Friday, 19 January 2018

#BookReview The Alice Network by Kate Quinn @KateQuinnAuthor @Morrow_PB ‏

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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 truth...no matter where it leads.

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The Alice Network is a book that many of my bookish friends have read and loved and yet it took ages for me to get to it. Perhaps it was just the right time for it when I finally got to it. Sitting here trying to write a review of the book feels a bit daunting, to be honest. The blurb explains the story quite excellently without giving away to much and I don't want to spoil the story a bit.

So, I will start off by praising the authors writing. This is the first Kate Quinn book I have read and I was impressed with the wonderful flow of the story, how the two storylines so effortlessly fitted together. There is always the risk of one storyline dominated the other, but in this case, I think both were equally good. The women that worked as spies in WW1 really amazed me, their bravery, despite the danger. And the risk they took. Truly amazing! Here I also must say that I just I love how Quinn blended true events with fiction. As always when it comes to author's notes was I fascinated to learn more about true events.

Likewise, was I taken with Charlie's haunt for her cousin in France after WW2. And the connection between the storylines, or rather the connected person; Eve Gardiner is such a wonderful character, from her youthful spies day to the older, quite bitter version.

The Alice Network is a fabulous book and I'm quite eager to read more from Kate Quinn. I recommend this book warmly!

I want to thank William Morrow for providing me with a free copy through Edelweiss for an honest review!

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