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The Diplomat's Daughter

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  2,521 ratings  ·  298 reviews
During the turbulent months following the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor, twenty-one-year-old Emi Kato, the daughter of a Japanese diplomat, is locked behind barbed wire in a Texas internment camp. She feels hopeless until she meets handsome young Christian Lange, whose German-born parents were wrongfully arrested for un-American activities. Together, they live as prisoners ...more
Paperback, 451 pages
Published July 11th 2017 by Washington Square Press
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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:Wails and wails:

:Sees she has an audience, composes herself, and starts to speak:

Let me tell you a little story, people.

The day is finally here: the release date of your most anticipated book. You preordered it months ago after reading the synopsis. Said synopsis contained all the plot points you loved. It would be a slam dunk read. It had to be. You hit the preorder button. You wait patiently for release day to arrive, low-key stalking the book’s Goodreads page for reviews.

Then the day comes.
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Karin Tanabe’s “The Diplomat’s Daughter,” outwardly a meditation on love in a time of war, pushes boundaries to reveal a sensitive exploration of three young adults forced into confronting the fragility of a world where, as Yeats once so aptly noted, “the center cannot hold.” Through Emi Kato, the novel’s heroine (and eponymous diplomat’s daughter), we are introduced to separate, but equally harrowing, representations of the decaying human condition: Anti-Semitic Austria, American internment cam ...more
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
I would actually rate this book a 3.5 if I could.

I love historical fiction and have read many books about WWII but this book promised a different aspect of the war that I hadn’t heard about. The author’s note at the beginning of the book states “My Japanese father was three years old when the firebombing of Tokyo and Yokohama occurred in May of 1945. . . . .his first memory was seeing his city on fire. My uncle who was ten remembered more including the swishing sound the napalm made as it hit th
This is my favourite read of this year so far & will probably remain my favourite by the time the year ends. I adored everything about this story & its characters & I cannot wait to write my full length review on my blog.

The Diplomat's Daughter is in part a story of love, but is also a story of hope, tragedy & survival. I read scenes unlike any other I've read before & also learnt things about the war that I did not know before. This book is beautiful in every way & Karin Tanabe has done an incr
Jun 05, 2017 rated it liked it
This story brings lesser known aspects of WWII of German/Japanese internment camp in Crystal City in South Texas; of the FBI right to search any house of German descent since US was at war with Germany. And that’s what happens to Christian’s prominent family. Their house is searched and they are sent to the camp, where he meets Emi, daughter of Japanese diplomat.

The story goes back in time to 1937 Vienna, when Emi’s and Leo’s story is revealed. It touches upon the brewing anti-Semitic movement b
RoseMary Achey
Jan 07, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the story of three young people during WWII. The story is set in a wide variety of locations from an internment camp in the United States to the Japanese countryside and many points in between.

The writing was acceptable, however the characters were extremely stereotypical and flat. There are many books that are set during WWII era. Unfortunately, The Diplomat's Daughter does not rank as one of the best for me.
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
“She watched the world in front of her, the horizon line now impossible to discern, and thought that even when men were trying their best to become monsters, nature refused to give in. What was beyond her couldn’t be easily altered by human stupidity.” ("The Diplomat’s Daughter", Prologue)

At its best, historical fiction transports you to a time and a place where reality and the imaginary co-exist. From the outset, "The Diplomat’s Daughter" by Karin Tanabe did just that. It surprised me how quick
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I have not found many books with stories told from the point of view of Asians and their American experiences. As an Asian American, I am always thrilled to come across a title that incorporates real world Asian perspectives, especially those that can mix in multicultural characters and varied geographical settings. This book manages to do this wonderfully. The experiences are vividly drawn from true accounts, and the global nature of World War II is depicted beautifully in the book.

Where I foun
Patricia Doyle
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
The Diplomat’s Daughter is the story of Emiko Kato, the daughter of a Japanese diplomat and of how she was jostled all over the world because of her father’s job and then because of the war.

It’s the story of Emi’s two true loves, Leo and Christian. Will she end up with Leo; will she end up with Christian?

It’s also a story of WWII history and of how people were treated less than humanely, including internment for Japanese and German Americans and more. Conditions were deplorable.

Unfortunately, th
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Having a long time interest in and a pretty extensive familiarity with Japanese culture and history as well as a fondness for historical fiction the blurb about this book piqued my interest. Unfortunately, for me it was just about equal parts disappointment as it was success. The success was its having taught me about German American internment in the USA, the European Jews living in Shanghai, and the foreign community being placed in Karuizawa Japan during WWII. Not knowing about any of these I ...more
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Emi Kato is the daughter of a Japanese diplomat, moving around the world with her family. Unfortunately, she is caught up in America and sent to an internment camp with her mother. Prior to her American posting, Emi and her family are in Vienna, during the late 1930's, where she falls in love with Leo, a young Jewish man. While in the internment camp, Emi meets Christian, a German-American who also ends up interned when his parents are falsely accused of being pro-Nazi. The story is much more th ...more
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was looking forward to reading this book due to the subject matter. I was hoping it would be thoughtfully addressed in a meaningful and intellectual way. Instead what I got was a lite version of history. It's as if the author created a silly love story and then plugged it into a moment in history that she thought was interesting. It sort of trivializes history, but if you know nothing about this era of history then I suppose it is worth a read. The story flows smoothly, if a bit preposterously ...more
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's difficult to give 5 stars to a book that details the devastation of WWII. This novel intertwines the lives of three people-- one who is a Japanese diplomat's daughter, one who is German American, and one who is an Austrian Jew -- and outlines the utter devastation of the fruit of hatred in Austria, an American internment camp, Shanghai, the Philippines, and a Japanese mountain town. I'll be thinking about this one for a while.
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Interesting story idea, but the dialogue was stilted boilerplate, making it hard to believe in the characters.
I received a copy of this book through netgalley. I thank them, the publisher, and the author for making this book available. My opinions on this book are given freely and not influenced by the receipt of this book.

The story of the Diplomat’s Daughter revolves around three families, The Katos from Japan, the Hartmanns from Austria, and the Langes from the United States. Norio Kato is a Japanese diplomat who travels the world with his family in service to his country. Those travels bring his daug
Romancing the Book
Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, fiction
Reviewed by Danielle U
Book provided by the publisher
Originally posted at Romancing the Book

The Diplomat’s Daughter by Karin Tanabe looked appealing to the eyes as a reader. Even the description of the plot sounded entertaining. But it greatly lacked in that direction. The three main protagonists were dull. Not one of them really made this a great book. The did little to add to the story. Their brief time interacting with each other was the most engaging part. However, they spent the rest of the
Elaine Nickolan
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I truly enjoyed this book. This story is about 3 young people, growing up at a time of uncertainty just before WWII breaks out. One is a young Japanese girl, daughter to a Diplomat from Japan stationed in Washington DC, one is a young man of Jewish heritage in Vienna, and one is a young man born in the USA to German immigrant parents. Their lives come together thru Emi, the young girl who is the lead character in this book. Leo, the young man from Vienna,met and fell in love with Emi while her f ...more
Dawn (& Ron)
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found I very much enjoyed Emi's story, the eponymous main character, and those of her two love interests. Leo, the son of a wealthy Jewish couple in Austria and Christian, a wealthy son of a German couple born and raised in the US. Karen Tanabe managed to keep all three threads of the story relevant and interesting. The reader travels from the Nazi take over of Austria, to America before and after Pearl Harbor, then on to Shanghai, Okinawa, Tokyo and a small town in the mountains of Japan.

Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
FANTASTIC! I feel like I have been through the wringer. I have been reading this for a good seven hours of the day, when I get tense I find my tongue pressed tight against my teeth, I see I will have to shower to relax myself and step away from the vibrancy of war. I think the synopsis does a disservice to this book, it sounds like a romance novel, something I detest, but I was intrigued by the cover and gave it a go.

I don't even know where to begin, the book evolves so deeply you forget the go
Judi Ross
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
3 1/2 rounded up. I read this because I have an opportunity to hear the author speak next month. I have read many historical fiction novels revolving around World War II but I think this is the first that actually takes place mainly in America and in the Pacific. The novel tells the story of three young adults. First we meet Emi, the Japanese teenage daughter of a diplomat. She meets Leo, a wealthy young Austrian Jewish teen. Further along, Emi, back in America meets Christian, the teen son of w ...more
Dec 10, 2018 rated it liked it
The Diplomat's Daughter is a different WWII perspective than I have read in other historical fiction. It is told from the point of view of three young people: a young Japanese woman in an internment camp in the US and then returned to Japan, her Jewish boyfriend from Vienna and her German-American boyfriend also in the internment camp. I was hopeful when I started that this new perspective would hold me while reading about an event well-represented on the shelves of historical fiction. Unfortuna ...more
Katy M
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2020-A book written by a woman of color.

This book was good, but I don't have it in me to write a review right now. Maybe someday if and when I stop being afraid every minute of the day.
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book takes place during WWII, but it encompasses a Japanese girl and a German American boy who are put into an American internment camp. There is a third person in the love triangle, a Jewish boy whose family escapes to Shanghai. I enjoy new perspectives on historic events, and learning about what life was like for those ostracized during the War, even while living in America, was interesting.

The book was a little juvenile in parts, then very graphic in others. It had exciting parts, but m
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Heartbreaking and uplifting! How three young teenagers from diff cultures survived living in America during the war!
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
The main thing I gained from this book: learning about some aspects of history that I should have known about before. My main conversations with others who read this book: "Did you know that...?" with the typical response, "No, I didn't know that, either." (I read this as part of a book club.) There is certainly much to think about and discuss regarding war, imprisonment, propaganda, nationalism, and more.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
I am genuinely disappointed and relieved that I did not buy this book. I had though, waited a long time to get to read this and felt that if so many people were waiting for this book to become available, then maybe it was a good read. Or maybe they just thought the blurb sounded really good like I did and wanted to get stuck in.. - that's more likely it. However, I thought it would be more based along on WWII. I am a little bit of a fan of the history and of the second World War and so fiction a ...more
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
The affects of WWII on Japanese in the US at the time of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. And, what happens to a family who happens to be of German decent. Two families lives are intertwined. They understand each other and problems specific to being the "enemy" in the US. A love storey.
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was just short of 5*
I really enjoyed this book as it takes on several personas as WWII takes over the whole world.
The US government collects all German And Japanese people in Internment Camps as one the darkest chapters opens for America. This story follows three specific people involved in a love triangle. The beautiful daughter of the Japanese Ambassador falls in love with a Jewish boy, Leo while posted in Vienna when Hitler takes over Austria.
Her father spirits Leo and his family
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book because it gave a little different viewpoint from the normal WWII book in that it showed some of the Pacific/Japanese experience. I also found it interesting to show the trials of the German family that was then interned and then sent back to Germany.
nikkia neil
Tghabks Atria Books and netgalley for this ARC.

We travel from the US to Japan with Emi. Emi will win you to hear side with honesty, humor, and a candidness that makes her a unforgeable heroine. The journey thru life is celebrated in this novel. It's not always peaches and cream- and that makes this novel tart and enduring.
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