Cover Image: A Woman of Intelligence

A Woman of Intelligence

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Member Reviews

A WOMAN OF INTELLIGENCE, by Karin Tanabe, started out really good, slowly progressing into an intriguing plot with interesting characters I wanted to know more about—how their paths intertwine, as the reader, eagerly waiting to partake in this Historical Mystery-Thriller. 

 However, as I ventured towards the end of the book, the lead-to felt nothing like a Thriller, seeped in some Mystery, but unfortunately not enough to sustain me to the end—resulting in a DNF for me at eighty-four percent. 

Thank you, NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press, for providing me with an eBook of A WOMAN OF INTELLIGENCE at the request of an honest review.
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Due to a family illness, and unexpected events, I am very far behind in writing my reviews.I found my self reading one book after another without writing the review -- that was a big mistake. I did enjoy this book very much. I happily give it 5 stars.
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I can completely relate to what life must have been like for Mrs. Katharina Edgeworth. Not so much to the being rich part, but definitely to the part about being a slave to two children who are obviously taking more than they are giving back at this point. From the outside her life is quite enviable: living on Fifth Avenue, in a huge apartment with basically endless financial resources and the status of being married to arguably the most successful children’s surgeon in New York. However, beneath the surface is a modern woman stuck in a rigid social class that still believes that women should be at home with the children. For a woman who ha a masters degree and used to work at the United Nations, speaking baby talk and cleaning up spit up is just as fulfilling as her husband hopes it is.Following a particularly rough day, Katharina meets a FBI agent who wants her to take on the secret mission of spying on a communist ring centered around a former classmate from her years at Columbia. Feeling trapped, Katharina accepts the mission, and In so doing it leads her down a path of questioning her entire life and her role in it. This is a story of a woman who became someone else and in the process figured out who she really was. A charming tale of life in a different time, when women stayed home with the children and the biggest threat the world faced was the “red menace” of communist Russia. I thoroughly enjoyed this engaging story, and look forward to reading more from Karin Tanabe. Review posted to Goodreads, Litsy, Facebook, Instagram, LibraryThing, and Amazon.
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Unfortunately, I wasn't a fan of this book.  I understand that women in this time period were "supposed" to be happy raising children and taking care of their house, but it was often stifling, but suddenly switching from that role to working for the FBI without her husband suspecting anything was a stretch.  A big one.  And the protagonist wasn't likeable or relatable.  I just wasn't a big fan.
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I really liked the main character in this book. I haven't read a lot of historical fiction that talks about life after the war when women left jobs and raised families. I liked this take of her marrying into a rich family, but still missing the thrill of working for the UN. 

This was the first book I've read from Karin Tanabe and I have added some of her other books to my to be read list. I really liked her writing and enjoyed this book. I would suggest this book for historical fiction fans.
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Sit back and enjoy the ride in this classic spy thriller.
I loved it!!
The setting is very original. 1954 is not a common timeframe for authors to explore. So i really appreciated the originality.
This is a great book!
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an arc in exchange for my honest review.
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A Woman of Intelligence
Karin Tanabe

I have finally read a Karin Tanabe book and I am now a huge fan of her writing. Tanabe is a master writer of the historical fiction genre – I was immersed into the story and even had my heart palpitating for this historical mystery/thriller read. I found the plot and story line intriguing and very exciting. 

The story is set in the 1950’s and is centered around Katharina Edgeworth, a daughter of immigrants who speaks four languages, a translator for the United Nations, and a graduate from Columbia. Now, Katharina is a wife and a mother, married to a prominent and handsome pediatric surgeon and heir to a shipping magnate, with two sons, and a Fifth Avenue address. 

Being a trophy wife is not what Katharina envisioned for her life, so when approached by the FBI to become and informant, she felt this as a calling in bringing her back to a life of purpose and importance. Katharina was not your typical 1950’s woman whose goal in life is to marry, have children and run a household – no matter how comfortable. 

This was definitely a book I enjoyed that engrossed and captivated me. I highly recommend this one. If you enjoy historical fiction, try this one out set during the Cold War period a nice diversion from the usual WWII fiction.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book!  While initially it seemed the book would be about espionage and the awesomeness that comes along with it, it’s actually a story about finding yourself again.  The author did a great job of highlighting the loss of self that often accompanies motherhood-your identity becomes your children, your parenting, and the ability to hold it all together when it feels like everything is falling apart.  Katherina’s situation is high on my list of why I chose to remain child-free in life-I see this happen time and time again.   I really enjoyed watching Katherina’s taking back of her sense of self, and admired her courage in doing so.  I was able to enjoy the audio edition, and the narrator  did a wonderful job bringing life and depth to the characters. In particular, she gave Katherina’s sense of frustration a powerful voice.  If you are looking for a book to give you inspiration to do something empowering, then this is the book for you!  Thank you to netgalley, St. Martin’s Press, and Macmillian Audio for the advanced egalley and audio galley editions of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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3.5/4 stars. Katharina, or Rina for short, seems to have it all from the outside. On the inside, she’s a 1950s housewife raising two small boys with essentially no help from her surgeon husband. Feeling lonely and overwhelmed by what her life is now, she’s desperate to find her old fun loving self again. Enter a Cold War espionage ring with the FBI, Russian agents all while trying to keep her life and marriage together. 

A fun, if not long, read.
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I adored getting lost in Katharina (Rina)'s world, if only for the few days it took me to devour this book. Rina is a typical 1950s mother and housewife, except she's not. She married late (for that era) and had a career at NYC's City Hall and at the United Nations. She is smart and witty, and after motherhood happened, got a little lost in the 1950s existence that was prioritized by her husband Tom, his wealthy family, and society as a whole. She loves her children but misses herself...and I totally get that. Fortunately she's contacted by an FBI agent and is whirled into a KGB spy role involving a former boyfriend from grad school. This work of historical fiction is just so good - both for the spy story as well as the way Rina processes her role as a person as well as "just" a wife and mother. I know I loved this book even more due to the pull Rina felt between her old and new life, but I could see some readers being disappointed by that aspect of the story.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free advanced ebook copy. All opinions are my own.
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I loved this book. It is the story of Katharina, daughter of immigrants, highly educated. Katharina is also very versatile in languages, as she speaks four. She works as a translator in Manhattan. Nothing more and nothing less than in the new organization called the United Nations. However, the government talks to her to carry out a mission. Katharina is interested in joining as a man she knows is a Soviet spy. It is a book that caught my attention because Katharina is a character who seeks to solve problems. I like that she always had a learning attitude towards languages. Also, it is interesting that the story takes place during the time the United Nations was a recently founded organization. Without a doubt, an entertaining book. I thank NetGalley and St Martin's Press for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
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Lately my historical fiction reading has mainly centered around either World War I or World War II, so this one is a little different in that it takes place after the second world war, in 1954.

The main character, the woman of intelligence, is Katherine Edgweworth.

On the surface, she has the perfect life. A pediatric surgeon husband, with wealthy in-laws, a fancy place on fifth avenue and two healthy sons.

However, Katherine misses her old life and her old friends. She speaks four languages and had an exciting job at the United Nations. She misses feeling challenged, going out, having adult conversations.

She is approached by the FBI to help in the fight against communism. This is the thrill she has been waiting for, finally something to do with her life other than chase after her sons.

This was an enjoyable book. It showed America’s obsession with fighting communism and how women in the 50’s were treated. A little slice of America in the 50’s.
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Karin Tanabe is a master of historical fiction. She adds enough detail so you immerse yourself in the characters' world, and learn some historical facts, but more importantly you really care about the characters. Katharina is a bright and witty polyglot who enjoyed college and work in the 40s, only to find herself stifled by domestic life in the 50s, when she is a young mother with little emotional support from her husband or friends. What's a gal to do? Become a spy, of course. Or rather, one simple intelligence task leads her into a situation that is anything but simple.

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to review a temporary digital ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.
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DNF -I do not rate books that I do not finish. (Only starred to publish.)

I put this book down twice and just did not care to pick it up again and continue.
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An electrifying historical novel by the queen of historical novels. This book covers a myriad of unexpected plot twists involving multiple characters. Katherina, an Ivy League multilingual graduate, gets a job as a translator at the newly formed United Nations-a job she loves. She subsequently meets and marries her Uber rich husband Tom, himself a very successful pediatric surgeon, who only wants a “normal” marriage complete with 2 children and Rina is forced to give up her job to be a stay at home mom. This proves to be unsatisfying and she longs for the opportunity to use her intelligence and abilities to bring back the excitement she longs for and needs to feel fulfilled. In so doing she gets involved in espionage operations and meets many people whose lives could be at risk including her own. Suffice it to say I loved every aspect of this book-the feelings described, the action and danger she undertook-I highly recommend it.
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The novel is set in 1954 New York City and stars Katharina, a daughter of immigrants, well educated, and speaking 4 languages.

After her marriage to Tom, a Chief of pediatric surgery who consistently prioritizes his hospital work over his wife and small sons, Rina feels trapped.

She ends up, without her husband's knowledge, working for the FBI - after all, Rina is a 'woman of intelligence'.
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Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an E-Galley in exchange for an honest review.  I did not enjoy this book like I thought I would.  I was under the impression it was more about spying but this book is about family life and relationships within the family.  This book was not for me.  There are others I'm sure that will love it.
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I do not think A Woman of Intelligence by Karin Tanabe was for me. I am sure many other readers would enjoy it, but I give it to be two stars.
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Such a great story of a woman gaining her independence back. Pick this one up for all of your friends who love historical fiction. So many twists and turns!!
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An exciting adventure. An interesting story about spies, motherhood and trust. This might seem like two different books to yoh but its not. Its the novel right here.. I found myself reading between working, on my breaks and well into the night. 
Such a great novel that deserves all the praise.
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