A-Z Author Challenge – Q

 

A-Z Author Challenge post #1 is Q, so, obviously I’m not going to be going in alphabethical order like I originally had in mind.

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

 

I listened to the audiobook verion of this book¬†and it is one that worked¬†well for me, I’ll be looking for more by this narrator.

The Alice Network had me enthralled, this dual timeline narrative is set during the first World War and two years after the end of WW2.

The two main female characters were both very strong women, who did a lot of growing during the story.

Eve was a spy during the first World War and she was assigned to the Alice Network which was a real network, the most successful of it’s time. Eve’s story was full of intrigue and heart stopping moments, corruption and fear. She grapples with many issues during this time, one being her relationship formed with a betrayer of the people whilst she is undercover. This man is a truly horrible person and we meet with him in both timelines as what he does and who he is has far reaching consequences.

Charlie is from a rich American family who is being taken to get rid of an ‘unwanted’ problem. On the spur of the moment, with not much of a plan, she absconds from her mothers clutches and goes off to search for her cousin who went missing two years before in France. Her only lead is Eve, who begrudginly agrees to help (very begrudginly). After meeting Eve and hearing her story as she searches for her cousin, Charlie learns to really understand what she wants and who she is as well as learning to heal from the loss of her brother and her cousin.

Finn, Eve’s chauffeur and all job man, was a great character, I loved how he cared for Eve, and I loved how he fought his attraction to Charlie, you could feel his shift in loyalties as he got to know Charlie.

In searching for Charlie’s cousin old wounds are opened and old enemies come to the fore. We learn Eve’s story in alternating chapters, until we reach a time where she begins to tell her story to Finn and Charlie.

There were some important characters that play a big part in Eve’s story, all based on real characters. I can’t imagine the bravery and conviction these women especially, must of had to be spies during the time of war.

Eve and Charlie are both so different, but both broken and searching for something to heal that brokenness. Their relationship grows and changes throughout the story, having big impacts on them both and leading to an ending with unexpected results.

This was my first book by Kate Quinn and I’ll be looking for me to read by her in the future.

 

Book Review: Esther by Jessica North

This is in my library as a biography, but I’m inclined to say it’s a mix of biography and historical fiction. This was such an interesting read, based on the true story of Esther the First Fleet convict girl who became First Lady of the colony.

sdrWritten in a diary like form, the story spans over 30 years. This is the first book I’ve read about the First Fleet and it was extremely interesting, especially Esther and her husband George Johnston’s life. Esther was an extremely strong woman, any woman would have had to have been to survive the conditions of the convict ship, then life in a new country that until then had not been populated by anyone other than the aboriginal people. I was disappointed we didn’t get to read much about the plight of the indigenous people, they were mentioned, how could they not be in a story about the founding of Australia by white people, and the way they were treated and the way they fought back to begin with was both interesting and terrible.

The politics involved in setting up the colony were extremely complicated with some of the governors trying to do the best for the colony and some trying to do the best for themselves. It definitely wasn’t a fair place or time to be living in, especially for the convicts and those with no money.

I definitely recommend this book if you are interested in Australia’s history.