A Diplomat’s Diary by Julia Cruger

This another book to receive a new digital edition as part of the Reclaim Her Name campaign, which sees books by female authors which had to be published under male names originally, finally published under the author’s actual name. All of the books vary significantly in style, genre, tone, and quality – A Diplomat’s Diary is one that I enjoyed, but also found lacking in some areas.

The novel is all about a Russian diplomat who keeps a diary, but who intentionally doesn’t write about his political work in case it falls into the wrong hands. Instead, he writes about the people that he meets and, ultimately, about the romances in which he becomes untangled. Something that immediately struck me about this book, was that it was so atmospheric. I was so drawn into the ice cold Russian world of the past, that I just wanted to read more and more.

Unfortunately, I felt that the story never really felt like it lived up to the high standard set by that initial impression. Don’t get me wrong, the author is obviously a very good writer, and it was their writing style that kept me interested throughout. It’s just the actual story never really felt like it was especially interesting or exciting. Even as I read each new chapter, I found I sometimes hadn’t really retained what happened before, because I wasn’t so deeply enticed.

Overall, reading A Diplomat’s Diary was still a positive experience for me. Some actors are good enough that they can make you enjoy even a bad film, and some writers are good enough to make you enjoy even a dull story. It’s not especially long, so it doesn’t outstay its welcome, but let’s just say that I’m glad I got this book for free via Reclaim Her Name, rather than actually paying for it.

Rating: 5.8/10

Buy it here.

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