Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday and maybe a break from your usual day to day routine.

Do you have any New Year's resolutions? Some book resolutions perhaps? I acquired several books over my holiday break. My book resolution would be to read them all in addition to the books I acquired during the year. December was very busy with holiday things. While that is fun (for awhile), I am looking forward to more book time.

For our January Mystery Book Club, we read The Alice Network by Kate Quinn. It is apparently a very popular book based on the hold time at my library. I know that some never were able to get the book in time.  Lucky me, I had a "free" Audible credit and was able to use it to listen to The Alice Network.



"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 matter where it leads."

Sounds pretty good doesn't it? I like the cover. I like historical fiction set in the 1930's and 1940's. As I mentioned, I listened to this book. The narrator was very good. She was able to do several accents; American, Scottish, French, German, and to my ear, spoke French very well.

The book chapters go back and forth between Charlie in 1947 and Eve in 1915-1916. I like that in books. I find it can be intriguing as you find out about the background of characters and then their stories come together.

The book started out interesting but then it got a little slow for me. Not sure if it was because I was listening to it, (I probably read faster than a book is narrated, as we all probably do, skimming parts?) or not. But the end was satisfying.

Here is what the members of the MBC thought.

Everyone liked the book. Several mentioned that because it has some difficult parts with descriptions of various events and things that happen, they had to put it down for awhile. (Maybe that is what I was feeling about the book.) But they all agreed they really wanted to know what happened to each of the characters. We had a good discussion about life in Europe during the wars, spies, women, things that happened that people don't even know about. We looked up the "Alice Network" which was real and found some of the characters/events in the book were based on real people and events.

If you like historical fiction, particularly if you are interested in women spies and life during and after WWI and WWII, you will probably like The Alice Network .

About the author:

"Kate Quinn is a New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction. She attended Boston University, where she earned a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Classical Voice. A lifelong history buff, she has written seven historical novels, including the bestselling "The Alice Network," the Empress of Rome Saga, and the Borgia Chronicle. All have been translated into multiple languages.

Kate and her husband now live in San Diego with two black dogs named Caesar and Calpurnia, and her interests include opera, action movies, cooking, and the Boston Red Sox."


  1. Gayle, I agree with all you said here and I'm going to do a little recap post on my blog for Monday. I'll link back to your thoughts here as well. I thought it was interesting that no one brought up the romance stuff. I was afraid that some would think it was little too, too...if you know what I mean. However, no one said a thing. I'm glad that we sort of found out why it got so popular all of a sudden - the 'Reese W' factor. Ha!

  2. "It" was a bit too much if you were listening to it. Hard to miss it. I would have skimmed that if reading. Thought it was just me. lol

  3. As I was reading, I thought the “romance” part could have been skipped but it was a big part of eve’s life.

    1. It just wasn't "romantic" romance. But you are right.

  4. Hi Gayle! I'm a big fan of Kay's blog and I'm stopping by yours at her suggestion :) I'm glad you all liked THE ALICE NETWORK. I love WWII fiction, but I haven't really given this one a go yet. I started reading it, then put it down for some reason and never picked it back up. One of these days I'll get back to it!

    Glad to have found your fun blog!

    1. Hi Susan, Several people said the same thing about this book...that they would put it down, then pick it up later. The consensus seemed to be that some of the "scenes" were difficult and people needed to take a break. But most enjoyed it.

  5. Hi Gayle - I came over from Kay's blog and so happy to find another central Texas book blogger!
    I enjoyed your review of this book and it's one I'd love to check out. I do like the timeframe and of course I love a good mystery.

  6. It is very popular. Some of it is a little difficult but everyone liked it.