8 Amazing Historical Reads For Fans Of The Alice Network

If you’ve found yourself falling in love with The Alice Network, written by Kate Quinn, then don’t worry, you’re not alone.

It’s regarded as one of the very best historical fiction books written in the past decade.

8 Amazing Historical Reads For Fans Of The Alice Network

It’s not difficult to understand then why readers can’t seem to get enough of this genre recently.

The book takes place in war-torn France, during the time when the Germans occupied it.

It’s based on a real-life spy network, which is incredibly gripping to read about.

We follow the harrowing life of Charlie, who is determined to find her sister, no matter the cost.

Unfortunately, Kate Quinn hasn’t yet written a sequel for her popular series and has subsequently left readers wanting more.

But, where to begin? Are there even historical books out there that are comparable to this poignant and heart-wrenching tale?

It can be very difficult to find similar books which have the same atmosphere and tantalizing characters, as Quinn has really captured something unique in her work.

This is, however, where we come in.

We’re here to help you find some books that you might enjoy if you were a big fan of the Alice Network.

Below, you’ll find a list of great reads which we think are very similar in nature, along with some of their pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision before you buy.

To find out more, simply keep reading, as we take a closer look.

If you were a big fan of The Alice Network, by Kate Quinn, then there are a few additional books that we’d recommend that you read. Some of our favorites include The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman, For Love And County by Candace Waters, The Light Over London by Julia Kelly, The Book Of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel, The Fortunate Ones by Catherine Hokin, The Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosner, The Secrets We Kept by Laura Prescott, and The Rose Code by Kate Quinn.

Themes In The Alice Network

The Alice Network: A Novel

Before we jump straight in and start taking a look at some of the great novels we’ve compiled that we think you might enjoy, first, let’s take a look at some of the key themes in The Alice Network.

By determining the key themes of the novel, we can then ascertain what to look for in our recommendations.

The key theme in The Alice Network is familial ties and the never-ending quest for being reunited with one’s family.

As well as this, we have themes of intrigue following the spy networking aspect of the novel, as well as themes of resiliency, and the strength of the human spirit.

In Quinn’s book, we also see a lot of themes of loneliness, and the power of friendship in balming this sensation.

Finally, another theme that we see featured prominently in Quinn’s novel is female empowerment.

Quinn places women at the center of the story and uses their own unique perspectives to filter the events of the war.

These are all themes that we’re going to be searching for in our novel recommendations today.

To start your journey to finding the perfect read, take a look below.

The World That We Knew By Alice Hoffman

The World That We Knew: A Novel

If you’ve had the pleasure of reading Alice Hoffman before, then you’ll know that she’s a particularly evocative writer.

Despite this, many consider her to be primarily a writer of fantasy fiction and are surprised to discover that she’s written some pertinent historical fiction novels too.

This book, called The World That We Knew follows the journey of Hanni, who lives in Berlin during the second world war.

She is left absolutely heartbroken, as her young daughter has been snatched away from her by the Nazis.

But, Hanni decides that she’s not going to let them take her daughter away from her, and she’s going to find her little girl, even if that means going to the ends of the earth.

She meets a mysterious man who is a rabbi, who is about to change her life forever, and might just be able to bring her closer to her daughter.


  • Heart Wrenching – This novel was truly heart wrenching, and it was so difficult to read about Hanni’s daughter being snatched away from her.
  • Powerful – This was a powerful novel about a mother’s quest to find her daughter against impeachable odds.
  • Setting – We thought that Hoffman did a great job of portraying war-torn Berlin in her novel, as it truly made us feel as though we were there too.


  • Magical Elements – The rabbi who Hanni meets conjures up a magical creature who is tasked with helping her to find her daughter. Although having fantasy elements in the novel isn’t necessarily a con, this might be a bit off putting for readers who want a book that features purely historical content.

Themes: Mother’s love, hope, magic, and family ties.

For Love And Country By Candace Waters

For Love and Country: A Novel

The next book that we’re going to be taking a look at is called For Love And Country, by Candace Waters.

We think that this book will be particularly evocative for those who enjoyed The Alice Network, as it shares many similarities, namely the feeling of belonging.

This story follows a young woman called Lottie Palmer. She is deeply unsatisfied with her life, despite seemingly having it all.

She’s incredibly wealthy and privileged, and she’s about to be married, but none of this makes her happy.

Lottie decides that she needs a purpose greater than all of this.

As a result, she decides that she’s going to join something called Navy Waves, which allows women to help in the war effort.

As time grows, she becomes increasingly respected by her colleagues, who recognize her great talent and drive.

Soon, she’s one of the best mechanics the team has ever had.

This book reminds us very much of The Alice Network, as when the protagonist of the novel Charlie joins the network, she feels as though she finally belongs to something bigger, and has a sense of purpose similar to Lottie.


  • Female Empowerment – Despite seemingly having a perfect life, and being engaged to be married soon, Lottie is highly dissatisfied with her life, and decides that she’s going to do something which empowers her, and is outside the chromanormative society she lives in.
  • Hope – Similar to The Alice Network, this book has strong themes of hope and doing something purposeful with one’s life.
  • Protagonist – We really liked the protagonist in this novel, and found her to be highly relatable in her thoughts, emotions, and reactions to the events of the plot.


  • Focused On One Character – This is the journey of Lottie as she moves through the course of the book, and the author is only concerned with her particular story. In The Alice Network, however, we get to see a whole host of different characters and their personal struggles too.

Themes: Defying the odds, female empowerment, and the strength of the human spirit.

The Light Over London By Julia Kelly

The Light Over London

The next book that we’re going to be taking a look at is The Light Over London, by Julia Kelly. This book follows the journey of a young woman called Louise.

Louise is trapped in a very uncomfortable situation, as she finds herself engaged to a man whom she doesn’t truly love.

She decides that she’s going to make a change, and this happens after she meets Paul Bolton, a young and handsome flight lieutenant, whom she falls instantly in love with.

She decides that if she’s going to ever be with Paul, she needs to change her current situation. As a result, she joins the British Army.

In her role, she is known as a ‘gunner girl’. This is a very real, and very treacherous profession that women had during world war 2.

In her role as a gunner girl, she must shoot down enemy planes during the night, risking her life in the balance.

Every time she finds herself wanting to give up, or finds herself lamenting the difficulties she’s faced with her profession, she thinks of Paul, and this helps to give her hope through all of those dark times.

Just like The Alice Network, we have a female lead who despite dangerous and unyielding odds, decides that she’s going to face anything that stands in her way with dignity and pride.


  • Poignant – We found this to be a highly poignant tale, and we loved seeing the romance between Louise and Paul, which acts as a ghost throughout the course of the tale.
  • Bringing History To The Light – One of the things that we enjoyed the most about Kelly’s book is how she manages to bring lesser-known aspects of history to the forefront of the tale. For example, we didn’t know that gunner girls existed previous to her introduction of them in the book.
  • Making A Change – Kelly shows that it’s never too late to make a change in your life, and transform your circumstances.


  • Angst – Louise spends a lot of the novel in angst over Paul, so perhaps skip this one if you’re not interested in these kinds of narrative tropes.

Themes: Bravery, love, conquering your fears.

The Book Of Lost Names By Kristin Harmel

The Book of Lost Names

This book, by Kristin Harmel, is truly a marvel when it comes to wartime books.

It follows the journey of a remarkable woman called Eva. Eva, who is now working peacefully as a librarian, hasn’t always had such a normal life.

When she was younger, she left Paris during the war to live in a remote location in the countryside, subsequently changing her name in the process.

By doing so, she was able to protect herself from being discovered by Nazi soldiers.

As she grew older, she decided that she too wanted to make a difference as somebody once had for her, and this prompted her to take up a career as a forger.

In the process, she creates several codes for each Jewish child whose name she changes, in the hope that one day, using her code, they will be able to locate their real families.

Whilst working in the library, she comes across a paper that shows a photograph of a book she knows well but hasn’t seen in decades.

It contains the codes for the children whose names she changed as a young woman.

This book is very much reminiscent of The Alice Network in the sense that it’s filled with intrigue.

Just like Charlie must join the spy network in order to find her sister, Eva spends her life working on codes to help reunite Jewish children with their true families.


  • Hope – This book is filled with themes of hope, and we love the sheer determination that our protagonist has in reuniting the lost Jewish children with their former families.
  • Cleverly Written – We loved the coding system in the novel that Harmel conveys so impeccably.
  • Resilience – Despite being separated from her true family when she was very young, we love the resilience that Eva displays, and how she uses this tragedy to make positive changes in the world.


  • Predictable – There were some areas of this novel that some readers found to be too predictable.

Themes: Resilience, hope, intrigue, turning personal trauma into power.

The Fortunate Ones By Catherine Hokin

The Fortunate Ones: Beautiful and heartbreaking World War 2 historical fiction

We can honestly say that this is one of the most heartbreaking books that we’ve read all year.

Hokin does an excellent job of portraying this impossible romance between the two main characters.

It starts off as our protagonists meet across a dancefloor, they’re instantly drawn to each other, and fall in love almost immediately.

But, their lives aren’t as simple as they initially seemed, as world war two breaks out, and Felix is put at great risk, as he himself is Jewish.

He’s taken away to a concentration camp, where each day, his only source of hope and resilience is thinking about Inge.

Inge too, faces impeachable odds, as being a part of a prestigious family who decides that they’re going to align themselves with the Nazi party, one of her worst fears comes true.

Her father marries her off to a prestigious Nazi soldier, who is an absolute tyrant.

One day, when she’s visiting a concentration camp, she sees Felix and her heart drops.

That is the moment when Inge knows that she must stop at nothing to save him.

This book reminded us very much of The Alice Network in terms of theme.

Just like in this book, the characters deal with a lot of loneliness and must overcome terrible odds in order to be with one another again.


  • Romance – One of the very best things about this book was the romance aspect of the novel. We loved the tragic love story of Inge and Felix, as they struggle to be reunited with one another.
  • Bravery – The bravery displayed by the main characters in this novel was astounding, and despite risking her own life, Inge is determined to save Felix from his terrible fate.
  • Strength – This book showed how important inner strength is when it comes to facing life’s challenges.


  • Heavy On The Romance Front – For the same reason why this might be a pro for some readers, others might not enjoy the romance aspect standing at the forefront.

Themes: Resiliency, bravery, romance, overcoming the odds.

The Rose Code By Kate Quinn

The Rose Code: A Novel

Thankfully, we’ve already ascertained that you’re all big fans of Kate Quinn because you loved her book The Alice Network so much.

So, please allow us to recommend another fantastic book written by the same author.

If you want another book that’s driven by a female-oriented plot set during world war two, then we’d like to direct you to The Rose Code.

The Rose Code follows the journey of a woman called Osla.

She has everything that a young woman in her position could want, wealth, affluence, and beauty. But, this isn’t enough for Osla.

Osla has a brilliant mind and is also fluent in German.

She’s great at solving puzzles and wants to join the war effort in order to utilize her talents, as a result, she joins as a translator.

Here, she’s thrown into a whirlwind of intrigue, friendship, and life-threatening circumstances.

She joins a team of codebreakers, and together they must solve one puzzle that’s been plaguing them for decades.

The mystery of this novel, and all the twists and turns remind us of The Alice Network.

Plus you have Quinn’s signature writing style, which is a real pleasure to read.

We also love that Quinn once again places women at the center of the story, and depicts the friendship shared between two of the main characters.

Osla is the one who recruits Beth, who at the beginning of the book is shy and unsure of her abilities.

Osla fosters her remarkable mind, and she turns out to be one of the greatest codebreakers in the war effort.


  • Feminist – This novel not only puts one strong heroine in the lead but two. Quinn shows us the lesser-known efforts of women during the second world war, and how their brilliant minds helped to conquer the odds.
  • Mystery – Because much of the novel is about breaking codes, we loved the mystery aspect of this novel, and it was fun to try to work things out ourselves too.
  • Writing – We simply love Quinn’s writing, which is highly written, and appears to be effortless when you read it on the page.


  • Lengthy – Bear in mind that this is a lengthy read. Some readers complained that Quinn took too many pages to convey the story she was portraying.

Themes: Female friendship, intrigue, bravery, code-breaking.

The Secrets We Kept By Laura Prescott

The Secrets We Kept: A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

If you were a big fan of The Alice Network, then we’d recommend picking up this book called The Secrets We Kept by Laura Prescott.

It follows a young woman called Iris, who happens to be half-Russian and half-American. She finds herself working for the CIA as a secretary.

But, it’s while she’s working here that her life is about to change forever. Because Iris finds herself being recruited by the agency as a spy.

She is told to investigate the banning of the book Doctor Zhivago and is tasked with getting as much information from important men as possible.

This one is very reminiscent of The Alice Network, as it reminds us of the female friendships that prove to be so important in that tale.

Iris is tutored by a woman called Sally, who is known to be a ‘queen’ in the spy world.

We see Iris gradually build confidence in her abilities as she’s instructed by this remarkable woman. This has strong similarities with Eve’s tutelage by Lili.


  • Female Friendships – One of the best things about this novel is its portrayal of female friendships. It shows Iris being tutored by Sally, who is known as the best of the best when it comes to spy work.
  • Exciting – This is an incredibly exciting book, and we’re just as surprised as Iris is when she’s asked to work as a spy for the war effort. Her normal life is transformed into a hurricane of excitement, intrigue, and danger.
  • Mixture Of Reality And Fiction – Prescott does a great job of creating a fictional novel based on real events and paints a very realistic picture for readers.


  • Point Of View – This book jumps between multiple perspectives throughout the novel, and this can be very confusing at times when you have to go back and check who’s speaking.

Themes: Female friendships, intrigue, danger.

The Yellow Bird Sings By Jennifer Rosner

Yellow Bird Sings

If you want to read another book that details a lifelong and incredibly deep connection between two people, then we’d recommend picking up The Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosner.

This book follows the story of a young woman called Rozna, who must flee from Poland with her daughter in order to escape the Nazi dictatorship.

They don’t have enough time to formulate a plan of how they’re going to get out, and as a result, they escape in a haphazard manner and go to lay low in a neighboring barn owned by a friend.

This is an incredibly sad and poignant tale, as Rozna and her daughter must give up their former life.

Theirs was a life that was filled with love, laughter, and joy, but as they stay hidden in the confines of the barn, they succumb to the silence and loneliness that abounds.

Rozna is separated from her daughter Shira, and as a result spends the course of the book trying to find her again, living in hope that they might once again be able to return to their formerly joyful existence.

This is very similar to The Alice Network, as we see a family separated by the events of the war, and the hope that drives them to be reunited once more.


  • Hope – We loved the themes of hope that were found in this novel, and we really felt for Rozna and her desperation to return to her beautiful life before the outbreak of Nazi rulership.
  • Bond Between Mother And Daughter – Rosner does a great job of portraying the bond between mother and daughter, a bond that’s completely unbreakable despite the terrible circumstances.
  • Heartbreaking – This was truly a heartbreaking tale, and conveys excellently the personal effects of the war on the human spirit.


  • Music Notes – Throughout the book, the author uses musical notes to convey some of the different emotions that her characters are experiencing, or the situation at hand. Although this might be a pleasure for some readers, others might find this difficult to comprehend if they don’t understand music notes.

Themes: Love between mother and daughter, resilience, and the beauty of ordinary life.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, there are a whole host of books out there that are similar to The Alice Network that readers can choose from.

Whether you’re in the mood for something that boasts female empowerment, friendship, overcoming the odds, or romance, there’s a book out there for you.

The Alice Network displays a whole host of different themes, including bravery, resilience, hope, family ties, and loneliness.

This makes it an incredibly compelling and intriguing novel to read.

The ones we’ve shown above all share similar themes with The Alice Network, and we sincerely hope that you enjoy expanding your reading list with these fantastic books.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is The Alice Network A Real Thing?

This book by Kate Quinn was so convincing in its portrayal, that it had readers wondering whether or not The Alice Network was indeed real.

The answer is, yes, The Alice Network is based on a true story about female spies who would gather information about German troop movements during world war 1.

Will They Make A Movie About The Alice Network?

The book has become so popular in recent years that many fans are hoping that they’ll decide to make a movie out of the story.

Unfortunately, Benioff and Weiss, of the HBO network have disclosed that they do not have any plans to make a movie out of The Alice Network as of yet.

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Noah Burton