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The Alice Network: A Novel by Kate Quinn

The Alice Network: A Novel (edition 2017)

by Kate Quinn (Author)

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1,580987,256 (4.03)112
"It's 1947 and 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 fervent belief that her beloved French cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive somewhere. So when Charlie's family banishes her to Europe to have her "little problem" take care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister. In 1915, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance to serve when she's recruited to work as a spy for the English. Sent into enemy-occupied France during The Great War, 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 launching them both on a mission to find the truth ...no matter where it leads"--… (more)
Title:The Alice Network: A Novel
Authors:Kate Quinn (Author)
Info:William Morrow Paperbacks (2017), Edition: First Edition, 560 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Alice Network by Kate Quinn



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Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Thank you to LibraryThing and William Morrow for the free copy of The Alice Network to read and review. The opinions given are mine and mine alone. I read this book earlier this year and absolutely loved it. I am a sucker for a good historical fiction and I felt like this one was a step above. The characters were absolutely well rounded and real and I was fully engaged until the very last page. I enjoyed that this book was not only about WWII, but also WWI (which I don't seem to see as much of). The story is told in dual timelines fluctuating between 1915 and 1947. I thought the author did a great job in toggling between these two eras. I was fascinated by both timelines and enjoyed the suspense, intrigue and heartwarming (and heartbreaking) stories that came to life. I definitely would recommend this book and look forward to reading more from this author. ( )
  Detrick | Oct 8, 2019 |
Interesting WWI and WWII story about female spies. I enjoyed the story and history but found the story lines of the main characters very predictable. ( )
  andsoitgoes | Oct 1, 2019 |
Moving back and forth in time between WWI and just after WWII, the Alice Network tells of Eve's experiences as a spy in German-occupied France and Charlie's enlistment of Eve's help to find her cousin Rose who went missing during the second war. Eve was damaged physically, mentally and emotionally by performing her loyal service to her country and is consumed by desire for revenge against the man who did most of the damage. Charlie is also trying to figure out who she is as a woman during a time that's willing to allow women a little more agency than when Eve was young, but not much.
The novel is also moderately historically accurate in it's portrayal of the exploits of two real-life female spies, Louise de Bettignies a.k.a Alice DuBois and Marie-Léonie Vanhoutte, a.k.a. Charlotte Lameron.
I very much enjoyed reading about these remarkable women and learning more about the time period. My book club found it very engaging as well. ( )
  EmScape | Sep 29, 2019 |
Two stories entwined. I loved Eve’s WWI strand of the story but. The 1947 story of Charlie’s got annoying after a while. I wanted more info on the Alice Network. ( )
  Reyesk9 | Sep 23, 2019 |
Sharp and tense, occasionally horrifying, occasionally heartbreaking yet ultimately hopeful, and oh, do I have lots of thoughts and feelings about this book!

In 1947, Charlie St. Clair, a college student from New York, takes advantage of a trip across the Atlantic to look for her cousin Rose, who disappeared in France during the war. The first person she turns to, Eve Gardiner, turns out to be cranky foul-mouthed and drunk -- but Eve unexpectedly agrees to help. The book alternates between Charlie in 1947 and Eve’s experiences in 1915, working as spy in France. I love how the two storylines fit together, occasionally echoing each other with themes and variations. Those echoes explain why Eve agrees to help Charlie and why Charlie, as she learns more about Eve and her scars, comes to care about Eve.

I love how this is about fierce, difficult, unconventional, broken, women and how so much of the story is driven by their relationships.

I also liked Charlie’s habit of thinking in terms of mathematical equations, and Eve’s Scottish driver. (The narrator does an excellent job with all the accents -- to my surprise, as I didn’t find her narration of another book all that memorable.)

There are a couple of scenes I found very hard to listen to -- although I am glad there weren’t any more of them. And switching back and forth between Charlie and Eve made some of the intense parts more bearable.

I have to say, I wish there wasn’t quite so much detail of Eve’s relationship with a man who seduces her. His significance to Eve’s story would still have been apparent, as would his true character (he thinks his employee is 17 year old, ignorant, friendless, desperate for work) and the terror of Eve’s situation (she has the skills and resources of a spy, she isn’t who he thinks she is, but she’s still so very vulnerable). I wanted less of him and more time given to Eve friends in the Alice Network, who are -- arguably -- just as important.

Yet in spite of that, even though fell short (of my idea) of perfection, even though it made me uncomfortable at times, I appreciated that it balanced out darkness with hope, and I found myself captivated by this story. Even after I had finished it. It’s stuck with me.

I’d been so focused on getting here, I hadn’t thought how exactly I should begin. Two girls times eleven summers, divided by one ocean and one war... ( )
  Herenya | Sep 19, 2019 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kate Quinnprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lyons, ElsieCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maarleveld, SaskiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my mother,

the first reader, the first critic, the first fan

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The first person I met in England was a hallucination.
I remember my father exhaling contentedly over the newspapers after VE-Day, saying, "Excellent, now it can all go back to the way it was." As if roofs and buildings and shattered windows just leaped back into wholeness the day after peace was declared.
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