“The Alice Network” by Kate Quinn is one of my favorite books of all time! I read it twice this year; once this spring and again for our November 2018 book club pick! I included my “The Alice Network” Discussion Questions below, as well as a fun map I made of Charlie’s journey! It helped me visualize where they were traveling, and I think it may help you too 🙂
* WARNING- SPOILERS BELOW*
The Alice Network Discussion Questions
~Edith Piaf Pandora plays in the background~
- Before we say anything about the book, do the thumb vote:
- On the count of three, everyone is going to hold up their hand signal
- If you read the book, you’ll use your right hand to give it a thumb rating
- If you started the book but didn’t finish it, you’ll hold up an empty fist
- If you never started the book, you’ll hold up two high-fives
- Poll: Who was your favorite- Charlie or Eve? Discuss
- Discussion Questions:
- Question #1: Which time period and perspective did enjoy more? How did the two storylines complement each other?
- Question #2: The book is told from Charlie’s first-person perspective, and Eve’s third-person perspective. Do you think this shaped how you viewed the characters initially?
- Question #3: What was your opinion of Charlie, the self-proclaimed ‘drunk, pregnant, slut’? Do you think our sexual double-standards have changed much since 1947? Were you surprised when she came on to Finn?
- Question #4: The role of women and men is an interesting concept brought up throughout the book. Charlie can’t take out her own money or do anything without a father or husband. Eve repeatedly insists that men and soldiers don’t get the same treatment and questions as her. But throughout it all, Captain Cameron specifically seeks out women for these roles because men like Rene always assume spies are men. Discuss the role of women in The Alice Network.
- Question #5: Lili tells Eve, “To tell the truth, much of this special work we do is quite boring.” Did the realities of spy work surprise you, compared to the more glamorous version presented by Hollywood? How do you think you would have fared working for the historical Alice Network?
- Question #6: The disappearance of Charlie’s cousin Rose Fournier provides the story’s driving search. Did her eventual fate surprise you? Had you ever heard of Oradour-sur-Glane?
- Question #7: Did you cry? What scenes caused the most emotion? What scenes caused the most anxiety for you to read/listen to?
- Question #8: Eve’s spy journey becomes very complicated when she becomes Rene’s lover. While Eve hates him, it becomes complicated when they’re intimate. What did you think about their relationship? Did Rene ever get over Eve?
- Question #9: Let’s talk about the torture scene. “I will not tell you one single solitary fact about my work, my friends, or the woman I was arrested with. But I will tell you this, René Bordelon. You’re a gullible fool. You’re a terrible lover. And I hate Baudelaire.”
- Question #10: Did Rene Bordelon deserve his fate? Did he deserve legal justice or vigilante justice? Did you think it was “poetic justice”?
- Question #11: Let’s talk about Captain Cameron. Did you pick up on some of the last details about him? (He was the one paying for Eve’s pension and he committed suicide.)
- Question #12: Did you like the ending? Was it too happy?
- History Lesson
- Who ‘googled’ this after reading it? Did you know it was a true story?
- How did you feel about Lili’s fate?
- Marie-Léonie Vanhoutte, “Violette Lameron”, wrote the book about Lili