#ReadWithMC Reviews 'The Diamond Eye'

'I cannot stress enough—go pick up this book even if it doesn’t seem like your thing!'

The Diamond Eye book by Kate Quinn
(Image credit: William Morrow & Dey Street/HarperCollinsPublishers)

This month, we learned about Mila Pavlichenko, the real-life Ukrainian girl who turned into one of World War II's deadliest snipers. Kate Quinn's newest historical novel The Diamond Eye tells a story from eight decades ago—but it's so relevant we choose it as our April #ReadWithMC pick. 

Quinn is known for digging up previously overlooked stories of important women in history and creating a fictional world with them at the center. Some reviewers think The Diamond Eye is her most captivating story yet. As @k2reader says, "This is the 4th book I've read by Kate Quinn and I fall more in love with her writing every time. This was a highly anticipated read this year and it did not disappoint... Mila Pavlichenko is one of the most bad-a** characters I've ever read about and yet she's a real person and I love that Kate gave us her story."

#ReadWithMC is not only a wonderful community of book lovers—we also created it as a way to gather authentic reviews and recommendations for readers looking for their next book to dive into. Here's what everyone is saying about The Diamond Eye:


"Historical fiction is not usually something that appeals to me, but there are some authors that are so talented it really doesn’t matter if they write outside of my normal reading comfort zone. Kate Quinn is absolutely one of those authors (she actually has me questioning if historical fiction is actually my favorite genre after reading this one) and The Diamond Eye was no exception.

This book follows a female Russian sniper during the beginning of their invasion during WWII. It was an absolute pleasure getting to know Lyudmila’s story through Kate Quinn's lens.

This book was utter perfection and certainly my favorite read of 2022 to date. I cannot stress enough—go pick up this book even if it doesn’t seem like your thing! You’ll thank me later."

-@nikkimariereads

A post shared by Nikki Marie (@nikkimariereads) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

"The Diamond Eye is beautiful, suspenseful, heartbreaking and inspiring.

Told in two timelines, starting with Mila Pavlichenko's story from student in the library to sharpshooter on the battlefield, as well as Mila's press tour in Washington DC. Both were incredibly engaging, and I enjoyed the snippets from Mila's official and unofficial memoirs, which were unique ways to start chapters. I loved how Kate Quinn showcases how Mila navigates love, loss and leadership. I looked forward to finding out how much was inspired by true events and what was fictionalized for the book and the author's note did not disappoint.

Did I have a harder time than usual getting through this given the current events unfolding in Ukraine? Absolutely. However, that did not play into my review at all. The book is a testament to the loss and destruction the individuals of this region have and unfortunately continue to endure.

The audiobook is narrated by Saskia Maarleveld, who brings a fiery Mila to life. She was incredibly moving, I had to wipe my tears away listening to this waiting for my daughter to finish dance class."

-@stacys.shelf

A post shared by Stacy D (@stacys.shelf) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

"I love Kate Quinn and her dedication to writing about lesser-known women in history who made huge impacts and saved lives. In The Diamond Eye Quinn introduces us to Lyudmila “Mila” Pavlichenko and her sniper skills for the Russian forces during WWII.

What appealed to you the most in this story?

Mila’s life as a whole is beyond words. Quinn really brought her story to life, and never lost track of her humanity throughout, and Mila played so many roles: single mother, sniper, lover, leader, educator, and role model. She literally risked and sacrificed everything in order to protect her family and country.

Also, I am a huge fan of Eleanor Roosevelt, and I loved getting to read her journal entries, her influences, and her friendship with Mila. It was also fun to get to see more of a personal side to her life with the President.

How was the research?

Hands down amazing! I’m completely speechless and humbled by all the research and heart Quinn put into this story. Meticulous does not even begin to cover it. I was so enthralled with the action-packed moments and new settings. I even found myself on Google several times just wanting to learn more. To say that Quinn captured my interests with her spot-on details and atmospheric writing during the intense battles is an understatement, and the author’s notes at the end brought the story to life even more. There were even pictures and maps to go along with the reading!"

-@andrea.c.lowry.reads

"This is the 4th book I've read by Kate Quinn and I fall more in love with her writing every time. This was a highly anticipated read this year and it did not disappoint. And true story—I've already read this one twice now...it's that good!⁣

I absolutely loved this one. Mila Pavlichenko is one of the most bad-a** characters I've ever read about and yet she's a real person and I love that Kate gave us her story. I've read a lot of historical fiction, especially WWII books & don't remember her name coming up. And I especially loved the friendship she developed with Eleanor Roosevelt during a Goodwill tour to the USA. That was probably my favorite part of the whole book, the scenes between the two of them."

-@k2reader

A post shared by Kristin | Always With a Book (@k2reader) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Kate Storey is a contributing editor at Marie Claire and writer-at-large at Esquire magazine, where she covers culture and politics. Kate's writing has appeared in ELLE, Harper's BAZAAR, Town & Country, and Cosmopolitan, and her first book comes out in summer 2023.