Read The Lie by Helen Dunmore Online


From the award-winning author of The Siege, Helen Dunmore, comes The Lie; a spellbinding tale of love, remembrance, and deception, set against the backdrop of World War I.Cornwall, 1920. Daniel Branwell has survived the First World War and returned to the small fishing town where he was born. Behind him lie the trenches and the most intense relationship of his life. As heFrom the award-winning author of The Siege, Helen Dunmore, comes The Lie; a spellbinding tale of love, remembrance, and deception, set against the backdrop of World War I.Cornwall, 1920. Daniel Branwell has survived the First World War and returned to the small fishing town where he was born. Behind him lie the trenches and the most intense relationship of his life. As he works on the land, struggling to make a living in the aftermath of war, he is drawn deeper and deeper into the traumas of the past and memories of his dearest friend and his first love. Above all, as the drama unfolds, Daniel is haunted by the terrible, unforeseen consequences of a lie. Set in France during the First World War and in post-war Cornwall, this is a deeply moving and mesmerizing story of the “men who marched away”....

Title : The Lie
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780802122544
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Lie Reviews

  • BrokenTune
    2019-04-12 01:05

    DNF @ 23%I'm just not feeling this one. The story seems pretty flat and although the topic of the devastating effects of the WW1 experience is described well, neither the story nor the characters or the storytelling is engaging me enough to want to spend more time with this book.

  • Onaiza Khan
    2019-04-04 22:03

    This is not the kind of books I usually read but god I’m so glad I read this one. Daniel’s journey through the WWI and post war is something I will never forget. You cannot read this book without feeling the horrors and atrocities of the war cut through your heart. It’s a simple story, nothing fancy; it’s just the reality that stabs you. And coming to the writing, it’s so graceful, so peaceful and soothing, that relieves you making sure that the worst has past.And lastly, this terrifying tale of loss, pain and fear loops you in so beautifully that it’s hard to get out of it even after closing the book.

  • Ian
    2019-04-05 05:08

    This is a beautifully written tale about the sacrifices of the WW1 generation. It's been marketed by the line "Can love survive the war?" but this is no simple love story. It's far more complex and layered than that involving a triangle of people who all love each other in such different ways. And the love theme is but one strand and it mostly just simmers under the surface of the story and remains ambiguous to the very end. The three main characters have known each other since childhood and have grown up in an isolated Cornish coastal village. Frederick and Felicia are middle class siblings with Daniel being the son of their family cleaner. The boys have been best friends from an early age despite their differing social standing. The novel begins with Daniel having returned from the war tortured by what happened to Frederick who appears in the opening passages as a mud encrusted inhabitant of his friends sub-conscious mind. The narrative moves seamlessly backwards and forwards from the wild, unfettered Cornish coast - a metaphor for their lost youth perhaps - to the fewer passages in the sinking mud and stench of the trenches in Daniel's fevered mind. The author plays throughout with the themes of friendship, fear, guilt, loss and love & at times it reads like a stream of fevered unconscious thought. I'm always a bit suspicious of much hyped novels but this one far exceeded my expectation. It is on a par with Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks and that's about the highest praise I can dish out.

  • Roz Morris
    2019-04-09 03:08

    This was an idea spread too thin with not enough plot and or originality. The writing was certainly good, and where the passages handled strong emotion it was very affecting. But not enough seemed to be done with the idea.There are two halves to the narrative: the passages set in the trenches and a later time when the character is trying to readjust to normal life, with little success. The wartime scenes are well realised, although a little meandering. But the sections back in this country are agonisingly slow. The character buries an old hermit who lives near his makeshift home, drifts around and visits the brother of his friend who was killed in France, repairs her boiler and goes for a picnic. Now some writers can invest such non-events with much meaning and resonance; the minutiae of a slow day are the journey the characters go on, or the illumination of a difficult and unimaginable life. But these didn't grab me this way. They simply seemed slow, as if they were padding so that there could be as many scenes in the post-war strand as there were in the trenches. The flashbacks to the war carry some very arresting details, but the War Poets did it better.And there lies the problem. The Lie contains nothing new in terms of themes, treatment or ideas - although there could have been. It seems to have been written only to tick a few boxes for the 1914 anniversary.

  • Mandy
    2019-04-15 03:01

    Helen Dunmore is on top form with her latest novel. It’s a beautifully written and accomplished novel set in Cornwall in 1920. Daniel Branwell arrives home from the trenches, physically unscathed but emotionally and psychologically damaged. His mother died while he was away and he finds refuge with old and solitary Mary Pascoe, who lets him build a shelter on her small-holding in exchange for some practical help. But although the war is over, he can find no real peace here, for he remains haunted by the loss of his childhood friend Frederick. He reconnects with Frederick’s sister Felicia, but she too is grieving and the losses of war are not easily forgotten. The story develops slowly and quietly, perfectly paced, alternating between Daniels’ day-to-day life and his wartime memories. It’s a short book, but powerful and brilliantly imagined. The descriptions are vivid and atmospheric and the characters real and sympathetic. The first person narrative allows the reader to fully engage with Daniel and his attempts to rebuild his life and keep his sanity, but the individual tragedies of war transform lives in ways that are sometime impossible to deal with. There will be many books about WWI and its aftermath during 2014 no doubt, but this will surely be rated one of the best.

  • Amanda
    2019-04-14 21:16

    I've read a lot of both fiction and non-fiction around the First World War as it loomed large in my family.I'd not come across Helen Dunmore before, but her skill at vividly evoking the horror of the trenches and the tortured soul that is the tragic and shell-shocked survivor Daniel is remarkable.Her prose is poetic and deserves lingering over, but I found myself unable to put it down as I raced towards the end of the book. I've visited some of those muddy fields only recently and her words continually brought them to mind as I read. She's clearly a fantastic writer and I can't wait to get my hands on more of her work.Highly recommended.

  • Susan
    2019-03-29 22:14

    I have long been an admirer of Helen Dunmore and am pleased to say that I greatly enjoyed her latest work. Obviously it is the Centenary of the First World War and so there are bound to be many books about such a cataclysmic historical event which changed Europe, and the people involved, forever. This is a moving read, but events and memories are unravelled slowly – almost poetically – and it is not a book to rush, but to savour and think about.Daniel Branwell returns to his home in Cornwall after the war. His mother has died and Daniel is, although not physically damaged, suffering from vivid flashbacks of his time in the trenches. He finds himself taken in by his mother’s friend, Mary Pascoe, an elderly woman who has a small cottage where she keeps a goat and chickens and grows vegetables. Before the war, Daniel had been forced by circumstances to leave school and work as a gardener and he now takes over the small holding, retreating to the comfort of physical work. During this novel we learn, gradually, about Daniel’s childhood. His resentment at having to leave school when he was obviously extremely intelligent; plundering the library of his friend Frederick’s father, the volatile Mr Dennis, and his relationship with Frederick’s sister, Felicia. Almost everyone we meet in this novel has lost someone in the war, or knows someone who has been damaged. Indeed, Felicia herself has lost both her brother and her husband in the conflict. Daniel has to try to come to terms with what happened to him, and to Frederick, as well as try to rebuild his shattered life. Yet, how can he do so when Frederick keeps appearing to him and the dead will not seem to lie in their graves? This is a book which discusses the trauma of war; guilt, suffering and the world that war left behind – shattering families and devastating communities – and yet it is also a novel about hope and re-growth. For a work with such huge themes, the story unfolds slowly and almost gently. An excellent choice for book groups, with much to discuss and, like all Helen Dunmore’s novels, one I am sure I will be re-reading before long.

  • Marguerite Kaye
    2019-04-11 23:25

    This was pretty close to 5 stars for me, something I rarely award fiction. My first Helen Dunmore, but I already have another on my wish list. Beautifully written, told in the first person, it is a poignant and moving story which flows seamlessly between events during the Great War and the aftermath. Usually when a story flicks backwards and forwards in time, the changes are delineated by chapters or scene markers. In this story, because we hear it through the main protagonist's thoughts, the changes are not marked, and they are done so incredibly well that I was about half-way through the book before I realised what was happening. I'm writing this as if what I admired was Ms Dunmore's technical skill, and I really did, but what I loved was this story. I'm not going to say anything about it, because I don't want to give anything away, save that it is great. Sad, very darkly-comic in some places, and heart-wrenching in others, it's got that mix of hope and despair about the world after the Great War that for me seems just perfectly pitched. The guilt and the antipathy of those left behind. The guilt and the disgust of those who fought. The ones who want to forget and can't. The ones who want to pretend it never happened. The ones who recognise the world has, in Yeat's words, changed utterly, and the ones who want it all to go back to how it was before. All of this is encapsulated in the little Cornish village where the story takes place, and all of it is both right and wrong. We want to hope but we, who know the future, know that it was pointless. We feel pity and we feel horror and we feel immense gratitude that we have not had to endure such things, and we're pretty sure that if we had, we'd not have coped so well. All of this, but above all, a beautifully written story that I couldn't put down. Highly recommended.

  • Tori Clare
    2019-04-23 22:20

    A brilliant book. It was a page-turner, but not in the typical sense. I found myself having to stop reading at times, in order to digest the mood and fully appreciate the prose. Helen Dunmore captures the post-WW1 trauma quite magnificently. The protagonist's experience of the war and his relationship with Frederick is delivered in droplets through memories and flashbacks. It's 1920 now, but is the war really over? He still lives it every day; it's just a different kind of battle. He still sees, feels, smells, breathes the war and all the horrors. Is it ever possible to move on, to really live again when surrounded by the ghosts and vivid memories of the recent past? WW1 came alive in this book. In relatively few descriptive passages, Helen Dunmore says it all. Set in the beautiful scenic backdrop of the Cornish coast, The Lie is a harrowing read about a young man trying to survive in adverse circumstances. Post-war survival being just as real and immediate as surviving the war itself. Like every good book should, this book tutors in the mystery of human nature. It taught me something about the essence of life and survival. It taught me something about subtle, imaginative and colourful writing. It taught me something about myself. Wonderful.

  • Becky
    2019-04-19 04:04

    So far there seems to only be one other review of this book, and to be honest the only point at which I can concur with the other reviewer is in the comparison with The Absolutist; the two books really are rather similar in tone. Apart from that point I disagree with every other aspect of my rival reviewer's opinion. This is a rather lovely, heartbreaking book, which focuses mainly on the aftermath of years spent in the trenches. Daniel has returned 'home' to the far west of Cornwall, and has found that not only is he now alone, but that he is quite literally haunted by what he has experienced. Through a series of scenes set during the war we discover the traumas that Daniel went through during his time in the trenches. The story revolves around several 'lies' told both during and after the war, and ultimately it is the consequences of one of these coming to light which result in the tragic end of the story. The characters are beautifully drawn, and the relationships seem genuine. Everyone has been shattered by the events of the four dreadful years of war, however there are still moments of tenderness to be found.

  • William Koon
    2019-04-12 21:09

    I found Helen Dunmore’s The Lie a puzzling book. Certainly it is well written. The main character, Daniel a shell shocked soldier from WWI, is drawn with finesse and art. Puzzling however is the homo-erotic sub theme of the almost “the love that has no name.” Did Daniel really have the hots for his friend? Is the chaste kiss between two soldiers a telling enough point to make a valid raison d’etre for a whole book? I don’t think so.The scenes from Cornwall run true and deep. The other characters are carefully etched. The ending is a complete collapse of the art. Total trash to an otherwise engaging work, if confused work. One has only to compare The Lie to any work of Pat Barker’s to see the problems.

  • Jane
    2019-04-26 00:21

    I so wanted to love ‘The Lie.’ I have loved her writing for years, ever since curiosity led me to pick up a copy of ‘Burning Bright.’ I was captivated by a story that was a little out of the ordinary, and by words that were used so well, to create such vivid images. I knew then, and the books that followed confirmed, that she was a special author, and author to seek out …..And I did love ‘The Lie’, but not quite as much as I hoped that I might.It tells the story of Daniel, who fought in the Great War, who survived, and who came home to his native Cornwall. He is shell-shocked and he is alone. His mother died while he was away and he saw Frederick, the childhood friend who became his commanding officer, die. He has no home, but Mary Pascoe, an elderly recluse, allows him to build a shelter and scratch a living from her land. They understand and help each other.As he works on the land Daniel’s mind wanders. It takes him back to his childhood, when he was friends with the children from the big house, Frederick and his sister Felicia. His mother was the cleaning lady, but the children didn’t see the class barrier. And it takes him back to the horror of the trenches, where there are ghosts that will not let him go.Helen Dunmore manages all of this beautifully. The shifts in time are subtle, with each painted differently and yet so clearly by the same hand. And Daniel’s character holds everything together; it is easy to understand why his mind wanders, why he sees Frederick at the foot of his bed, why he is what he is, why he does what he does …..And the writing, enriched by the poetry that Daniel read in the library of the big house, that he loved, that he learned, is every bit as special as I hoped.Frederick meets Felicia again; she was a little girl the last time he saw her, but now she is a war widow with a child. They are drawn together, because they are both alone, because they have shared memories, because they both desperately miss Frederick. But they have changed, and life will take them in different direction.The portrayal of Felicia, shifting from the girl she was to a woman who has learned how she must live is sublime. Details handled so very, very well. This book is full of such wonderful details, but there were moments when my attention was pulled away.If you set a story in Cornwall, if you change the names of places, you really shouldn’t use real place names for your characters. If you set out to write a novel set in the aftermath of the Great War, elements often found in gothic novels will seem out of place. Such small things, but they took me away from the heart of the story.I suspect that if I didn’t live in West Cornwall I wouldn’t have been distracted at all; but I do, and I was. And I suspect that if so much of this book hadn’t been so very good then I wouldn’t have minded so much.The seeds for the ending were planted early. A misjudgement led to a lie, and that led to tragedy. It was so sad, knowing for so long that an unhappy ending was inevitable, and it was heart-breaking when it happened.That pulled me right back into the story, and it is still in my head, with none of the things that bothered me seeming to matter any more.

  • Antenna
    2019-04-05 01:05

    For the centenary marking the outbreak of the Great War, Helen Dunmore has developed one of the few remaining neglected themes: the aftermath of the return from the trenches. Bright working class Cornishman Daniel is already an outsider in that he has spent his childhood playing with the children of a local landowner. Too poor to attend grammar school, he is self taught from secretly borrowing books from the wealthy man's library. Outwardly uninjured but destitute, he is allowed to squat on the neglected land of the elderly Mary Paxton. In his rural solitude, Daniel is continually haunted by the presence of his childhood friend Frederick, killed at the Front, and he is prey to the panic attacks and irrational urges to commit acts of violence that inevitably arouse fear and rejection in those ignorant of either traumatic stress disorder or the sheer hell of trench warfare, that is, virtually everyone. What could be an unbearably sad story is transformed by the writer's skill in enabling the reader to feel a strong empathy with Daniel and to understand his attitude to life and the behaviour that deviates from the norms of his society, because of what he has experienced.For me, this is a near perfect novel in style, structure, pace and meaning. My only slight reservation is that I think Dunmore goes on a bit about the central heating system - I suppose meant to be analogous to underground military tunnels.Deceptively simple with a strong narrative drive and tight structure, the tale is interwoven skilfully with frequent flashbacks to Daniel's childhood and life as a soldier. I was also very taken by the tragically ludicrous bits of advice for soldiers culled from old army training manuals (I believe) for insertion at the start of each chapter. For instance, measures to prevent the disease of "trench foot" caused by standing in cold water and mud include: "taking every opportunity to have.. the feet dried, well rubbed and dry socks (of which each man should carry a pair) put on".Despite knowing that I should be taking my time over the author's telling insights and striking descriptions, sparely poetic, of the Cornish landscape, I felt an exorable drive on to the ending, knowing that "the lie" Daniel has told to satisfy the narrow conventions of his society must be exposed: "The man has penance done, and penance more will do". There is of course another lie in the false or confused basis on which so many young men went to die in the first place.

  • Roman Clodia
    2019-04-20 03:28

    "They say the war's over, but they're wrong. It went too deep for that"Dunmore has become one of our great contemporary writers: this short, sharp story revisits WW1, both the trenches and the dreadful aftermath as Daniel Branwell tries to rebuild some kind of life for himself after the war.This is a very literary novel which deliberately uses literature itself to frame both this text, and the story contained within it. From the opening scene the ghosts of Homeric warriors invade this book as Dan wakes to find himself haunted by the restless shade of Frederick Dennis, his boyhood friend, companion and, later, officer. And books, especially poetry (not least Homer), play a role in delineating both their relationship as well as the social and cultural world which shapes them. Dan is working class, leaves school at 11, but devours the unread books contained in the library of the Dennis family's house, while Frederick himself struggles to learn his declamation tasks. Some very moving moments are articulated through poetry, especially Matthew Arnold's `Dover Beach' ("Ah, love, let us be true | to one another!") which is used to great and poignant effect.Told through Dan's first-person narration, this is a novel of great sensitivity and delicacy, deliberately slow in parts, but moving inexorably towards an almost inevitable climax. This isn't the first time that Dunmore has visited war and post-war periods, and this has elements of the elegiac atmosphere of The Greatcoat about it. This doesn't, perhaps, have the richness and emotional grab of The Betrayal, but it is a superbly controlled and, ultimately, very quiet and moving evocation of the impact of war.(This review is from an ARC courtesy of the publisher)

  • Sue Lyle
    2019-04-01 23:26

    I heard The author speak at a literary lunch otherwise I certainly wouldn't have read the book. I'm glad I did. It is a slow moving book reminiscent of how it must have felt in the trenches where progress was agonisingly slow. The theme of lies permeates the book, big and little lies that lies are lived around and affected by. The silence of those who fought in the First World War, my grandfather survived the trenches and never spoke a word of it, but the reverberations of those times stay with us as the grandchildren of those men and the impact the silences had on the families they came back too. Daniel the main character in the book has an isolation that is shrouded in silence that I felt captured the sense of never being able to fit back into civilian life for the survivors of that war. My grandfather was like that, separate, other, he had secrets that were never told. How do you pick up a life in a world that is forever changed where the ghosts who too are present but silent are more real than the living? Dunmore's writing conveys all this in beautiful prose and does succeed I think in providing words to fill some of those silences. I really enjoyed it,

  • Laura Lee
    2019-03-29 04:04

    Cornwall, England, 1920. Daniel has returned from the war to his poor hometown. His mother has died, he lost his best friend in the war and he has no where to live. He helps out an elderly woman with her farm and camps out there. When the old woman dies, he takes over the cottage. He is reunited with an old childhood friend and things start to turnaround, a little. Very sad, very profound. Writing was excellent. Very heartfelt.

  • Jan Hawke
    2019-03-28 04:12

    The title of this book can be interpreted in many ways, as revealed by the poignant quotation at the beginning;'If any question why we diedTell them, because our fathers lied'.This beautiful novel is about the aftermath of war particularly for the main protagonists, Dan and Felicia, both doubly bereaved. Dan, the narrator, a 'survivor' of WW1, although physically unharmed was mentally traumatised. Despite this he was clearly a very able and gifted person in many ways and the sense of his missed opportunities was one of the tragic elements of this book. Felicia, although equally vulnerable was much less competent, incapable of running the fine house left to her and doubting her capacity as a mother. They provide perfect foils for each other. As a voracious reader and retainer of poetry, Dan's descriptions of the wild west Cornish coast were full of lyrical beauty, sharply contrasting with the sparse harsh details of the failed trench raid in which his friend and Felicia's brother ultimately died. But even in the peace and isolation of Cornwall, as in the trenches, there are dangers, in the shape of busybodies, gossips and villagers holding on to old resentments who cause the ultimate tragedy- or release. It has been stated 'there is not much of a plot'. The plot is not the issue. The beauty and strength of this book for me was how quickly I became involved in the struggle of two young people trying to maintain normality and even reforge relationships when their world has turned upside down in a most horrific fashion.

  • Lisa
    2019-04-24 22:24

    It seems it’s not possible to read The Lie without comparing it to Pat Barker’s Regeneration Trilogy, which I think is one of the finest attempts to render the horror of World War I in fiction. Malcolm Forbes, who reviewed it for The Australian, thought that:Pat Barker matches her for historical accuracy and the ability to delve deep into the human psyche, but Dunmore’s haunting, lyrical and mesmeric prose to describe carnage and loss elevates her into a different league. (The Weekend Australian, March 1-2, 2014)But while I thought The Lie was well written and quite interesting, I didn’t find it as compelling as Barker’s Regeneration (the first of the trilogy) which I read more than a decade ago. With its avoid-the-issue ending, the plot of The Lie is a bit simplistic, and the novel wears its architecture too noticeably, flickering back and forth between the returned soldier’s flashbacks to the trenches and his musings in the present. It’s been done before, and despite the prolific quotations from other people’s poetry, it needs to be done better than this to ‘elevate her into a different league’.

  • Jo
    2019-03-25 23:27

    I've read most of Helen Dunmore's novels, but her recent ones haven't bowled me over, this one included. I found it a depressing read. I didn't feel much empathy for Dan and regarded his actions as rather foolish. His relationship with Felicia left me frustrated, urging him to 'just get on with it'! I didn't find his feelings for Frederick particularly convincing either. There is very little plot here and the ending left me feeling 'so what'? It's very well written, as you'd expect from Dunmore and it's most certainly a 'literary' novel, but I've read better novels about the First World War and its aftermath (most notably, My Dear I Wanted to Tell You, The Boy I Loved, Regeneration and of course, Birdsong). I'm not sure I dare try Helen Dunmore's next novel for fear of being disappointed once again.

  • Helen
    2019-04-23 03:20

    Another deeply moving book by a writer who never disappoints. Few characters invade this book leaving it clear to concentrate on our hero whose flashbacks to the trenches, the loss of his childhood friend and his torment post war, are at times hard to bear.Skillfully written this book nevertheless lacks any edge of seat excitement. It is like a beautiful painting, in front of which we stand, stare, wonder and move on.

  • Izzyreads
    2019-04-14 03:18

    Beautifully written and a fast read. It might not be in the same league as Pat Barker's Regeneration trilogy about WW1 but I enjoyed it and will watch for further titles from Helen Dunmore.

  • Fernanda
    2019-04-24 02:09

  • nicky
    2019-04-20 01:04

    A quite nice, diverting read.A bit depressing, but nonetheless intriguing for the war pictures the author manages to paint. Not quite sure about the point of the story. Maybe there is no point. Just the same pointlessness war possesses. Who knows.Although I find the blurb a bit misleading. The Lie (in my opinion) is not at all the centre of the story. It leads to the end, but the end was inevitable anyhow so ...

  • Kirsty
    2019-04-04 00:23

    The Siege is the only one of Dunmore’s novels which I have really enjoyed, despite reading an awful lot of her tales. Her prose style and storylines seem rather inconsistent from one book to the next, and that is certainly true when one reads The Lie. The novel is told from the first person perspective of Daniel Branwell, a young man who has returned from France after a stint in the Army. His narrative voice from the start is not a realistic male one, and it certainly sounds far too feminine to be anything close to plausible at times. Both of Daniel’s parents are dead, and his only company is an elderly woman named Mary Pascoe who lives nearby -‘Even with her milky eyes she still seemed more like a bird than a woman… I was glad that the humanness in her seemed to have been parched away, so that she was light enough to fly’ – and his memories. Whilst Dunmore’s descriptions are nice enough for the mostpart, the characters are not built up enough to seem realistic, and the story is not original enough to stand out. The relationships formed also seem rather awkward and stilted at times. On the whole, it has much in common with John Boyne’s The Absolutist, another First World War novel which I was sorely disappointed with.

  • Jane
    2019-04-12 02:02

    More of a 3.5. The languid pace of the novel may not suit everyone, but it fit my mood. A young man, Daniel Branwell, returns to his native Cornwall after serving in World War I, unscathed physically, but shell-shocked and broken in mind. There are three main strands of the narrative: Dan, growing up with Frederick and Felicia, who are siblings in a higher-class family, where Dan works as a gardener and Dan's mother as a housekeeper; World War I; and Dan's postwar [1920] life back home. Scenes in the present alternate with flashback memories, triggered by the smallest incident or remark. The muddy figure of Frederick, who died in the war, often appears at the foot of his bed at night. The novel explores the nature of guilt; Dan still holds himself responsible for Frederick's death on their last mission together. A lie is covered up and as time passes, throws a shadow over the story. Postwar 'action' is minimal: connecting again with Felicia, repairing her furnace, and having a picnic with her, then the devastating conclusion. The postwar story was weak, but the war scenes were evocative and gripping. I had to get used to the author's switching from one time period to the other, often in the middle of a paragraph. A psychological study of Dan and his emotional fragility, the novel to me was a cautionary tale: if one tells a big enough lie, eventually there will be retribution. Emotion was conveyed vividly, as were descriptions of the landscape and people. The writing was exquisite. I liked how the quotations from different poems, as well as the epigraphs from the British Stationery Office of that period on the war, were worked into the text. Each had something to do with whatever chapter in which they appeared. Homoeroticism was hinted at.I thank Goodreads first-reads for sending me this book.

  • Jan Priddy
    2019-04-19 03:15

    This is her newest and I loved this novel about the Great War. No wonder all the shouting about this author. I have read so many fine novels set during/after the First World War from all sorts of perspectives. Be warned, this is very sad. Dunmore enters the mind of a deeply damaged veteran of the war. The story is told from the point of view of Daniel Bramwell, home from the war in 1920 and eking out a living on the farm of a woman locally regarded as a witch. He cares for her, buries her when she dies, and avoids speaking to anyone about anything. A widowed childhood friend, and the sister of a fellow soldier pushes the subject and begins to draw him back, as best she can. The story moves gracefully between the childhood friendship, the war, and the now in Cornwall.epigraph: If any question why we diedTell them, because our fathers lied.—Rudyard Kipling"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner", "Invictus," and "Dover beach are among the poets quoted by Daniel, who comes from humble beginnings but has a great passion for literature and the gift, but ultimately the curse of recalling everything. spoiler alert.The lie is that he ever came home. He really did die there in France. Like the Ancient Mariner, he sailed home a ghost.

  • charlotte
    2019-04-07 21:25

    i want to punch a brick wall

  • Paula Connelly
    2019-04-03 00:13

    "The Lie" is a beautifully crafted novel, set in 1920 amidst the aftermath of the Great War. I normally avoid books from this period as they can be too harrowing and I primarily read fiction to be entertained. However, in view of this year being the centenary of the outbreak of war, I decided to mark the occasion with this book.This is a short book, easily readable in a weekend, but it actually took me a lot longer to finish it because the story just didn't grip me. As I've already commented, the writing was excellent and the characters well drawn, it's just that, for me, the pace was too slow and the plot lacking in substance. And I'd figured out the ending exactly very early into the story! Also, as I suspected, the tone was quite maudlin.

  • Kushnuma
    2019-03-25 21:11

    I won an advanced copy of this book via a giveaway hosted by Goodreads First Reads.I thought this was a nice book, with some emotional moments. However, I found that at times I could almost predict what was going to happen and how things might turn out.

  • Mark
    2019-04-07 04:21

    Inevitably when we are writing reviews we are in danger of reducing complex stories, rich characterisation and psychological dramas to simple sentences. It would be a gross over simplification to say ‘The Lie’ is a novel about PTSD or ‘survivor guilt’ or to try and provide a 'catch-all' phrase - a novel showing that Love outlasts Death- so any analysis of the effectiveness of this absorbing and distressing story must run the risk of belittling the author’s amazing acheievement in recreating the profound horrors of trench warfare that was to inflict so much irreparable damage - physical, emotional and psychological- and transform millions of lives irrevocably in the post-war world.Helen Dunmore’s evocative narrative focuses on the lives of three great friends from a small Cornish community, who must leave behind the tranquility and insularity of the their rural village to test the bonds of love and friendship under challenging circumstances. Traumatised by the horrific experience of combat that love is to be put to the test.The sudden wrench that enlistment brought for volunteers and conscripts is vividly recreated - civilian lives disrupted, careers fractured, families dislocated, and friendships torn apart as loved ones went to war. Then the deluge and the further wrench, and agonising pain, of irretrievable loss and unrelieved grieving that must be endured by families confronting death and disfigurement.Helen Dunmore creates a living hell that is now indelibly stamped on another reader’s imagination. A tour de force from a superb novelist. And how appropriate to pen this review on the day the author was awarded posthumously the Costa Book Prize for 2017 for her final poetry collection, Inside The Wave.