2022 Book Review: The Alice Network

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

A Historical Fiction, 2017 by William Morrow, 503 Pages 

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Charlie’s chapters. They felt almost repetitive and unnecessarily fluffy. I suppose they exist mostly to break up the heaviness of the topics addressed in the rest of the book, which is important, but they just don’t give the same sense of urgency and excitement as Eve’s chapters. 
  • The math “equations” forced on everything. As an actual math geek myself, I can say it’s incredibly unlikely you’ll find us making statements like “me plus him minus morals equals …”. We tend to feel operations have weight and value, meaning we’re less likely to throw them around in ways they weren’t intended for. But maybe that’s just me. Either way, it annoyed me that Charlie kept doing this.
  • The ending. If you’ve been following my reviews for a while you know I’m the kind of reader who likes endings that don’t lay it all out for me and instead keep me thinking and guessing long after I finish the book. I realize I’m in the minority there. That being said, this final chapter (epilogue) felt unnecessary to me. 

What I Did Like:

  • The historical research involved in this one added a wonderful sense of accuracy that this tale needed. The Alice network was real. Many of the women mentioned are based on real people and their real stories. This was an excellent retelling of their challenge, specifically Eve’s chapters. This is 100% of the reason this book is recommended by so many people and passed around so frequently. It’s an important part of history well researched and embedded.
  • High tension. Eve’s chapters ran with an intense sense of urgency that kept my interest and kept the story moving. I felt myself pulled to continue reading just to find out what happened next. She was captivating and compelling right from the first scene she popped into. 
  • The romance side storyline worked. I don’t always say that and I definitely don’t think it was entirely necessary (not every story needs a romance) but this one works. It’s believable and it works for this story.

Who Should Read This One:

  • Historical fiction fans, specifically those who want something different from WWI or WWII fiction that already exists. This emphasis on the Alice Network makes this one refreshingly different from the rest of the offerings out there. 

My Rating: 4 Stars

  • Solidly researched historical fiction makes me happy. This one pays beautiful homage to the Alice Network.

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