The Ambassador’s Wife by Jennifer Steil is a novel about the kidnapping of an American woman in an imagined Arab country. This is a well written book about the way lives are lived in the Middle East, both from westerners’ viewpoints and that of Arab women. Miranda is an American artist who has lived and taught for several years in the fictional country of Mazrooq. She was able to immerse herself in the beauty of this country. Several Arab women began drawing in private with Miranda even though their Muslim religion prohibited this.
Eventually Miranda met and married Finn, the British ambassador to Mazrooq. Her life changes greatly as she conforms somewhat to the restrictions and responsibilities of diplomatic life. Her kidnapping changes both their lives profoundly once again. The secrets that each of them has kept are their personal torments. The choices they are driven to make are courageous acts. How Finn is able to survive with his daughter and the strengths Miranda uses to endure captivity is remarkable.