“The Alice Network”, by Kate Quinn

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The Alice Network Review

Overall Book Rating: 4.5/5

Read it, or save your time?  Based on a real-life WWI heroine, Louise de Bettignies, the ‘queen of spies’, this is an enlightening, fast-paced piece of historical fiction you won’t be able to put down.

What’s it about?  

1947: The second World War is over, but the world is reeling in its aftermath.  American Charlie St. Claire finds herself single, pregnant, and in a load of trouble with her disapproving family.  When her mother takes her to Europe to ‘take care of her little problem’, she uses it as an opportunity to escape her mother’s watchful eye and journey to London in search of her cousin who went missing in Nazi-occupied Poland during the war.  Her search takes her to the doorstep of Eva Gardiner, a cantankerous alcoholic living in virtual isolation.

1915: Eva is young and eager to do her part in the Great War.  A sharp intelligence is hidden behind a stutter, causing people to mistake her for simple, making her the perfect spy for the all-female spy network called the Alice Network.

As the unlikely pair team up, with Charlie focused getting answers to her cousin’s disappearance, and Eva determined to right an old wrong, the story spans decades and continents, seamlessly coming together in an explosive ending.

Reviewer’s Note: Pretty amazing to know the Alice Network was real and that although these courageous women played such a large part in history, they are so little-known.