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“But she turned her floodlight eyes on me and demanded a confession”

the alice network

 

Do you like books with smart, bad-ass ladies both fictional and historical? Do you like intelligent novelizations of real historical events? If so, The Alice Network is definitely a book you should add to your TBR pile. The book follows two timelines. In 1915 a young Eve Gardiner is recruited to work as a spy in Nazi-occupied France for the titular Alice Network. Eve’s experiences in France leave both emotional and physical scars. In 1947, Charlie St. Clair a pregnant and unwed American socialite abandons her mother in post-war Europe to look for her missing and presumed dead cousin Rose. Eve and Charlie’s paths collide and they set off across France with their own agendas.

This book took me a bit to really get into it. Both Charlie and Ever are deeply flawed characters though not without good reason. However I found myself getting sucked in pretty quickly to the parallel stories involving two women, both of whom are used to being underestimated, getting into situations in which they learn more than they’d ever wanted to about both themselves and the horrors of war. It’s by no means a pretty story. There is torture, suicide, a prison camp and the massacre of civilians but it never feels gratuitous and is pulled directly from historical records in some cases. It’s not an easy book and I knew at a certain point it was going to break my heart. But it was an immensely satisfying read that has me excited for Kate Quinn’s next novel.

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