A few weeks ago while on vacation with my husband, we visited this super fun cafe in Bend, Oregon. A cafe with yummy treats, coffee and all the books you could read. Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe (http://www.dudleysbookshopcafe.com/) has become one of my favorite bookstores.
(Here I am picking up a “new to me” hardback copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and enjoying the most fabulous staircase I’ve ever seen!) We spent quite a few hours here…. and walked out with several new books. Bliss.
One of those books was The Alice Network, by Kate Quinn is the tale of two ordinary women, who in their own time, become extraordinary women.
The year is 1915 and Eve is a secretary at a law firm trying to remain unnoticed. She speaks three languages and is excellent at reading people, but most disregard her as dumb due to a stutter she has never overcame. In a country at war, Eve like many other women, is doing a job that would likely have gone to a man if one had been there to fill it. But in this job she meets Captain Cameron of the British Army and he has an intriguing proposition for her. One that will take her from her home and throw her right in the middle of the war, and Eve is more than eager to join up.
Fast-Forward to 1947 and you meet Charlotte St. Clair, or “Charlie” as she’s known by friends and family. Charlie has lost important people in her life to the second world war and tries out a few vices to forget. Vices that don’t just walk away when she’s in polite company. Charlie is now paying the consequences of her actions and being taken to Switzerland until her problem is taken care of.
However, on the journey to Switzerland, Charlie decides to ditch her parents plan for her and make her own way in life. And this includes finding out what happened to her French cousin Rose.
In a story full of ghosts Eve and Charlie, who have become the most unlikely of friends, bind together to help one another face their pasts and additionally their futures. Weaving two lifetimes with one common denominator, this book was “un-put-down-able.”