The Alice Network

The Alice Network

A Novel

Book - 2017
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Reese Witherspoon Book Club Summer Reading Pick!

One of Amazon's Best Books of June!

One of Goodreads' Best Books of June!

A Summer Book Pick from Good Housekeeping, Parade, Library Journal, Goodreads, Liz and Lisa, and BookBub

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 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

Publisher: New York, NY : William Morrow, 2017.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062654199
Branch Call Number: QUINN K
Characteristics: 503, 14 pages : map ; 21 cm.


From the critics

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Dec 09, 2017

Great read. I enjoyed seeing the character of Charlie grow. The car was a character in itself.

Dec 02, 2017

Certainly an engaging, well-told story even if a bit convoluted in its switching back and forth between the stories of the two heroines. The description of the horrors of war were pretty graphic. I actually found them quite upsetting and had nightmares for 2 nights following. But that's me...

Nov 16, 2017

Excellent book very worth reading.

Nov 13, 2017

What a book! All Hail, Kate Quinn for highlighting this history of female espionage in WWI France. The strength and bravery of these women is inspiring and humbling. Highly recommend.

Nov 04, 2017

Everything a good read should be.

Peril, betrayal, loyalty, revenge, love and deep friendships

Oct 21, 2017

A wonderful book about the brave women who became spies during World War 1.
I agree with the reader who said that the Charlie story line was much weaker than Eve's, but overall this is a Must Read!

Oct 20, 2017

I was anxious to read about women spies in World War 1 as I didn't know there were any. Eve's story was fascinating. Charlie's and Finn's stories were contrived and the romance was unnecessary in this narrative. I am interesting in learning more about the real Alice Network thanks to this book. The first 3/4th of book was compelling. Author's note at the end with historical facts was helpful.

Oct 03, 2017

I don't give many 5-star ratings but I loved this book. Very interesting...lots of never let up. I'll be looking for more books by this author.

Sep 16, 2017

I really liked that it was based (but to what extent?) on a true story. France is a country that hasn't really addressed its dual role in WWII during the Nazi occupation so I am curious to learn more. The writing style wasn't exactly gripping but I could see this becoming a great movie. And it was a bit like Bletchley Park stories--if the Brits, on average, were anything like this and those stories than that was an amazing generation of men and women

GCPL_Angela Sep 01, 2017

Told in alternating chapters switching between the voices of WWI-era Eve and post-WWII Charlie, I'd give this one 3.75 stars if that were possible -- somewhere between "good" and "very good," with the "very good" being Eve's story.

To wit: Eve's chapters are evocative and effective -- at their best, fast-paced and tense, as any good spy story should be. They are also quite grim; the personal toll endured by Eve and her fellow spies is bleak, bleak, bleak, and the tone of the book (at least in Eve's chapters) was darker than I anticipated. That said, I had never before heard of Lousie de Bettignies or the Alice Network, nor given much thought at all to the roll of female spies during the World Wars, and for those reasons alone I think this book is a success in that it sheds light onto the extraordinary sacrifices that were made by those women. Eve is a compelling character, both fierce and formidable, and her journey from innocence to what you might call emotional ruin is intense and affecting. This novel makes clear that the horrors of war are not reserved for the battlefields alone, and the message that heroism can take many forms is an important one.

Now, the not-so-good:

I think that Charlie's chapters are almost entirely unnecessary, much weaker than Eve's, and that the book would have been much stronger and tighter without the dual perspective. As some other reviewers have said, I found myself hurrying through Charlie's comparatively dull chapters to get back to the real action with Eve. The character of Finn in particular seems extraneous (and borderline cliched) to me; the real star here is Eve and her journey and the rest is often a distraction from that.

My verdict: uneven, but worth the read for the Eve sections.

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