Saturday, July 25, 2020

Reviewing The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

This riveting historical fiction novel is one that is hard to put down once you start reading and takes you on a journey through both the first World War as well as post World War II.

review of the alice network by kate quinn
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn, photo by Lou16


A little while ago I read a review on this very site for a book called The Huntress by Kate Quinn which peeked my interest so when I was in a bookstore and saw The Alice Network by Kate Quinn author of The Huntress I just had to buy it.   The Alice Network was actually penned first and after reading it I am even more keen to read The Huntress!

The Alice Network was actually real as was the leader and Kate Quinn has done a marvelous job of interweaving actual historic events into a story that is hard to put down.

A WWI female spy - Louise de Bettignies - featured in the historical novel The Alice Network
The Queen of Spies herself, courtesy of Wikipedia
The novel features two strong heroines - Eve Gardiner and Charlie St Clair.   Eve's story takes us through the world of women espionage during the first World War and introduces us to the real life Queen of Spies, Louise de Bettignies.   What I found great after finishing this story was the author notes at the end which mention which of the characters were actually based on historical figures and which weren't.   Something I thought very interesting was where Kate Quinn got the idea for Eve's story, along with her spy name.

Eve's chapters take us through the perils of life as a female spy during World War I in France.   The other heroine is Charlie St Clair who finds herself (an American college girl) pregnant and unwed at 19 during the aftermath of World War II.

When her mother takes Charlie to Europe to dispose of her 'little problem' they make a stop in England where Charlie leaves the hotel to search for Eve Gardiner who was a name on the bottom of a missing persons report for her French cousin who went missing during the war.

Together they head to Europe, along with Eve's Scottish helper and driver and start on their individual quests - Charlie to find her cousin Rose and Eve to hunt down her enemy who handed her over to the Germans during WWI.

As the book interweaves through the two story lines we learn more about both heroines along the way and find where they both have to make major decisions which could totally change the outcomes of their lives.   The book also exposes the double standards women faced during WWI and showed how little these double standards had changed by the 1940s. 

Obviously as with any historical fiction some liberties were taken, but I'd love to think that Louise de Bettignies did buy ridiculous hats when travelling and was able to inject some fun into her life of intrigue.   I like the idea of her having the personality that was displayed in the book as the life of a spy in France at that time was very bleak - as it was for most every day people in Europe at that time.

I would love to see this book turned into a movie as I'm sure my husband would enjoy it.  What can you expect from this book?   If you pick up this book expect suspense, intrigue, a little romance and so many twists and turns.




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8 comments:

  1. Sounds like an intriguing book, Lou. I've always enjoyed stories based in the time of the world wars, particularly World War II, so this seems to be one I would really like. Thanks for reviewing it for us.

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  2. I do love a book that is so captivating that you can't put it down! Based on this review and on Brenda's previous review of The Huntress, it sounds like Kate Quinn is an exceptional author in the historical fiction genre. You know I love a historical fiction based on real history.

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  3. Oh The Alice Network is a great book indeed. I find that all of Kate Quinn's novels that I have read so far, seem to be the ultimate page turner. Both the Alice Network and The Huntress were books that I personally could not put down. Yes Louanne, I agree a movie made from these story lines would be a must see too!

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  4. This does sound like it would make a fantastic movie as well. Your review had me from beginning to end. Historical fiction is such a popular genre right now, one of the top, and if this is any indication, I can see why - sounds all consuming!

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  5. This sounds like a great book you would not want to put down. I have a thing for historical fiction

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  6. Between Brenda’s review of The Huntress and yours of The Alice Network, it’s easy to understand the popularity of Kate Quinn’s historical novels. I can imagine how well they would translate to the “silver screen!”

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  7. Bookmarked! Thanks for the review!

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  8. Another great Kate Quinn novel. Thanks for the review, Lou and for sharing my review of The Huntress.

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