Title: The Alice Network
Author: Kate Quinn
Publisher: William Morrow
Publish Date: June 6, 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction
My Rating: 4/5
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…no matter where it leads.
The story of two women – one a spy during World War I and the other an American socialite. Their lives are intertwined in 1947 while Charlie, the American socialite, looks for her cousin who hasn’t been heard from since World War II. In Charlie’s search for her cousin, she encounters Eve, a woman haunted by her past. The two women go on a mission to find Charlie’s cousin and confront an evil from Eve’s past.
This story is told from two viewpoints and two timelines. The 1915 timeline is about Eve and her days as a spy during World War I. The 1947 timeline is about Charlie and Eve. In 1947, Charlie is nineteen, pregnant, unwed, and unsure about her future, while Eve is a bitter, drunk, and slightly violent woman in her fifties.
Eve’s story was very interesting. She was a spy for The Alice Network in 1915, and was haunted by that past in her later life. Eve was a complex character that never was truly what she appeared to be. A most intriguing character.
Charlie wasn’t as interesting as Eve, but I still enjoyed her story. At first, she appeared timid and insecure, but she grew as her story progressed.
Eve and Charlie both felt real. They had weaknesses and insecurities, but they also had amazing strength and determination.
I loved that Kate Quinn mixed some historical truths in her fictional novel. There really were spies that were part of the Alice network in 1915. Some of the characters were based on real people, but the story and most of the characters were largely created with Quinn’s imagination.
An enjoyable read. Recommended for fans of historical fiction.