This is the time of the year when people resort to “beach reads”. Ordinarily these are books that often include romance or at least something you don’t have to follow intensely. For me a “beach read” is a book that you would not ordinarily read, one in which you have vacation time to pursue. As a library clerk, I often get asked to make recommendations for “beach reads” and now I am going to take the time to endorse a book that has romance, history, and suspense. The book is entitled “The Alice Network” and is written by Alice Quinn.
Quinn is a national bestselling author who writes historical fiction and in this book she has brought together a female who was a spy during World War I and a young college student searching for her cousin in 1947 postwar France. Eve was an agent for the British government in France during the “Great War” and Charlie is a pregnant, unmarried young woman who has brought shame upon her family. She is desperate to find her much loved cousin, Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during World War II. Together these two bring the reader a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.
The Alice Network was an actual spy network of a hundred people who were located forty kilometers from the front of WWI France. They were extremely effective at smuggling Allied soldiers to England and at providing valuable information to the Intelligence Service. It is estimated to have saved the lives of more than a thousand British soldiers during the 9 months of full operation from January to September 1915. Alice Quinn portrays these women faultlessly and with an incredible eye for detail. Her main characters are both funny and heart-breaking. This is an enthralling tale filled with a narrative that makes the reader feel that they are living in this time period. This book is a must-read for anyone who loves history and intrigue.