The Alice Network by Kate Quinn is a well-researched historical fiction story. Past and present(ish) characters connect in an unexpected and riveting way.
The Alice Network is the name of a group of spies run by the incredible Lili (one of her aliases and based on a true person). This is not really Lili’s story, although she is an important figure in the book. Eve is one of the main (fictional) characters and her story is fascinating. She is discovered by a British officer who feels that her stutter combined with her innocent appearance and ability to speak three languages will serve them well. She is brought in for training and then is stationed at a French restaurant known for catering to German soldiers. She is an excellent spy willing to put herself at great risk for her country (and there is so much about how she does this).
Her story is gradually told to the other main character, Charlie. Charlie is traveling overseas from the States with her mother to hide her unplanned pregnancy. Being overseas pushes Charlie to rebel against her parents in order to investigate the disappearance of her cousin Rose (who was like a sister to her and who lived in France). She is determined to find out what happened to her, and Eve was the last person to fill out some paperwork about Rose.
Eve and Charlie make an unlikely connection in their quest to both find Rose and to avenge wrongs. This becomes a story of unexpected friendship, rebellion, adventure and strength. Eve’s story is what kept me turning pages. The author’s attention to detail around the time period and the people (explained in the author’s note at the end of the story) is evident and appreciated.