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Publisher's Summary

From "a master of historical fiction" (NPR), Karin Tanabe's A Woman of Intelligence is an exhilarating tale of post-war New York City, and one remarkable woman’s journey from the United Nations, to the cloistered drawing rooms of Manhattan society, to the secretive ranks of the FBI.

A Fifth Avenue address, parties at the Plaza, two healthy sons, and the ideal husband: what looks like a perfect life for Katharina Edgeworth is anything but. It’s 1954, and the post-war American dream has become a nightmare.

A born and bred New Yorker, Katharina is the daughter of immigrants, Ivy-League-educated, and speaks four languages. As a single girl in 1940s Manhattan, she is a translator at the newly formed United Nations, devoting her days to her work and the promise of world peace - and her nights to cocktails and the promise of a good time.

Now the wife of a beloved pediatric surgeon and heir to a shipping fortune, Katharina is trapped in a gilded cage, desperate to escape the constraints of domesticity. So when she is approached by the FBI and asked to join their ranks as an informant, Katharina seizes the opportunity. A man from her past has become a high-level Soviet spy, but no one has been able to infiltrate his circle. Enter Katharina, the perfect woman for the job.

Navigating the demands of the FBI and the secrets of the KGB, she becomes a courier, carrying stolen government documents from D.C. to Manhattan. But as those closest to her lose their covers, and their lives, Katharina’s secret soon threatens to ruin her.

With the fast-paced twists of a classic spy thriller, and a nuanced depiction of female experience, A Woman of Intelligence shimmers with intrigue and desire.

A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin's Press

"What a delicious skein of secrets Karin Tanabe has spooled in A Woman of Intelligence...Katharina Edgeworth’s awakening into the gray area of patriotic action is prescient, relevant, and above all, deeply satisfying. I loved diving into this world." (Sarah Blake, New York Times bestselling author of The Guest House)

©2021 Karin Tanabe (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about A Woman of Intelligence

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

not worth reading!

A women's story with contrived characters and plot. I will not waste my time and money by reading anything else by this author. Don't waste your money on this book.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

narration

The story has potential, the historic content added interest. I think reading a hard copy would be a better choice. The narrator - Jennifer Jill Araya - needs to lose the high rising terminal (HRT) at the end of sentences and valley girl inflection - high-pitched panicky, childish voice by the women. The women characters sound stupid with this voice, but they are not.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping Story

I loved this story and the skilled narration. A very clear look at life for women in the early 20th century and the struggle be themselves while meeting the expectationsof society.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Not worth the time

The author has neither a feeling for, nor understanding of, the period about which she writes. The story is written through the lens and sensibilities of a young woman who is utterly 21st century. Thus, the novel rings false in every nuance. The performance is appropriate to the content.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Story description inaccurate - Post-partum only

I am rating this book well because it is a good book for the proper target audience; however, the inaccurate book description led to me listening to this book and I’m not the target audience. This book needs to explain that it’s for women who have overcome or are trying to overcome post-partum depression; that's it - that is the only true target audience for this book. This book goes into excruciating detail about the main character’s dissatisfaction with her life due to having children that she did not really want and developing depression as a result of losing her former life that brought her great joy, fulfillment, and happiness.

This book touches upon the aftermath of WWII and the red scare, but those are just very minor things in the background. The very few details that the author does include about spy work, FBI, etc. are minor, not relevant to the post-partum storyline, and extremely implausible. This is not a book about history - it’s only a feel good book for post-partum women, so hopefully more of these women can read this book and not feel so alone. I’ll go back to my usual war stories that I do enjoy.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Disappointing

I had heard about this book from a newspaper and I really thought it would be interesting, given the title. The woman was indeed well educated but a real push over when it came to her husband. Motherhood sounded like a life sentence. It was only when her mother-in-law spoke honestly to her that she caught on.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

this book is missing something

this book could've been good, a housewife turns secret FBI informant screams potential to me. Sadly though it feels as if there's no climax, 8+ hrs in and there's still no sign of a plot twist, turn of events or moment where you think something exciting is about to happen like the protagonist getting found out. there's no suspense that this type of novel would normally have. and the longer the book goes the less sense some details make (example being how often she sneaks out at 2am with no one noticing she's gone for hours). I had pretty high hopes for this book but honestly its boring considering the premise

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Don't bother

I slogged through the book. The story was not plausible. The narration, especially with other characters, her husband, was terrible. Don't bother.

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  • Christineb
  • 09-06-21

A poor novel

The story was really poor The hardship of motherhood was pathetic the problem seemed to lie with the lousy husband I was infuriated by her submissive behaviour despite the era and as for the alleged espionage that was pathetic