My most favorite novels are those which are set in the 1930’s and 1940’s before, during and right after the Second World War. I enjoy reading everything about that era in history and so was drawn to read “The Alice Network” by Kate Quinn. This novel is a fictional account of an actual British spy ring in Paris during the Great War, and the consequences that occurred both during and after the Second Great War.
Charlie St. Clair is a young girl who is unmarried, pregnant, and hounded by her parents to “take care of the situation”. Instead, Charlie takes off by herself with only one note that may lead her to her beloved cousin Rose, who is presumed dead. Charlie thinks that Rose was involved with the Resistance in France during WW II and is not ready to give her up for dead. She finds Eve Gardiner, a mouthy, drunken old woman, who may have information about Rose. Eve Gardiner was recruited to be a spy in France during the First Great War. She and two other women gave valuable information to the British about German troop movements and artillery. Something happened to her during that time, something that made her live a life of drunkenness and seclusion. When these two women join forces to find the truth, this is the story.
I thought this novel was very well researched and written and could not put the book down. The intrigue, suffering and patriotism of the female espionage agents during both wars were painfully shown. I applaud the author for bringing to light the escapades of our brave women who may have turned the tide of the war.