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Love, Alice

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  969 ratings  ·  170 reviews
From the author of Summer at Hideaway Key comes a sweeping new Southern women’s fiction novel about forgiving the past one letter at a time...

The truth lies between the lines...

A year ago, Dovie Larkin’s life was shattered when her fiancé committed suicide just weeks before their wedding. Now, plagued by guilt, she has become a fixture at the cemetery where William is buri
Paperback, 432 pages
Published December 6th 2016 by Berkley
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  969 ratings  ·  170 reviews

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Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Dovie spent her lunch hours in the cemetery every day since her fiancee committed suicide. Dovie hoped she would find out why William would kill himself a few weeks before their wedding.

The cemetery didn't tell her much, but she did befriend the caretaker​​ of the cemetery​, Josiah​, as well as come across ​Dora who was grieving the death of her daughter, Alice.

Dovie didn't find relief from her ​own grieving, but she did find Alice and Dora's story​ very​ interesting. Alice was connected to a po
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
This book takes place in 2005 in Charleston, South Carolina. A year ago, Dovie was getting ready to marry her fiance William. To everyone’s shock, two weeks prior to their wedding William took his own life. Dovie Larkin now spends her lunch hours visiting his burial site, grieving his death and searching for answers. One rainy afternoon at the cemetery, she spies a grieving elderly woman leaving a letter at the grave of Alice Tandy. To protect the letter from the elements, she picks it up and re ...more
Cindy Burnett
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-to-read
Love, Alice was a sweet, entertaining read. Barbara Davis creates a likeable and engaging cast of characters that I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know. The Charleston setting and culinary tidbits made me like the novel even better. Dovie Larkin, the main character, is still recovering from her fiancé’s suicide the previous year. Still mourning William, she visits his grave daily. One day while she is at the cemetery, she sees another woman whose grief reflects her own. As the older woman is leav ...more
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

I decided to read this book up because the synopsis sounded interesting. I really had no expectations since I have never read any of this author's work before and really hadn't heard anything about this book. I am glad that I decided to pick it up because it turned out to such a nice story. I was pulled into the story right away and really was eager to see everything work out for the characters. I was able to predict some parts of the story b
Susan Peterson
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Love, Alice is an achingly beautiful book; one that will make you sad and even angry at times, but mostly filled with hope and love. Dovie has been mourning the death of her fiancé for a year, still trying to come to terms with his death, and unable to move forward, spending her days at his graveside. When an ailing woman leaves a letter at the grave of a young woman, Dovie, sensing a kindred spirit, reads the letter, and sets out to ease the woman's heartache. Dovie then receives a collection o ...more
Chris  C - A Midlife Wife
This is the third book that I’ve been able to read by this author and so it was with great anticipation that I dived into this read. The author has the ability to captivate you with a combination of history, mystery, and life itself.

Love, Alice is about the hunt to find the truth behind an emotional story. The author takes a look at the fate of a child back when being a single parent was not acceptable.

Told through letters from the past and those looking for the truth today, you are taken on a t
Love, Alice is a novel that suffered from predictable twists and a frustrating main character and with only one storyline worth reading, the book's near 450-page length felt overly long and wholly unnecessary. Maybe other readers would feel more for Dovie's character, but her plight didn't affect me one bit. In fact I feel the novel would be greatly improved if it was strictly a historical novel with no present day aspect. With a lot of editing (the cemetery and a high-end restaurant in the same ...more
Barbara White
May 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a huge Barbara Davis fan, the queen of the dual timeline, so I was thrilled to get my mitts on an advanced copy of her latest. LOVE, ALICE is a masterful story about secrets, regret, and grief. Add two wealthy, dysfunctional southern families, a nasty institution for unwed mothers on the English coast, and a stash of letters that turn up in a cemetery lost-and-found, and this is a compelling page-turner. ...more
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who love women’s contemporary fiction with a mystery that reflects the results of history.
Recommended Read! LOVE, ALICE by Barbara Davis is an amazing and heart wrenching story of past and present that brought part of my own family’s Cornish history to light. I’ve heard them called workhouses in the murmurs of what happened to my ancestor in the late 1800s during her pregnancy. In this story, we learn the fate of unmarried pregnant women who were sent to do penance until their baby is born during the 1960s. Women work in the “laundries” where they are housed until forced to give up t ...more
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: featured-books, star
Love, Alice by Barbara Davis  
The truth lies between the lines...A year ago, Dovie Larkin’s life was shattered when her fiancé committed suicide just weeks before their wedding. Now, plagued by guilt, she has become a fixture at the cemetery where William is buried, visiting his grave daily, waiting for answers she knows will never come.Then one day, she sees an old woman whose grief mirrors her own. Fascinated, she watches the woman leave a letter on a nearby grave. Dovie ignores her conscie
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
I like how this book went back and forth from the past in early 1962, Cornwall, England where we first meet Alice in the Blackhurst Asylum for Unwed Mothers, to present Charleston, SC, where were are introduced to the main character, Dovie Larkin, in the Magnolia Grove Cemetery where she visits her fiance's grave daily. After a year, she is still struggling with his death, wanting to figure out why he committed suicide. It is at the cemetery that she meets Dora, who leaves a letter at the headst ...more
Carol Boyer
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Love, Alice is a fabulous novel of heartbreaking, heartwarming, haunting secrets that are bound together with others through grief; it will hold you breathless till the very end. I was totally in love with this book, from the beginning, as Dovie sits daily by the graveside, trying to understand why her fiancé William, committed suicide. One day an older, bent over, sad woman comes to visit her daughters angel grave and there, she leaves a letter. Dovie finds herself taking the letter, even thou ...more
Jeanne Adamek
Mar 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Too long for the story that this was.

It was a nice enough story, I wasn't bored reading it yet had no problem putting the book down. Also wasn't anxious to get back to the story. And this makes the novel sound awful which isn't what I want. I guess what I want to say that this was a nice story with pleasant characters but a type of which I have read a number of times. I found nothing really special, striking, or memorable. STILL I realize that any number of readers will thoroughly enjoy Love Ali
Carol Scheherazade
Jun 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a good yarn! Reminds me of some of the novels I read when I was a kid when I couldn't wait to get done with school so I could finish! Very enjoyable ...more
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Perceptive, haunting, and profoundly thought-provoking!

This is a heartbreakingly sweet novel that delves into the emotional, physical and mental anguish experienced by young pregnant girls who historically were spurned, institutionalized and forced to give up their babies, and the incredible power and importance of hope and forgiveness.

The prose is eloquent and beautifully descriptive. The characters are determined, intelligent, consumed, and sorrowful. And the story is written in a back and for
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: andra

Love, Alice
By Barbara Davis
ISBN13: 9780451474810
Author’s Website:
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra


From the author of Summer at Hideaway Key comes a sweeping new Southern women’s fiction novel about forgiving the past one letter at a time…

The truth lies between the lines…

A year ago, Dovie Larkin’s life was shattered when her fiancé committed suicide just weeks before their wedding. Now, plagued by guilt,
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I. Loved. This. Book. I have read every one of this author's books and I am so grateful I won a giveaway to get the first ones because she is writes amazing stories and I may not have found her. Love, Alice tells the story of a young unwed mother sent away to a church run laundry. It's a hideous place where the girls are mistreated, exploited, and their babies are immediately taken from them at birth. Jump forward to a grieving fiancé who finds a letter at a grave and decides to read it for vari ...more
Suze Lavender
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Dovie regularly visits the graveyard where she can spend time with her fiancé William, the man she loved. He killed himself just weeks before their wedding. Dovie doesn't know why, but she hopes to find answers by visiting William's grave. At the graveyard she sees a woman who leaves a letter on the grave of a woman named Alice. Dovie can't help herself and her curiosity is getting the better of her, so she reads the letter. While she was looking for information about William, Dovie discovers a ...more
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
The themes explored in Love Alice, of love and loss, along with its interesting dual setting - Charleston, SC, and the Blackhurst Asylum for Unwed Mothers, Cornwall, England - are what drew me in. A time-slip novel, it follows the contemporary story of Dovie Larkin, a museum manager left grief-stricken when her fiancé inexplicably commits suicide merely weeks before their wedding, and through a series of letters from the past, the heart-breaking journey travelled by Alice Tandy, in the hope of f ...more
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one. We meet young Alice in 1962 through letters she has written to her unborn child. Unwed and pregnant in a small English village, her mother is ashamed and fearful of gossip, and forces Alice to go to a convent to work and slave and give birth to a child they take from her and sell to rich people. My heart broke for Alice. The contemporary story line brings us to 2005 in South Carolina, where we meet Dovie at the cemetery mourning the loss of her fiancée who killed himse ...more
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am so glad that I was lucky enough to be a recipient of this book from the author.

If I never read another book t his year, I would have made sure I read this one. This was my first book by Barbara Davis, but it will not be my last. She writes a story so powerful and emotional in how it drew the reader into the story from the very first page. It is a heart wrenching and at times a despair you feel right down to the bottom of your heart. Then it takes you to a healing place where two people fin
Nov 29, 2016 rated it liked it
I really only enjoyed the main story of Dovie and the romance between her and Austin. The problems I have with the book are about the random, needless things that it felt like the author threw in as an afterthought. Dovie's obsession with college football was mentioned once, halfway through the book, and not again. The dates also didn't match up at the end. Gemma's letter was dated January 1969, after Alice had died, but then Alice's last letter was dated December 1969. It seems like it should'v ...more
Mindy Tysinger
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
First off, a big thank you to Penguin for allowing me to read this early release of Love, Alice. I have never read anything by Barbara Davis but that is certainly going to change. Fabulous read but have your tissues at a ready. Dovie Larkin has been trying to come to grips with her fiancée's suicide for over a year with little success. She spends her days in the cemetary looking for answers that never come. One day she sees an elderly woman leave an envelope on a grave. Even though she knows she ...more
Anna Adams
Sep 08, 2017 rated it did not like it
I feel like I was duped. I expected this to be a historical novel about the treatment of unwed mothers in the 1600's instead this ended up being more of a romance story.

As soon as green-eyed billionaire Austin hotpants entered the scene I knew that this book was not for me. Austin and Dovie got under my skin and I really struggled to finish this overly long and predictable novel. I'm not anti-romantic but it is rare that someone writes about having it all in a way that doesn't make me want to ro
Lorie Briggs
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have first-hand experience with the suicide and the “why”question is such a big part of the first part of this book. As such, I almost didn’t continue reading it but was I drawn in by the second story line. Yes, parts of it were predictable but that’s okay. I grew to care about the characters and wish I knew what was next for them. Good read.
Stephanie Margolies
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book touched me in many ways. An excellent read.
Karen Trosterud
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was the first book by Barbara Davis ! I loved it! Will differently read more by her:;
Apr 02, 2018 marked it as gave-up  ·  review of another edition
DNF. I was expecting historical fiction, both Irish and Southern. This moves in a more predictable way into romantic fiction with a most annoying main character.
Cian O hAnnrachainn
Nov 04, 2016 rated it liked it
What if Philomena Lee had died, instead of her son Michael Hess? And in this telling, he's straight instead of gay (but not to worry, we'll be sure to be diverse and include a secondary gay character in our tale), and the woman he's drawn to does the hunting down of his mother?

That, in essence, is the premise for LOVE, ALICE by Barbara Davis.

Lacking the power of Katie Hanrahan's THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES, the book touches on the horror of the Magdalene laundries and the lives that were destroy
Lis Carey
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Thirty or so years ago, a young woman in a village in Cornwall became pregnant, and before they could marry, her boyfriend was killed in a fishing accident. Her mother, unexpectedly much harsher than Alice had expected, sent her to a convent to have her baby--one of the now-notorious Magdalene laundries. From this experience, Alice emerged without her baby, but with an absolute determination to find and reclaim him--and an unforgiving anger toward her own mother.

A year ago, Dovie Larkin's fiancé
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Author of The Secrets She Carried, The Wishing Tide, Summer at Hideaway Key, Love, Alice. (Penguin/Berkley) When Never Comes (Lake Union) Coming in June 2020, The Last of the Moon Girls (Lake Union)

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“since William’s death, a promise she’d made to herself not to become one of those women who lived on red wine and melodrama. She hated those women. But tonight she needed something to dull the voice of her conscience—or to prop it up. She wasn’t sure which. The letter weighed almost nothing as she lifted it from her lap. No more than a page, surely. She turned it over, and then over again. There was no writing on the envelope, no clue on either front or back as to the identity of the woman who had written it or what her relationship to Alice Tandy might have been. Not that it mattered. It didn’t belong to her, though she couldn’t say with any certainty who it did belong to. Alice was certainly past reading it. And hadn’t the author relinquished her claim when she left it in the cemetery and walked away? Perhaps it belonged to no one. Or, perhaps, by some inexplicable twist of fate, it had been” 0 likes
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