Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn


     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.

My Thoughts:

     Oh this book! I want to just sit here and write “Read this!” and have that be my whole review.  There is really nothing else for me to say other than I loved it and I am so glad that I read it.  I love a good World War historical fiction and this book dealt with both wars but mostly WWI.  I also adore a good strong female character and Ms. Quinn has written a beautiful story lousy with Girl Power! 
     Charlie St. Clair is young and smart but living in a time where girls aren’t supposed to do anything beyond find a good husband and have babies.  She is not only pregnant and unwed but she is also mourning and searching for her lost cousin, Rose.  In the midst of her search for her cousin, Charlie comes across Eve Gardiner and begs her to help with the quest.  Eve is, on her good days, disagreeable and a drunk.  What happens when these two are forced together is an amazing story full of laughter and tears that takes you all across France. 
     I love that Kate Quinn went back and forth between Charlie’s search post-WWII and Eve’s work during WWI and how seamlessly she did all of it.  Loosely based on fact (there really was an Alice Network) this is one of the best historical fiction stories I have ever read.  If you enjoyed Kristen Hannah’s The Nightingale, you will love The Alice Network.   5/5 stars

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