The Alice Network

The Alice Network

Book - 2017
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"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" taken 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"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY :, William Morrow,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ♭2017
ISBN: 9780062654199
0062654195
Characteristics: 503, 14 pages :,map

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c
cknightkc
Sep 17, 2018

With themes of loyalty, friendship, courage, peril, betrayal, hardship, endurance, revenge, love, and redemption - THE ALICE NETWORK has it all. It will appeal to fans of historical fiction, in addition to providing endless topics of discussion for book groups. While THE ALICE NETWORK is far from perfect, it opened my eyes to this little-known piece of history. This is the biggest reason I give it 3.5 stars. After finishing the book I highly recommend reading the Author’s Note, where Kate Quinn clarifies which people and events from the story were real and which were fiction. Additionally she offers an interesting insight into what influenced her to portray a main character in a certain way. Warning: This book contains scenes of violence that may not be suitable for some readers.

I thought the book was fine. Nothing spectacular, but worth reading before bed. While Eve is an interesting and well-developed character, Charlie is another story altogether. She is not only a character ahead of her time, but quite literally a Gen Yer growing up in the 1940s which made her voice and perspective distracting and unbelievable. The story of Eve and the other women of the Alice Network was enjoyable, but I'd be consistently disappointed when next chapter meant I had to go back to Charlie. Charlie's plotline seemed like it was written after Eve's story to extend what should have been a novella into a saleable novel by manufacturing a nifty device [two novels merging together] and a flashy Hollywood-style resolution. If only the novel was as delightful as Lili's morally questionable hats.

f
FabulouslyWeird
Aug 12, 2018

I really loved this book. In general I love historical fiction because it gives us another perspective of or within historical events that bring the history more to life. Through two wonderful characters Charlotte St.Clair and Eve Gardiner we get glimpses into both world wars and their ramifications; they culminate at the end beautifully existing in the same time and place. Through the horror comes sadness, and from the sadness comes hearts filled with happiness. The author also includes some great further reading suggestions related to the topics covered in the book for further reading. This book peeked my interest in a new way as through history it was just mentioned the female element of the wars but the espionage was overlooked as women were suggested to be nothing more than nurses. I will be checking out the other books mentioned in the further reading.

This is going to be one book that I will reread many times and purchase.

a
AspenJules
Aug 09, 2018

I, like some other readers, did not finish this book due to the violent and depressing aspects of the story. I did, however, find the idea and parts of the story line intriguing. I was unaware of the use of female spies in the great war, and was impressed with the account of their ingenuity and bravery. It was a very dark book, however, and just not to my taste at this point in my life. I am sure that many others will enjoy it more than I did. It is well written for evoking a feel for what those times were like, perhaps a little too realistically for me.

5
5253380KC
Aug 05, 2018

From Colleen Schwarz. WWI female spies working for Germany

v
valeriaedwards
Jul 17, 2018

Mercy, I didn't finish this book, either. I'm getting rather bad about checking out a book and not finishing it if it doesn't grab my attention very quickly. This book almost seemed to be Youth fiction, something about a pregnant American girl at the beginning of WWII being shipped to England by her family to hide her "problem". I just couldn't get into it, and I noticed others had it on hold, so I checked it back in. Good luck to them, I hope they enjoy it more than I did.

p
peachmcd
Jun 23, 2018

Couldn't stop reading this book. The heroines are all flawed, but their human weaknesses make their courage shine all the brighter. The author does an excellent job of enabling people who haven't experienced life under occupation to comprehend how frightening and oppressive everyday life becomes & let this be a warning to all who think it couldn't happen again. The villain is so awful it's difficult to read at times (serious triggers! Cuidad!) but that makes his comeuppance all the more satisfying. Definitely looking forward to reading other works by this author.

a
Albardal
Jun 21, 2018

This is EXACTLY my type of book! It's set during the world wars, has a bit of romance, and features women defying society's expectations. I loved every minute of it.

n
newdog
Jun 05, 2018

***Caution: If you find graphic violence to disturbing to read, as I do, you do NOT want to read this book.

Even though I did not read very far into this book, as I find graphic violence far too disturbing, I'm giving this book 4 stars. Why? Because what I read was an excellently written period piece that drew me in from the very 1st sentence. Unfortunately, I had no idea what the true detailed nature of the story was, or I would never have even began to read the book. That being said, if there was ever a censored version (written without the graphic details of violence in the spy world) of the book released, I wouldn't hesitate to read it as the storyline was extremely good and exciting.

t
talk2terih
May 28, 2018

The first 50 years of the 20th century were not known for being a heyday for feminism, but taking advantage of economies turned upside down by all-encompassibg wars, some women found an opportunity to experience deeper, more meaningful, daily lives.

This story brings us two such women, one a WWI spy and the other a teenaged unwed mother who walks away from her parents plans to get her a Swiss abortion and forges ahead to find a life of her own choosing.

Meeting almost by chance they team up to right a war-time wrong, accompanied by a Scottish WWII veteran struggling with a then-unknown case of PTSD. Traveling through France uncovering clues, the threesome become close and learn to trust and depend on one another.

I won't spoil the ending (much). Suffice it to say it is as perfect as a bonbon au chocolat.

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c
cknightkc
Sep 17, 2018

“There are two kinds of flowers when it comes to women,” Eve said. “The kind that sit safe in a beautiful vase, or the kind that survive in any conditions . . . even in evil. Lili was the latter. Which are you?” - p. 336

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