The enthralling Richard and Judy Book Club favourite
By the acclaimed author of A Spell of Winter and The Siege, and set during and just after the First World War, the new novel by Orange Prize-winner, Helen Dunmore.
Nominated for the Folio Prize and shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historial Fiction, and the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize.
Set during and just after the First World War, The Lie is an enthralling, heart-wrenching novel of love, memory and devastating loss by one of the UK’s most acclaimed storytellers.
Cornwall, 1920, early spring.
A young man stands on a headland, looking out to sea. He is back from the war, homeless and without family.
Behind him lie the mud, barbed-wire entanglements and terror of the trenches. Behind him is also the most intense relationship of his life.
Daniel has survived, but the horror and passion of the past seem more real than the quiet fields around him.
He is about to step into the unknown. But will he ever be able to escape the terrible, unforeseen consequences of a lie?
“[A] superb, timely novel of the First World War”
John Sutherland, The Times
“Helen Dunmore ... is a poet as well as a novelist, who is celebrated for her delicate language and acute observations. The Lie is no exception. This really is an expert novel.”
“The bar for book of the year is set sky high by this heart wrenching tale. Daniel has survived the WWI trenches, but returns to Cornwall to find his family gone and home lost. He moves in with a childhood friend, but gets caught up in a lie that has terrible consequences. Tender, touching and totally absorbing.”
“Never striking a false note, The Lie is one of those rare and arresting novels that make you think and feel with greater lucidity.”
“The Lie is a tale of memory and loss delivered with quiet aplomb by one of our classiest writers ... Dunmore captures the emotional torment of her hero with tenderness and skill.”
Mail on Sunday
“Dunmore has brilliantly served up this past to us in a way that does not allow us to forget it”
“With a shocking twist in its tail, The Lie is a novel to re-read. Written with imagination, intelligence and integrity, it is both quiet and memorable. I predict it will outshine, and outlive, many another new rendition of the war to end all wars.”
“An enthralling novel of love and devastating loss … Powerful storytelling.”
Good Housekeeping, Book of the Month
“Helen Dunmore, an author who has taken time to build up a following and gradually accumulated those much-required prize nominations, knows what she needs to make a story, and how to go about finding it. The result is a moving account of a young man's emotional life, and what brutality and death can do to it ... Dunmore has done her research and expertly so.”
Scotland on Sunday
“Dunmore writes with disarming simplicity and clarity. Read her novel in a single sitting in a quiet place.”
“Distinguished by the sensual, compact intensity of Dunmore's prose, The Lie lays bare on its local canvas the invisible wounds of a global catastrophe.”
“Helen Dunmore's two resources are imagination and research. She's strong on both counts...Dunmore's is a very good novel. 2014 is a very good year to read it.”
“Helen Dunmore has a talent for gently pulling the reader into the heads of her characters. She writes with a light but sure touch that makes you see through their eyes, smell through their nose...Visceral and elegantly plotted.”
“The writing, even at its most harrowing, is suffused with poetry and evocative description. ‘They say the war’s over, but they’re wrong. It went too deep for that.’ THE LIE is a heart-wrenching portrait of psychological crucifixion.”
“It builds to a heart-breaking climax”
Woman & Home
“If you need any more proof of January's literary liveliness, imagine that you are in charge of publisher's Hutchinson. After 20 years with Penguin, Helen Dunmore (the first winner, remember, of the Orange Prize) has just signed up with you. In which month are you going to publish her new novel, The Lie? But you're probably ahead of me already…”
“The Lie is a fine example of Dunmore's ability to perceive the long vistas of history in which the dead remain restless...It is a book in which ghosts, perhaps, remain imaginary: but they are none the less real for that.”
“Orange-prize winning author Helen Dunmore explores the relationship between two First World War soldiers: Daniel, who survived, and his childhood friend Frederick, who died, plus Daniel’s ambiguous bond with Fredericks’ sister Felicia. A dark and haunting exploration of grief and guilt.”
Sunday Express, Hot Books for 2014
“Famed for her searing accounts of the siege of Leningrad and its aftermath, Helen Dunmore moves to England after the First World War in The Lie. She chronicles the struggle of a young man without family and homeless amid the quiet landscape of Cornwall, trying to escape his memories of trench warfare.”
“The Lie by Helen Dunmore out in January, is exceptionally good. Set in Cornwall in 1920, it centres on a man who survived the war but is still living with the burden of it.”
“An extraordinarily affecting novel by the ever-reliable Helen Dunmore… The flashbacks to the war – and the eventual revelation of how Frederick died – are as crunchingly powerful as you’d expect. Even so, what’s most hearbreaking about the novel is the hesitant, awkward intimacy between Daniel and Felicia. By the end, and without ever losing their vivid individuality, these two bewildered characters in rural Cornwall have somehow come to represent an entire country in a state of traumatic shock.”
“THE LIE is an enthralling, heart-wrenching novel of love, memory and devastating loss by one of the UK’s most acclaimed storytellers… If you only read one novel in 2014 set during WWI, this must be the one.”
Absolutely West magazine
“Immensely atmospheric, intensely moving story”