I love it when historical fiction enlightens me on a place or an event I've been unaware of. I knew nothing about the women who were spies in WWI. This book follows the story of Eve Gardiner who was inducted into the Alice Network, a spy network consisting of women, during WWI. There are two stories being told within the book. One story takes place in 1915 during WWI and other is set in 1947, two years after WWII. Eve Gardiner plays a role in both stories. I was impressed how the author included real characters along with the fictional ones. The author's notes at the end identifies which people in her book were real live heroes.
I did not think the romance that blossomed during the story was necessary. There were also a few times the book could have been edited a bit tighter as it rambled in places. All in all though it was a 4 star read for me!
I love a story that combines fact and fiction and this book does it beautifully.
This is about how Eve, an English spy during WW-1 and Charlie, a precocious American girl in 1947 meet under unusual circumstances! And the odyssey begins.
Eve's story is fascinating, searching for the Nazi collaborator who ruined her, and her need to kill him. Charlie searching for her cousin who disappeared during the occupation of France.
Their stories come together in a satisfactory conclusion, a story that you will remember for a long time.
American author Kate Quinn's new historical novel "The Alice Network", is set in two times - 1915 and 1947 - and the two stories are told in alternating chapters. The first one is told in the third person, while the second is told in the first person. That's a tricky maneuver for the best writer, but Quinn carries off one section quite well, while doing not as well in the other. The first story is about a British spy network - the "Alice Network" -operating in German-occupied northwestern France. Most of the agents were women and they were led by a real character, Louise de Bettignies, whose code name was "Lili". She was joined by fictional British/French Evelyn Gardiner, whose code name was "Marguerite". Marguerite was posted to work in a French collaborator's restaurant in Lille, serving the German diners and picking up tidbits along the way she'd pass to Lili, her British handler.
The second story is set in 1947 and is the story about Evelyn Gardiner - now aged - and Charlotte St Clair - a 19 year old American who has come over to France with her mother to obtain a safe, legal abortion in Switzerland. She meets up with Eve and Eve's chauffeur, a Scot soldier named Finn. They are all looking for something, someone, in post-WW2 France. The second part is definitely the weaker of the two sections. Somehow, Eve - who was drawn really well in the first section - has devolved a bit into a caricature in this section and neither Finn or Charlie seem too real, either. I'm giving the book 4 stars because the first part is 5 star, while the second is 3 star.
By the way, Kate Quinn writes about a real incident that happened in a small town outside of Limoges a few days after the DDay landings in Normandy. The Germans destroyed a village called Oradour-sur-Glane and murdered most of the residents. All told, over 600 people were murdered by a detachment of the Waffin-SS, who were looking for French partisans, supposedly operating out of the village.
While set with a few fictional characters, many were real women heroes in a network of spies in World War I. This combination of historical fact with some fiction makes the book very readable, and interesting. A good balance and a nice read.
Two womenâa 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 1947âare brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.
Story is told in alternating viewpoints of Eve, a spy, and Charlie, American socialite. I found the story to have well-developed characters and an interesting enough to hold my attention until the last page. Both woman showed lots of bravery in their stories which were amazing! I would highly recommend this book to those who like interesting war stories.
One of the best HF books I've read in a long time. Told in alternating chapters the stories of Eve and Charlie (Charlotte) in 1915 and 1947. In 1915 Eve is a spy during WWI in France, part of the famed (and historically true) Alice Network. Charlie meets her in 1947 when she is searching for her French cousin who has been lost since WWII. They are both broken and hurting in different but similar ways - Eve is broken after her experiences in the war with grotesque deformed hands broken during interrogation and is now an old angry drunk; Charlie has become a "loose" sorority girl following the suicide of her brother and loss of her cousin. Together, along with a driver Finn who has his own set of issues, they take off on an adventure to revenge old wrongs and set things to right. A historical Thelma and Louise. Great characters, great story, great ending.
Not bad, good female characters.