Updated: Sep 10, 2021
By Karin Tanabe
An Unhappy Full-time Mother is Recruited as an Undercover Agent by the FBI in this Intriguing Historical Fiction Novel.
1954 New York City. Katharina Edgeworth is Ivy-League educated and speaks four languages. She has the perfect life: two healthy sons, a pediatric surgeon for a husband, and a Fifth Avenue address. But it’s not enough. She misses her job as a translator at the United Nations, where she devoted her days to the promise of world peace.
Katharina is miserable and desperate to escape her domestic life. When she is approached by the FBI and asked to become an informant, she jumps at the chance to do her patriotic duty. A man from her past has become a high-level Soviet spy, but no one has been able to infiltrate his circle. Katharina may be the only one who can. Her husband has no idea that she is now couriering stolen government documents from D.C. to Manhattan. But as several friends she works with die, Katharina worries that both her husband and the Soviets may uncover her secret role.
A WOMAN OF INTELLIGENCE weaves Katharina’s domestic dramas with her adventures as an undercover agent during the post-World War II Red Scare era.
The theme of how a woman can love her husband and children and still want more out of life is still relevant today.
The story is entertaining and intriguing, and author Karin Tanabe’s writing is descriptive. She creates a highly visual story with her descriptions of monuments in Central Park, the streets of D. C., and the glitzy apartment on Fifth Avenue
To be a woman of such intelligence, Katharina’s character was perplexing. She lacked backbone and strength. This educated and multilingual woman becomes a doormat upon the birth of her children. She is overwhelmed by the task of raising children and is incapable of confronting her bully of a husband of her desire to go back to work
Tanabe is the author of six novels, including A Hundred Suns and The Gilded Years. She has written for the Washington Post, the Miami Herald, the Chicago Tribune, and Newsday. She’s a graduate of Vassar College and lives in Washington, D.C.
Narrator Jennifer Jill Araya provides a great performance bringing Katharina to life in the audiobook with an emotional tone and dramatic style. Her ability to differentiate characters is superb.
Thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan Audio for an advance copy of this audiobook.
Published July 20, 2021
Narrated Jennifer Jill Araya