Martin's Must Reads: 'The Diamond Eye'
“In the summer of 1942, as the world was locked in war against Hitler, a woman crossed the sea from the Soviet Union to the United States. She was a single mother, a graduate student, a library researcher. She was a soldier, a war hero, a sniper with 309 kills to her name. She was Russia’s envoy, America’s sweetheart, and Eleanor Roosevelt’s dear friend. Her story is incredible. Her story is true. Meet Lady Death.”
I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and that’s the introduction to Kate Quinn’s latest historical novel The Diamond Eye.
Mila Pavlichenko is a twenty-six year old single mother when she becomes a sharp shooter for the Red Army during World War II. When her prowess becomes known by the higher powers, they send her to the United States to convince them to help the Russians fight the Germans. It’s while on that tour that Mila becomes friends with Eleanor Roosevelt and also makes use of her highly honed sniper skills.
Quinn used details from Pavichenko’s memoirs to write this gripping story. Some chapters follow her through her year as a sniper: her techniques, her military career and her personal life. Others follow her months as part of the Soviet Delegation to the United States. It’s unique to think about World War II from the Soviet perspective and we don’t often remember that Russia was once an ally of the United States. Quinn’s last sentence in her author’s note reads, “The Diamond Eye is seen through the lens of Soviet blood - one woman’s fight to stanch it’s flow, first with her rifle and then with her voice as she crossed an ocean to bring American steel home to help her countrymen.”
If you’re looking for a novel about a strong woman soldier, then you must read The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn.