The latest by Kate Quinn is a departure from Roman intrigue, be it during Antiquity or Renaissance, but not from her masterful gripping storytelling. The Alice Network is a wartime novel about daring female spies, a determined American socialite on a rescue mission and a lot of damaged souls on a quest for redemption. Two stories unfold in parallel narrative, one taking place during World War I, and the second – immediately after World War II.
I enjoyed the former – Eve’s storyline – more, but it could only have been resolved so satisfactorily through the parallel narrative.
I have read quite a few books about the world wars, mostly WWII and in all honesty I am fed up with the old formula of parallel stories – one modern, one from the war, with someone looking for what happened to their grandma. I don’t get what is so hard about writing a historical novel about the early 20th century without adding some reminiscence from modern day point of view.
In that respect I found The Alice Network so refreshing – it intertwines the tragedy of two wars and manages to touch on so many strings, each tugging at a heart-wrenching story of their own but made so much more alive together.
As always with Kate Quinn’s books I loved the characters right away and for the couple of weeks it took me to read the book I knew I had a whole world I could step into at any moment in my purse.
Uniquely portable magic, was it?