Even if you snoozed through ninety percent of your college history classes, Kate Quinn’s The Alice Network will whisk you into the wonderful realm of historical fiction faster than you can say World War I.
And speaking of World War I, that’s the setting for about half of Quinn’s novel, which is both a New York Times and USA Today bestseller. The other half of the novel is set in 1947, after World War II. Chapter by chapter, the story alternates between the two time frames and two main characters.
Eve Gardner is a woman with a severe speech impediment and a determination to fight against the Germans during the Great War. She joins a spy network to help pass critical information about Germany’s military strategy to the Allies. Eve risks her life and compromises her morals while working for a corrupt French profiteer who owns a restaurant that is popular among German military leaders. Although Eve despises many aspects of her life as a spy, the charismatic leader of the spy network, Lili (code name Alice), inspires Eve to keep serving, no matter the cost.
Pregnant, unmarried, and scorned by her wealthy parents, Charlie St. Clair drops out of college and travels from America to Europe because her mother insists she take care of her “Little Problem” at a clinic in Switzerland. Charlie initially complies with her mother’s demands because a recent family tragedy has left Charlie apathetic and numb to the world—except for a growing desperation to find her French cousin, Rose, whom she loves like a sister. While in London, Charlie impulsively abandons her mother and instead begins a journey to find Rose. Early into her journey, Charlie meets Eve Gardner, whose fiery spirit has been dulled by years of hard liquor and self-hatred.
The Alice Network is more than a fascinating glimpse into a seldom-talked-about piece of world history. It is women’s fiction at its finest, brimming with romance, friendships, loyalty, betrayal, humor and female empowerment. The author paints her story’s setting with vivid imagery, juxtaposing the bleak and dilapidated enemy-occupied France in 1915 with the 1947 French countryside, which is blooming with hesitant optimism after two world wars.
The Gold Standard of Historical Fiction
Shelve your worries about falling asleep during this work of historical fiction and instead be prepared to stay up all night as this book sucks you deeper and deeper into the intertwined lives of Charlie and Eve. If you love The Alice Network, check out Kate Quinn’s other books. She has four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga, two in the Borgia Chronicles, AND she has another book, The Huntress, coming out next year. You can read about her new book here. It looks AMAZING.
Keep Your Fingers Crossed…
Kate Quinn recently announced via a post on her Instagram page that The Alice Network has been optioned by Tristar Television for development as a limited series. This doesn’t mean it’s a done deal, it just means Tristar Television is trying to make it happen.
No actors have been cast yet, so I want to know… who would YOU cast in a TV miniseries for this book? Leave a comment below to share!
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