ambassadors wife steil

Read This, Watch That: The Ambassador’s Wife and The Honourable Woman

ambassadors wife steil
The Ambassador’s Wife by Jennifer Steil
Published by Doubleday on July 28th, 2015 
Source: Publisher 
Pages: 400
Buy From IndieBound

After marrying Finn, the British ambassador to Mazrooq, Miranda must adjust to the diplomat lifestyle of large homes, staff members, and bodyguards. Her former artist life left little room for comfort and luxury, as she took risks in teaching Muslim women to paint and draw. Just as she starts to feel comfortable with her role as the ambassador’s wife, Miranda is kidnapped while on a hiking trip, throwing her family’s life into chaos and the women she has helped into ultimate danger.

At 400 pages, The Ambassador’s Wife does feel a bit overlong, particularly toward the beginning, but it is rarely dry. Even in its setup, there is enough tension to keep the pages turning, and by the midpoint the novel truly takes off. By blending Miranda’s past and present, Steil weaves a compelling, suspenseful story about much more than the kidnapping it centers on.

The Honourable Woman – BBC Two (Netflix)

If you’re looking for an amazing TV show that will sweep you up but doesn’t require a multi-season commitment, The Honourable Woman is it. At just eight episodes, the miniseries is quick enough to watch over a weekend, but still packs a total punch (my husband brilliantly dubbed it House of Homeland for its perfect House of Cards/Homeland blend).

Because the show is so compact, it takes a bit of concentration to grasp the plot: British-Israeli businesswoman Nessa Stein (played brilliantly by Maggie Gyllenhaal) has recently taken over her family’s media company, which is focused on bringing peace to the West Bank, but must come face-to-face with the trauma and secrets in her past. Though it comes from a different angle, The Honourable Woman is similar to The Ambassador’s Wife in the ways it explores the role of women in the Middle East—both those from the region and those outside it.

  • Oooh – interesting premise. I wouldn’t have expected that storyline with that cover! And House of Homeland is hilarious!

    • It has much more substance than the cover lets on – I’m not a huge fan of the “back of the woman” covers, but the book is good!

  • Both of these sound good! I may have to check out “An Honorable Woman” once I finish my latest Netflix Binge….

  • I’m sorely disappointed by the lack of steamy McNulty in that trailer. ;)

    The book doesn’t necessarily sound like my bag, but the mini-series looks awesome!

    • Well Maggie’s haircut is SUPER cute in this one. It had me threatening to chop off my locks almost every episode.

  • Both look great. Thanks!!

  • Oh, my gosh…I’m not sure how I missed this show! We watch Netflix ALL THE TIME and I love Maggie Gyllenhaal; I can’t wait to check this out!!

  • Heather

    I love love LOVED The Honourable Woman. I’ve never been a big fan of Maggie Gyllenhaal but my mind was completely changed by her performance in this series. And it was great to see a woman in such a powerful role. I have nothing bad to say about this show.

    I’ve been looking at The Ambassador’s Wife for a while wondering whether to bother with it or not, but it sounds like I should probably give it a try.

    • It’s such an incredible show – I’m glad to see someone else had watched it!

      And I actually enjoyed The Ambassador’s Wife more than I thought I would, so it’s worth a shot!

  • I’ve been thinking about watching The Honorable Woman for a while and you’ve sold me on it. The Ambassador’s Wife also sounds perfect for me. I know a lot of people are over the dual narrative thing, but it never gets old for me :)

  • How the heck did I miss this show?! I loved The Ambassador’s Wife- such a intricate look at a complex world. Great- so much for getting work done. Shannon, you KNOW I have no willpower. Curses!

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