Book Rec: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
Disclaimer: This novel is quite graphic and not suitable for all ages. The novel deals with abortion, sexual assault, suicide, and the evils of war. Please proceed & read accordingly.
“Life ought to be more like a play; the entrances and exits would be a lot cleaner.”
The Alice Network is a historical fiction from national best-selling author Kate Quinn. The novel swaps between two women – one a female spy during WWI and the other an unconventional American socialite. Loosely based on real spies during the war, the conflicts and human interests reel you in, keeping you turning the page until the final scene.
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, code name Alice, 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.
Which time period and perspective did you like more?
How do the realities of spy work surprise you? Some of the work is quite boring while other times blow all ethical and moral lines away. How would you have handled working for the historical Alice Network?
Do you think René Bordelon earned his final fate?
Everyone suffers some form of emotional or physical damage from war. How do the characters deal with their war wounds? How is PTSD handled after WWII compared to today?