Book Review: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
The Alice Network
Author: Kate Quinn
Published: June 6, 2017
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars
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, code name Alice, 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 truth…no matter where it leads.
I hate to say it, but I was rather disappointed in this book. Thankfully, most of the plot and the characters saved it from being a total loss, but after the success of The Huntress, I was expecting much more. Charlie was the true downfall of this book. I didn’t understand the beginning of her search for Rose. Was it truly her hallucinations that drove her? And I know that slut shaming is looked down upon nowadays, but damn girl! A lot of people lost family in the war and they didn’t hop in the sack with every available person! I didn’t respect her and frankly, I didn’t care what happened to her. I feel bad about that, but actions have consequences and she also didn’t seem to grasp that completely.
I liked all the other characters well enough! Eve and Finn were great! Eve’s history of a female spy during WW1 was fascinating and entertaining. And her big heart while helping Charlie search for her cousin just made me like her more. I even liked the way it ended, which is good because I didn’t like the way it started at all.
Overall, it was ok, just ok.