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Book Reviews: Historical Fiction

Posted on Sep 22, 2017 |

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn


Historical Fiction > Women’s Fiction

“Are you ever afraid?”

“Yes, just like everybody else. But only after the danger is done—before that, fear is an indulgence. Welcome to the Alice Network.”

Based on real characters and events, The Alice Network is a historical novel about two women who meet in 1947. Eve had been a spy in World War I. Charlie is a pregnant American in search of her cousin, Rose. Everyone assumes Rose died during WWII, but Charlie wants proof, which leads her to Eve.

The story weaves back and forth between 1915 and 1947. Eve was a talented spy because she kept her ability to speak German a secret. Also, she has a stutter, so everyone assumes she’s dull witted, an advantage when you’re trying to learn enemy secrets.

Both Eve and Charlie are likable women, although when Charlies meets Eve, Eve drinks whiskey for most of her meals and is a little bit crazy.

It’s an admirable novel about two women facing challenges and discrimination because of their gender. Highly recommend.

Daughters of the Night Sky by Aimie K. Runyan


Historical Fiction > Women’s Fiction

Runyan has a gift for writing historical fiction about strong women that aren’t taught about in history class. In Daughters of the Night Sky, we learn about women who become pilots in the Red Army under Stalin in World War Two. I never knew that Stalin essentially advocated for something like equal rights for woman. They still faced discrimination and the dismissive attitudes of men, and they were not required to fight. They could return home at any time, unlike the men. Also, they had to be better than their male counterparts. They had to be flawless.

Through the point of view of Katya, we learn about how the women of the Red Army faced danger not only from enemy gunfire, but also sometimes from male soldiers they were supposed to be fighting alongside.

Runyan did a great job with research on what it was like to be a pilot during that era. You really feel like you’re in the cockpit with those women, facing uncertainty not just about your own life, but about everyone you care about and even strangers. Fans of historical fiction will definitely want to add this to their to-be-read list. RELEASES JANUARY 1, 2018.

Thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union for the opportunity to review an advanced copy of this book.

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