The Alice Network
by Kate Quinn
Audiobook narrated by Saskia Maarleveld, 2017
This is a twin stranded storyline book. It begins in 1947 with a young American girl, Charlie Sinclair, traveling to France with her mother. They stop overnight in Southampton, England, where Charlie ditches her mother and heads for London to find the elusive Evelyn Gardner. Charlie is half French, and her cousin Rose disappeared during the war. Evelyn Gardner holds the only key to what might have happened to Rose, and Charlie is determined to find her. When she does, Eve threatens to kill her. Eve is an acerbic alcoholic with a stammer and deformed hands, having had every knuckle broken.
The other storyline follows Evelyn as she becomes a spy for England during World War I. Eve is half French also and speaks fluent French as well as German. After training, she is sent to France to join the Alice Network, a highly effective group of spies led by the remarkable Alice, who prefers to be called Lily. Eve lands a job working at a restaurant that caters to the German officer class called Le Lethe in Lille owned by a collaborator named Rene. He has no idea that the shy, stuttering girl speaks fluent German.
Later, during WWII, Rose worked for a man named Rene in a restaurant of the same name in Limoges. Could it be the same man?
Charlie, Eve and Eve’s Scottish man-of-all-work, Finn Kilgore, head for France to look for Rose and Rene. The three misfits form an alliance of need, but end up forging strong ties.
The story of Eve’s work with the Alice Network during the Great War is quite riveting. Saskia Maarleveld does a great job with all the different accents. I really did enjoy this book and recommend it highly. It’s exciting, with strong female protagonists, a sexy Scotsman, and a fascinating story.
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