Friday, June 16, 2017

Book Review: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

The Alice Network
By Kate Quinn
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Source: Publisher
In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.

1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie's parents banish her to Europe to have her "little problem" taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.

1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she's recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she's trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the "Queen of Spies", who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy's nose.

Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn't heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth matter where it leads.

If you've been following me for awhile, then you know that I love my contemporary romances. While I love movies that follow WWI and WWII stories like Captain America, The Imitation Game, and Wonder Woman, I never gravitate towards those kind of books. When I read the synopsis for The Alice Network, though, I was very intrigued by the story of a WWI spy and I couldn't resist picking it up.

Eve Gardiner and Charlie St. Clair could not be more different in 1947. Charlie is single and pregnant and trying to hunt down her missing cousin Rose. Eve is a crazy, drunk old lady who may be Charlie's only chance at finding her cousin. But back in 1915, Eve was a spy for the Alice Network, working on spying on the Germans in France during WWI. Eve finds herself sharing her life story with Charlie and they both embark on a journey to discover truths neither of them may be ready for.

Normally I'm skeptical about books that alternate stories/timelines because I'm scared I'll spend my time liking one more and just making it through half the chapters of the book. In this case, I absolutely loved both Charlie and Eve's stories when they were young and could not get enough of their stories. With Eve's chapters in 1915, I loved watching her become a spy and deal with the fear that she could be discovered at any moment. When Eve was older, it was so fascinating seeing how the author wove together facts that were revealed in 1947, only for us to read about them in realtime in the past chapters.

While it may sound super cool to be a spy during WWI, I loved how the dangers and the dark side of spying was portrayed in Eve's story in 1915. Those dangers kept me on the edge of my seat and I was feeling scared for Eve while she gave so much of herself to prove she was a strong woman who was capable of making a difference. I loved how empowering these women were and how they tried to show how they were able, strong women in a time where women didn't have many rights or respect.

Overall, I surprisingly LOVED this book! I could not put it down and I loved how it showed two different points of two different women's lives. Eve and Charlie were fascinating and I loved following their stories. If you want an intriguing, addicting historical novel that revolves around WWI and the aftermath of WWII, you have to pick up The Alice Network.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds fantastic. I'm a huge fan of historical fiction, and this sounds right up my alley. I also like that the author was realistic in depicting the dangers of spying. Great review, thanks for sharing!


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