Written by Kate Quinn, The Alice Network follows two women, thirty years apart, one a spy and one looking for her cousin who disappeared in the second great war. Eve, a young woman with a stutter, is recruited to become a female spy in German occupied France in 1915, when they thought the war end was just around the corner. She was brought into the Alice Network. Charlie is an American who, while on her way to her Appointment, runs away from her mother to find Eve, now in 1947, the only name and address she has in connection to the disappearance of her dear cousin Rose three years before.
This is a historical fiction novel, and I adored it. The Alice Network was a real spy network that lasted shy of a year and was one of the most reliable spy networks of WWI. They gave valuable information to the allies, even if they didn’t always listen. As such, many of the characters, though not the main, were real people. A lot of the events described actually happened. I find that just fantastically interesting.
In all honesty, I think this is a book that should be added to required reading for high schoolers. Read this with your teenagers (or younger, but there are things like sex and unwed mothers and things like that), and discuss it. Or, you know, just have them read it. Everyone read it.
This novel discusses what it was like for all of the people involved in the war, abroad and at home, what it was like the soldiers, what it was like when they came home. How the war changed them, and why. The kind of people they took for service in the war. It discusses atrocities that were done, that I think a lot of people don’t want to ever discuss because they are uncomfortable, the things that humans will do to each other. What people will do to survive.
Honestly, I think everyone should read this, just once. Yes, it is fiction, but the author did her homework. A lot of what is described actually happened. And, for me at least, it had me searching up all of these things to find out what the real, full story was.
If you are super sensitive to the topics of sex, then maybe don’t read this. This has a love story in it, but most of the topics in here are not about that.
The cover image is from Goodreads. I do not own it.