Kate Quinn has become on of my all-time favorite historical fiction authors. She has the ability to craft a tale that keeps you on the edge of your seat and cheering for what’s sure to be a fierce female main character. Her beloved novel, The Alice Network, is a great example of exactly that! Quinn introduces readers to one of the most memorable female protagonists in my opinion. Read on to find out more!
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Charlie St Clair is in trouble and officially on the run! Like most people, World War has wreaked havoc in her life. She can still remember the terrible pain of losing her beloved brother, a grief that left her empty and lost. And the series of bad choices she made in an effort to fill that void have left her in a world of trouble. Now, she has “a little problem” that her parents insist she must eliminate as soon as possible. But en-route to Switzerland to see the doctor, Charlie makes a mad dash to get away from her overbearing mother.
But Charlie isn’t running just to run; she’s on a mission. She’s determined to find the only other person she loved like a sibling: her missing cousin, Rose. The trouble is, Rose was last seen in a countryside French town during the height of the Nazi Occupation, and no one seems to know or care what happened to her. Following her only lead, Charlie lands on the stoop of the last person likely to help anyone: Eve Gardiner.
Charlie’s desperate enough to enlist the aide of Eve, an unpredictable alcoholic with scars and secrets of her own. Despite Eve’s gruff manner, Charlie knows she’s the only person who can help. In desperation, Charlie pawns a family heirloom to pay Eve and her chauffeur, the handsome Finn, to aide in her search.
But over time Charlie begins to see through Eve’s tough façade. As she learns more about Eve’s true identity, Charlie discovers that the scars of war are far deeper than skin deep. Oddly enough, the more she learns about Eve’s past, the closer she gets to discovering the truth about Rose. And along the way she just might learn something about her own worth as woman.
My Thoughts on The Alice Network
This book is GOOD, y’all! It’s really, really good. I’ll even call it great! I loved every minute of it, and I’m especially glad I listened to it rather than reading a physical or digital copy, though I’m positive both would have been equally as enjoyable. The audio really kicked it up a notch and helped keep me interested in what was coming next.
I’ve learned since reading other works by Quinn that The Alice Network is one of her more fast-paced reads. Chapters are short, which works really well for the dual timeline, dual point-of-view structure. Switching between the WWI and post-WWII timelines wasn’t confusing since so many of the themes and characters were shared. Quinn’s knack for descriptive yet succinct text makes for easy reading, too.
Like her other books, the world-building and character development in The Alice Network is well executed, making it easy to connect with both timelines and both main character’s. The duality of the two main characters, Eve and Charlie, created drama and tension that carried all the way through to the finale. And, boy, what a finale it was!
Of the two storylines, I enjoyed Eve and Lili’s plot evolution the most. As a result, I was completely immersed in the WWI plot by the end of the book. Quinn’s ability to weave together characters rivals Kristin Hannah and Diana Gabaldon, two of my all-time favorite authors. Her characters are quick-witted, wickedly sharp, and courageous. Eve was certainly unlike most other main characters, but her temperament added to the story rather than stealing the show.
The Alice Network was my first Kate Quinn book, but I loved it so much that I instantly bought a copy of her latest, The Diamond Eye, which I read in record time! I’ve since read her other two WWII novels, The Rose Code and The Huntress (reviews for all three coming soon). It’s safe to say I’m a huge fan of Quinn’s work, and I have no doubt you will be, too!
My Rating for The Alice Network
This book definitely deserves to be on your TBR; it’s is inspiring, compelling, and suspenseful. I highly suggest starting with The Alice Network if you’ve never read any of Quinn’s WWII fiction, or if you’ve not read any WWII fiction. If you read only one of Quinn’s books, make sure it’s this one.
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