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The Alice Network: A Novel by Kate Quinn

The Alice Network: A Novel

by Kate Quinn

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Historic novel about the exploits of female spies during the world wars, cloaked in a story of an American girl seeking her long lost French cousin who disappeared during the war. It is a bit far-fetched but nonetheless an engaging story. It does portray the women who were involved in espionage . . . who had such strong convictions that they compromised their personal integrity to win the war and defeat the Germans. That's a part of history that has been lost. A pregnant, young woman and an older woman whose role in espionage ruined the rest of her life are the primary characters. There is also a man in the middle. It was easy to root for all of them to find happiness and put their demons to rest.
  bogopea | Oct 9, 2017 |
There's nothing spectacular about this book. It was fine, I didn't hate it, I finished it, but I didn't really get anything out of it. It tells the story of a young woman who is on her way to Switzerland to get an abortion after World War II, and she tries to track down a friend of hers who was last heard from in France during the war. On her search, she runs into an older woman who was a spy in World War I. The older woman is a curmudgeon, so naturally by the end she softens up and the two women become friends.

I suppose that if I hadn't already read a bunch of historical fiction from this time period, I might have found this more interesting, but I didn't think there was anything terribly interesting here.

Slightly spoilery content warning: [spoiler]
In the older woman's backstory, there are extensive descriptions of her sexual relationship with a collaborator she is spying on. The relationship is consensual, in that she is in the relationship of her own choice, but only because she is spying on him: she finds him disgusting, and he is cruel and manipulative. If you find yourself bothered by creepy sexual relationships, you should avoid this book.
[/spoiler] ( )
  Gwendydd | Oct 6, 2017 |
1947: American Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and after the suicide of her war wounded brother, desperately searching for her cousin Rose who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France. She tracks down Eve Gardiner, an unpredictable woman with misshapen hands who drinks hard and waves a Luger around. But Eve is a woman with a past, and she wasn't born with her hands like that. Charlie, Eve and Finn (an ex-soldier suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and employed as Eve's driver), travel from London to France to try and find Rose, and while doing so uncover Eve's heroic story, her thirty-year burden of guilt and the identity of the man who tortured her so brutally. Based on the true Alice Network of female spies that operated during World War I. Stunning. Powerful. Tragic. ( )
  DebbieMcCauley | Oct 5, 2017 |
Loosely based on the true story of a female-run spy network during World War I in France, The Alice Network follows Eve, a young spy working in the network, and Charlie, a woman searching for her beloved cousin shortly after the Second World War. The book flashes back and forth between Eve as a young woman in the network and Eve as an older, broken woman helping Charlie on her quest. Adding to the drama, Charlie is not the upper-class socialite her family tries to force her to be and is running from her own demons. Raising questions of what it means to serve and to save, The Alice Network is a compelling story about the largely overlooked contribution of a daring group of women during the Great War.

Full review: http://lisaannreads.wpengine.com/review-the-alice-network/ ( )
  ImLisaAnn | Oct 4, 2017 |
I had to read the About the Book section to learn that a network of female spies during the Great War was real. It was called the Alice Network and Lili is based on one of those women. The story moves between 1915 and 1947. Eve Gardiner is old after WWII, drunk and swears like a sailor. When a young American woman named Charlotte shows up, searching for her cousin Rose, (who disappeared like so many during WWII) Evelyn reluctantly accompanies her to France, after Charlotte mentions a name from her past. Obviously, it's Eve's story in 1915, but in 1947, really becomes both their stories as the road to Rose leads to difficult memories. Truthfully, it got a little long, but both Eve and Charlie transform into good characters. ( )
  ethel55 | Sep 19, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062654195, Paperback)

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.

“Both funny and heartbreaking, this epic journey of two courageous women is an unforgettable tale of little-known wartime glory and sacrifice. Quinn knocks it out of the park with this spectacular book!”—Stephanie Dray, New York Times bestselling author of America's First Daughter

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 23 Jan 2017 22:12:05 -0500)

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