Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Review: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Title: The Alice Network
Author: Kate Quinn
Published: June 2017, William Morrow Paperbacks
Format: ARC Paperback, 503 pages
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 ...no matter where it leads.

My thoughts: This is the first book I've read by Kate Quinn, but as soon as I read the summary of the book, I knew I wanted to read it. I love reading books about the wars, especially about the roles that females took and this one sounded right up my alley!

I loved the way this story unfolded and I loved the characters. Right from the start, I found myself completely swept up in this tale. I have to admit, I am totally intrigued by the idea of female spies during the war - it makes me wonder if I would have been brave enough to even consider taking on this type of role.

The characters in this book just come alive on these pages. I found myself equally entranced with both stories - something that doesn't always happen when you have dual narratives. But in this case, I was desperate to know both gals' stories and each time the story would flip to the other time period, I was both excited and bummed - I wanted more of each. But, in a way, each part seemed to enhance the other.

It was interesting the way the details in this book were revealed. The present, that of the 1947 storyline, was where we got Charlie's story and that of Eve's story as an older adult. The past, that of 1915, was where we got Eve's story when she became a spy. We see her bravery at this and yet, we also see the fear of becoming discovered that she dealt with on an almost daily basis. I loved how bits and pieces of the whole picture were slowly revealed - first in the present and then we would see how it came to be when we switched back to the past chapters. This was quite a clever way to tell the story! And a way to keep you engaged and invested in both timelines.

The writing in this book is so vivid, so beautiful. The characters are richly drawn, complex and very realistic. Each has their own personality, flaws and all, and that made for such a rich reading experience. This is such an addictive, intriguing read! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will definitely not be forgetting this one anytime soon!!!


4 comments:

  1. Hi Kristin, this looks like a goodie. Please bring this over to Books You Loved: August so everyone can see it. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

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  2. I added it to my wishlist but I doubt I'll find it soon! sounds so good. Thanks for the review.

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  3. This has been on my TBR since I first heard of it because of the blurb but I've never read anything by this author. I'm glad to see you really enjoyed it!

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