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Jennifer Steil Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Ambassador's Wife (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Exile Music (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Woman Who Fell from the Sky: An American Journalist In Yemen (2010)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Jennifer Steil
Jennifer Florence Steil is a journalist and author. She was born November 18, 1968 in Boston, and grew up in Groton, Massachusetts.

In the year 1990, she graduated from Oberlin College with a BA in Theater. In the year 1996, she got her MFA in Creative Writing/Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College.

After college, she spent four years working in Seattle as an actor before she moved to New York City for graduate school.

Jennifer has worked as a writer, reporter, and editor for magazines and newspapers since the year 1997. In the year 2001, she helped launch The Week magazine in the US, working there for five and a half years, writing the travel, science, theater, health, and art.

She worked as editor-in-chief of the Yemen Observer in Sana’a Yemen, which she wrote about in her memoir “The Woman Who Fell From the Sky”. Elle awarded it the magazine’s Readers’ Prize in August that year. It also got favorable reviews in Sydney Morning Herald, The New York Times, and Newsweek magazine, as well as others. It was listed among recommended reading by National Geographic Traveler.

While writing “Exile Music”, she found a lot of research, and felt along the way that even if she researched it until she was one hundred, she would still feel as though she hadn’t done quite enough. Jennifer felt that after a certain point, she had to quit, since it is a novel and she could use her imagination some.

She is married to the British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Timothy Achille Torlot.

“The Ambassador’s Wife” won the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition in the year 2013 for Best Novel and the 2016 Phillip McMath Post Publication Book Award.

Jennifer’s debut novel, called “The Ambassador’s Wife”, was released in the year 2015. Her work is from the historical and literary fiction genre.

“The Ambassador’s Wife” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2015. When Miranda, a bohemian artist, falls in love with Finn, who is the British ambassador to an Arab country, she finds that she is thrown into a life that she has no preparation for. The couple, along with their toddler daughter live in the stately mansion with their staff to meet each and every need, however, for Miranda even this luxury comes at the loss of freedom.

Miranda is trailed everywhere by bodyguards that keep her safe from the dangers of the country that is ravaged by civil war and required to give up the work that she loves. She finds her world ruined when she gets taken hostage, which is an act of terror with some wide-reaching consequences.

Diplomatic life is much different from the first years Miranda spent in Mazrooq, which she spent painting and mentoring some young Muslim women, showing them to draw in ways that were forbidden in their culture.

Over the novel, Miranda and Finn’s idealism and the secrets that they tried hiding from one another have put them and those that trust them into danger. Miranda grows closer to a kid that shares her captivity, it is unclear that even getting set free would restore the simple happiness that used to be hers and Finn’s.

Jennifer delivers a wonderful novel that has an engaging and, at times, breathtaking plot, some memorable characters, and provides a new view on a culture of women not seen very much. She uses the Arabic language and shows how Miranda navigates through the Islamic world. It is a novel that bursts with innate desire, passion, and one woman’s devotion to her own family.

“Exile Music” is the second stand alone novel and was released in the year 2020. Based on one unexplored side of World War Two history, this novel is the tale of a young Jewish girl whose family flees from urbane and refined Vienna to have safe harbor in the Bolivian mountains.

Orly has a rather idyllic childhood filled with music as a young girl that grows up in Vienna during the 1930s. Her dad plays the viola in the Philharmonic, and her mom is well-regarded as an opera singer. At the same time, her older brother (full of charisma and is much beloved) holds the whole neighborhood in his thrall, and a lot of her wonderful and eccentric extended family live close by. Orly, who is just vaguely aware of Hitler’s rise to power or just how her Jewish heritage is going to define her family’s identity.

Orly spends days immersed playing with Anneliese, her upstairs neighbor and best friend. Together they dream up some vivid and elaborate worlds, where they are able to escape all of the growing tensions all around them.

When the Germans arrive in the year 1938, however, Orly’s quiet life is wrecked. Her older brother flees from Vienna first, and quickly, her dad, her mom, and Orly get refugee visas for La Paz, which is a town high up in the Bolivian Andes. Even while the number of Jewish refugees in the tiny community increases, her family continues to be haunted by all the music that can no longer be their livelihood, and by all the friends and family they were forced to leave behind. As Orly and her dad find their footing up in the mountains, Orly’s mom grows more distant, while harboring a secret that might put their family at risk once more.

Years pass and the war finally ends. Orly has to decide by the end of it all if the adventure and love she has discovered in La Paz be what defines home? Or could the pull from her past in Europe, as well as the piece of her heart she left with her friend Anneliese, be much too strong to ignore?

This novel is a deftly-plotted, fascinating, and well-characterized read. Orly is a charismatic, relatable, and strong protagonist that is able to learn and adapt while she grows and sees life in all of its forms. Her voice is something that pulled readers into the story. Jennifer beautifully balances the sentiments of a girl as told through the eyes of the woman that she becomes.

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