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Publisher's Summary

In an enthralling new historical novel from national best-selling 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.

It's 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.

It's 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, 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.

©2017 Kate Quinn (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    12,976
  • 4 Stars
    4,245
  • 3 Stars
    1,153
  • 2 Stars
    236
  • 1 Stars
    139

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    611
  • 2 Stars
    128
  • 1 Stars
    72

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    11,672
  • 4 Stars
    3,953
  • 3 Stars
    1,216
  • 2 Stars
    292
  • 1 Stars
    135
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Marie
  • Arlington, TN, United States
  • 02-25-18

We are standing on the shoulders of giants...

I would give this book 10 stars. The performance is EXTRAORDINARY, EXCELLENT and just wow. This book is well written, the character are so real, you feel everything and it is full of interesting historical tidbits from Word War I and World War II, but most of all it has excellent character development and you will not want to put this book down. I can only recommend this book. The women are so brave, determined and yet so down to earth. What a story. Get the book!
If you liked my review, please vote.
thanks,

265 of 275 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Jane Austin meets Jason Bourne

Narration was excellent. Was able to distinguish the nuance between characters without going over the top to exaggerate any accents.
Story was good enough to keep the interest through to the end. Good descriptions of the scene to lead you to picture events without going sideways trying to thesaurus you to death.
I thought it was a spy novel, like a less violent Jason Bourne or possible detective recounting an unsolved mystery of an old war. It intertwines new mysteries of an old spy and a new girls hunt for old answers, however a little more romance scattered through-out then I anticipated.

245 of 262 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Shines in this popular genre

I very much appreciate books that endeavor to remind us of the sacrifices made by men & women as they resisted the evils of the world wars. Quinn does this in searing detail. Some scenes went on a bit too long, the denouement, for instance. But those are forgiven in the sweep of a story that reminds us that war is always hell & freedom is never free.

34 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story of Spies and Survival

'The Alice Network' was fantastic! I couldn't stop listening. The characters are well developed and interesting. The story line is intriguing and kept my interest from the first sentence to the last. Intertwined with a bit of romance the story line becomes even more interesting. While reading you learn about the human perils of war and spies during those wars and how war affects even the innocent. The narrator does a wonderful job and was well chosen for this book. I would highly recommend 'The Alice Network! whether you get a written or audible version!

125 of 136 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

PAIR AMAZING STORY+AMAZING NARRATOR=A TRUE MASTERPIECE

I listen to so many disappointing books and/or narrators. When you find a jewel you are just amazed. This is a real author who knows how to write, truly you are pulled into this tale from the beginning , ride the wave as it swing you up and down but never lets you go. I do not enjoy stories in which our inhumanity to one another is so painfully brought to life. However this author does not leave you in despair. Thank you for that. Thank you for every bit of this great book.

159 of 175 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

best book I've heard in a long time

wonderful kept me on my toes wanting more an more I fell in love with all the great tales that mixed together to make a plot that will take your breath at times make you want to scream with anger cry with joy an kill all at the same moment

76 of 84 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Not Even a 5 Star Narrator Can Save This Story

The Narrator:

It's not surprising that Saskia Maarleveld has been nominated for a Audie for her performance here: the story would be completely lost without the strength of her performance. Personally, I disliked the voice she chose for the main character (an American girl); however, it was a case in which it was very challenging to distinguish between the way the character was written and the performance (i.e. I'm not sure the character could've been performed in a more agreeable manner). Still, that is just a personal preference, and there is no denying the talent she brought to the book as a whole: clear, distinct voices that really evoked the characters, and good management of characters of both sexes. In short: pretty much everything you'd hope for in a solid narrator.


The Characters - Meet Some 2D Stereotypes

I happily identify as a feminist and believe strongly that women should have equal rights and opportunities as men; however, one of the first things that hit me in this book was the heavy-handed helpings of *anachronistic* feminism. I don't think a woman has to walk around with a perpetually indignant inner monologue - as the main character does - to be in favour of women's equality. But this again is a personal preference - not enough to dismiss a book.

So I persevered in the listening, despite finding the main character pretty whiney, only to be disappointed at yet another poor stereotyping of a group; this time: mathematicians. Kate Quinn has conflated the field of mathematics with that of arithmetic. She has her character - who is supposed to be a burgeoning "mathematician" - go around summing up the world in positively jejune mathematical metaphors (e.g. "Me plus my best friend equals all the happiness in the world"; "This crazy old lady plus a gun minus any reason to hold back equals a completely unpredictable situation" etc etc). Oh, but of course, she's a math student - so she's *really* good with numbers: can add up a column of numbers that she sees from across the table, in her head, instantly, without error. I know that many people probably still conflate math with arithmetic, but basically once you hit algebra, the numbers start to go, and you can be a brilliant mathematician and still need a calculator to figure out what to leave as a tip.

To be clear, it's not just that this identity is "wrong", it's that it's simplistic and shallow: it perpetuates a pathetically thin view of how a human being (supposedly a real human being, with many different interests, hobbies etc) may see the world. Strike two for me. But still... the story had some interest.



SPIES!

I reached a point where I was able to stomach the whiney protagonist and the unimaginative stereotyping of a mathematician, and the plot started go some where with the stories of the 1st and 2nd world wars etc. It became the kind of story that you can listen to while doing something else (like math ;D) and you didn't need to worry about following closely, because the dialogue was trite and largely unimportant, but the story itself became interesting: I had hope. I thought "this is great - exactly the listen I needed right now" (I had a lot of math to do, you see). But then...


SEX

Yes, our feminist-mathematician driven story finds a way to weave lots of gratuitous sex and talk about sex throughout the novel. The protagonist betrays absolutely no inclination towards being unusually sexually active (for this time, in history) and then, quite suddenly, you learn she is literally sleeping with entire frat houses. Again, I don't have a problem with sex or women who have lots of it - but there's just no consistency in the character. Ms. Quinn just seems to have them do whatever she feels is necessary to move her story forward. It was at this point that it felt like I was reading a book intended for some very specific audience of sex-starved women who want to see the world in a very simplistic manner. This was about 2/3rds of the way through & it was a crash and burn from there (though I held out hope until the end).


& MORE STEREOTYPES

Was there a rough-around-the-edges, tough-guy who didn't talk much but had a charming accent, who was actually super sensitive and passionate? Yes there was.

Was there an "evil man" who's person represented all the badness of the entire world and the horrors of war, but did not have any clear motivation for his truly grotesque and horrendous actions? Yes.

Did said "bad man" perform savage acts of torture (described at length) without any clear motivation? Absolutely. Did it add to the story - only for shock value.

Was there a world-weary, disenchanted old woman who was also rough-around-the-edges but went through a magical transformation and became a loving godmother? Oh yes there was.

Were all the characters somehow "broken" and magically healed of life-long, (really!) serious problems (like severe alcoholism and a tendency towards assault that verges on the murderous) just through the power of meeting each other - pretty much, yeah.



IN SHORT:

Obviously I don't think this book is worth your time or your money (or I wouldn't have taken the time to write all of this): there are better options out there if you're looking for actual literature, or an engaging story, or stories of the heroism of women in the 1st and 2nd world wars etc. & I got this during a sale - not even recommended as a daily deal.

If what you're looking for is a book you can doze off to at the beach while listening without worrying about having to go back, then this one will do the trick, but even then there are better options.

Whatever you choose, I hope you find a good read :)

61 of 69 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It’s like a Harlequin romance…

This book drove me crazy. The narrator’s voice changed so often that it was annoying. The characters were just OK. The five star reviews set me up for a fabulous novel. I finished it but I would not recommend this book.

42 of 48 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Not Historic Fiction

This book wasn't for me. The narration was strange, breathy and overdone. The violence was too much. The overall feeling was that of a soap opera/romance novel and not a solid historic fiction title. Disappointing.

187 of 221 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Trite, formulaic. story with overwrought narration

Despite the trendy World War I and II context, this novel lacks true historical detail and perspective. The story about women spies in World War I is predictable and yet unbelievably violent with gruesome detailed torture scenes . The dialogue is full of cliches as the oh so feisty American heroine Charly defies her traditional family to find her beloved cousin who disappeared in the second World War. "The blue Lagonda (Bentley) purred like a kitten and drove like a dream". The breathy, excitable narration compounded the writing flaws. I finished the audio book only because I had paid for it and had nothing else to listen to on a road trip.

203 of 240 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 07-07-17

An historical eye opener

The Alice Network prompted me to look in to the World War 1 spy network, until I listened to the story I would have said the first female agents were those if SOE during world War 2.
I enjoyed the story and it kept me hooked till the end. There is heartbreak and stomach churning accounts in the text and the story is an interesting, informative one that will keep you engaged.
I found the characters from the First World War far more engaging and believable, I liked them and cared about their fate the most. They were well written and rounded.
I found the post World War Two timeline lacking in comparison. The narrator's accent for Charlie grated and got on my nerves which may have added to my apathy for the character. Finn was the dependable dream man and at times it was a bit Mills and Boon. Charlie's life was the most sheltered off all the characters however in an era of depression, world wars, loss and personal tragedy she was too modern in my opinion. She seemed to have come from a totally different era and for some reason I can't quite put my finger on I cared less about her. The redeeming feature of that story line was that you do become drawn in and invested in finding out what had happened to her missing cousin. If it had not been for that Eve, Lilli and Violette could have happily had the book to themselves and in my opinion it wouldn't have been any poorer for it.
I am not sure that I would listen to the story again but I did enjoy it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-01-18

not worth the time spent on reading/listening

The Alice network would make a decent movie, even a good one if actors do their job well, but it's quite a bore of a book. It is predictable, it is full of clichés, and, honestly, it is overfilled with the word "whore".

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Petra 🤗📚📓🖋📮
  • 07-22-17

simply a wonderful book..

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The characters were strong and because it is told in past and present tense we see both characters at the same age yet lived totally different lives. What linked them was the cruelty which was set out by the Germans linked them in the most unusual of ways yet both their stories had me gripped.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved Eve Gardiner who narrated her own story of being a spy in war time France during the First and Second World War. Her bravery shone through yet her guilt which she carried from the First World War was slowly killing her, yet it took the friendship which was at the start grudgingly given by Charlie St Clair.. as Eve travelled through France employed by Charlie they did not realise they had one thing which connected them but it was going to take a long time before I found out what.. this is one story which had me gripped from the first word was spoken until the epilogue ... it truly is a five star read and listen..

Which scene did you most enjoy?

There was not one scene but the whole book was so well written I felt like I was an observer and this story was taken place in front of my eyes... the narrator was perfect and Saskia Maarleveld brought so much atmosphere and so much more to the storyline..

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

this is a story which needs to be told...

Any additional comments?

if you listen to one book this year make it this one

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Hannah Lane
  • 01-16-18

Captivating listen

Really enjoyed this audiobook. A captivating historical fiction novel which I enjoyed listening to on my way to and from work. Would thoroughly recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Genny F
  • 12-15-17

Really good , give it a go

I loved this, such a fascinating story, and some of the characters are based on real people. History, women spies, interesting plot.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Milliner
  • 11-04-17

didn't want it to end brilliant

didn't want it to end it was a brilliant story and it was read really well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • George
  • 10-22-17

Melodramatic.

Overly melodramatic silly fantasy , some semblance of reality is needed to keep any halfway intelligent reader interested , this was not written for the reader but for the author to live some sort of dream.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Karen Croan
  • 08-02-17

Great

I loved this book, I particularly loved Lily's character & was thrilled to find out she really existed, & was as good IRL as she appeared here.
The split between 1915 & 1947 worked well & Kate Quinn ensures we care about both main characters despite or even because of their flaws. It also didn't shy away from the realities for women under foreign rule & for female spies & the sacrifices they make. Would strongly recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • carol
  • 07-31-17

excellent

I loved this book, it was a great story giving a small insight into woman involved in the resistance during the war.
It was beautifully preformed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-26-17

Gripping from start to finish!!!

Best book I've read in years , had me hooked from start to finish! Thought Kate Quinn's Empress series was good but this is better!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tamara
  • 07-02-17

Interesting story to pass the time

Might have enjoyed the story more if I had chosen to read the book. First audible book with a "yank" narrator. Sadly not my preference. Purely a personal taste. The story kept me hooked despite the accents. Recommend the novel.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 08-14-17

Fantastic

Loved this book possibly one of the best i have listened to on Audible. Narrator was very good for the book quick and clear. And O lovely american accent not bland at all. Author painted a vivid picture... ready for the movie.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sharon Vickery
  • 09-11-18

incredible..

I loved this it, could not stop listening and did not want it to end, the life like characters kept me wanting more.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer Moller
  • 06-20-18

fun story

I really enjoyed this book but found the narrating to drive me nuts. The narrator, while clear, sounded like it was computerized at some points. Also found when she was doing Eve's accent that she'd waiver between English and American. Overall, good book!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • KRockBlock
  • 06-04-18

Fantastic!

Absolutely loved this book. The characters come to life from the very first page. My new favourite.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-13-18

wonderful!

I loved this book and was sad when it ended. Everyone in my book club loved it too.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 02-26-18

Amazing!!!

Absolutely wonderful book. The narrator brings this book alive. I Could not stop listening! Get it!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Daniella Perri
  • 02-23-18

Superb

I absolutely loved this book. It paints such vivid pictures of its characters and the story feels so real when listening. The plot is incredibly interesting, especially being based on the real Alice network and had me riveted from chapter to chapter.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 02-23-18

I was disappointed

The story started out so well I enjoyed the first hafe but was disappointed with the ending.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Irit
  • 02-21-18

Loved it!

Perfect narration! Great story. Action, romance,terror, history.... I think the book is very well written. Would like to read more of the author.