By Kate Quinn
In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling 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. (From Amazon.ca)
What happened at book club…
Our after summer book club meeting always rocks! This one was no exception. Fun night!
Everyone read the book and everyone really enjoyed it. Yay! (In the spirit of full disclosure, there were 2 members missing. – Too bad for them because the wide array of gourmet, non-burned food prepared by our host sets the bar p-r-e-t-t-y high for the next meeting. Oh well…).
The book we discussed was The Alice Network by Kate Quinn, an historical fiction that tells the story of Eve (1915) and Charlie (1947). Two different, yet equally formidable women making their way in wartime. None of us had heard of the Alice Network or knew the role that real-life women like Louise de Bettignies aka Lili (and other fleurs du mal) played in the resistance.
What must it be like to have your home invaded and all that you hold dear taken over. Would we resist, risking it all as these courageous women did? Would we comply to get by as the employees of Le Lethe did? Or would we collaborate to profit as the loathsome and sociopathic Rene did? Hmmmm…..
Generally we’re a bunch of pacifists but despite that we gave a good ole fist pump at Eve and Charlie’s vigilante justice. Rene finally got his comeuppance… bastard.
We appreciated the research that must have gone into writing a book like this. We also liked that the world of espionage was not romanticized and that Rose’s story was not tied up neatly. Having the search for Rose bring us to Oradour-sur-Glane and the real character Madame Rouffanche was so powerful. To think about the massacre and her staying in the rubble to tell the story for those who could not…. heart wrenching.
Heart wrenching and tragic … ah yes, it’s when we’re at our best. We talked the joy of ‘parenthood’, salt piles and hurricanes, cupmen and the traumatizing of a tiny, shy local author. Oh yes, there’s also a certain celebrity Thorax surgeon who can expect a drunk call sometime soon!