I couldn’t put this down. If I wasn’t making time to read it at home, the book made it’s way into my purse in case I could read at work during breaks and lunch.
The story goes back and forth between 1947 and 1915 with Evelyn Gardiner heavily featured in both time lines. Eve Gardiner, Charlotte “Charlie” St. Clair and Finn Kilgore are well written, complex characters.
The Alice Network was real. This story incorporates the heroic character of Louise de Bettignies aka “Alice BuBois” and Lili, into a fascinating character – a spy for the English military. She was dubbed Queen of Spies and in real life, saved hundreds, maybe thousands of lives, passing on pertinent intel.
She had a network of females working with her, all joined in resisting the Germans and spying for the Allies. There were parts of this story dealing with espionage and trauma that were such page turners. I sat up late a few times to read and it blows me away that these women endured so much.
Early in the story, as you are getting to know Eve (a drunken bitter woman…..at first) you also meet Finn Kilgore. This quiet Scotsman is Eve’s driver and master of what he calls the one-pan breakfast. There wasn’t a lot of food mentioned but this breakfast comes up a few times.
The main characters change, they have transformations as they start working together and it’s wonderful to be along for the ride.
I have to say, this goes on list as one of the best books I have read this year. There are scenes in London but most are in France. Eve’s London home figures prominently in the beginning and later in the book too – that’s why I am linking up with British Isles Friday.
Kate Quinn has found a new fan and I plan to look for her other publications.