1-5011-1047-4. $16.00 USD. 

4.5 stars

The Diplomat’s Daughter is a moving story that provides more depth to the narrative of racism, ostracism, and persecution during World War II. And while some of this was common knowledge, due to having been taught about it in history classes, I found I learned a lot more with an in-depth look at what happened and its emotional impact on those involved.

Along with the impact of experiencing the atrocities firsthand, I found myself growing personally invested in the relationships Emi had with both Christian and Leo, and wondered how it would all be resolved. And while I found some resolution in that regard, I expected more from the ending, which was building up to a big romantic conclusion, only to end just as the actual romantic reunion is about to occur. While I am aware that this is not necessarily a romance novel, I felt a bit cheated, after having gone through over 400 pages of the characters dealing with constant injustice. While the open-ended ending might work for some, it felt a bit anticlimactic, and I needed more assurance that there really would be a satisfactory ending.

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