Read The Care and Management of Lies by Jacqueline Winspear Online


The New York Times bestselling author of the Maisie Dobbs series turns her prodigious talents to this World War I standalone novel, a lyrical drama of love struggling to survive in a damaged, fractured world.By July 1914, the ties between Kezia Marchant and Thea Brissenden, friends since girlhood, have become strained—by Thea’s passionate embrace of women’s suffrage, and bThe New York Times bestselling author of the Maisie Dobbs series turns her prodigious talents to this World War I standalone novel, a lyrical drama of love struggling to survive in a damaged, fractured world.By July 1914, the ties between Kezia Marchant and Thea Brissenden, friends since girlhood, have become strained—by Thea’s passionate embrace of women’s suffrage, and by the imminent marriage of Kezia to Thea’s brother, Tom, who runs the family farm. When Kezia and Tom wed just a month before war is declared between Britain and Germany, Thea’s gift to Kezia is a book on household management—a veiled criticism of the bride’s prosaic life to come. Yet when Tom enlists to fight for his country and Thea is drawn reluctantly onto the battlefield, the farm becomes Kezia’s responsibility. Each must find a way to endure the ensuing cataclysm and turmoil.As Tom marches to the front lines, and Kezia battles to keep her ordered life from unraveling, they hide their despair in letters and cards filled with stories woven to bring comfort. Even Tom’s fellow soldiers in the trenches enter and find solace in the dream world of Kezia’s mouth-watering, albeit imaginary meals. But will well-intended lies and self-deception be of use when they come face to face with the enemy?Published to coincide with the centennial of the Great War, The Care and Management of Lies paints a poignant picture of love and friendship strained by the pain of separation and the brutal chaos of battle. Ultimately, it raises profound questions about conflict, belief, and love that echo in our own time....

Title : The Care and Management of Lies
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780062220509
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 319 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Care and Management of Lies Reviews

  • Anne Slater
    2019-04-07 04:54

    I finished this book 7 minutes ago and really want to talk to someone about it. So I choose... YOU!C&M of L moves quite differently to the Maisie Dobbs books. Winspear really pulled it off-- this is a brilliant book that did not come out of the Maisie Dobbs corner of her mind, even though the settings are the same: rural England, World War I. The particular settings rarely change: the farm, London, the battlefield.Long ago I came to the conclusion that life and literature are about communication, pure and simple, and that's what The Care and Management of Lies is about.The primary relationships/communications explored are those of Kezia ('keez-yuh') and her school friend Thea, and Kezia's husband Tom and the sergeant who chooses him, in the field of training and then battle, as whipping boy. The lies of the title are several, the least surprising being the lies that field officers tell when in condolence letters they tell dead men's parents that "you son died instantly and felt no pain." The most surprising lies are contained in the letters that Kezia writes to Tom. Their effect on his morale and that of his companions is charming with the sweetness that only deep love can concoct.This novel moves quietly, gently, honestly. There is no brutishness that does not serve a purpose, and it has a major but very constrained place in the story. The zinger of The Care and Management of Lies is that it feels like real life. No betrayals of marriage vows; honest self-doubt, hard work, hunger, and sadness woven gently into the fabric. I may have to read it again tomorrow.

  • Carly Thompson
    2019-04-04 20:58

    Historical Fiction about WWI. The tone of this book was odd and slightly off. The beginning of the novel (before WWI commences) was pastoral and had an old fashioned feel. Kezia is engaged to marry Tom, the brother of her best friend from school, Thea. Tom owns and works a farm in Kent and Kezia is the daughter of a Anglican minister so there will be some adjustment to helping her husband run a farm. Thea is slightly jealous of the distance that has grown between her and Kezia. Kezia is taking a traditional path in life by becoming a wife, while Thea works as a teacher in London and is involved with the suffrage movement. There were lots of lovely descriptions of the countryside, farm life, and most importantly food.After the war breaks out, Tom enlists and Kezia is left to run the farm alone in his absence. She writes him loving letters about all the delicious food she is cooking for him (which is all imagined since shortages have been created due to the war). Tom reads the descriptions of food to his fellow soldiers and they all look forward to Kezia's next meal. Thea becomes an ambulance driver in France and Tom's officer is the large landowner who lived near him in Kent. There is a subplot about a sergeant who hates Tom and makes his life miserable.The initial tone of the novel was gentle and reminiscent of feel good novels of small town English life from early in 20th century. When the war breaks out, the tone shifts but not entirely. There are still lovely descriptions of food and stalwart British people but there is also violence and despair and a tragic ending. I am not sure who the audience for this book is. Readers who like foodie fiction and gentler stories probably won't like the sections set in the trenches of WWI and readers who want a story about WWI will find the beginning slow to get through. There is no mystery element to attract fans of Winspear's Maisie Dobbs novels. I think the food element was the strongest element of the story and was more memorable than the trench warfare scenes which are similar to other novels that I have read. This was a strange little book. I like reading about WWI but I don't know that I would recommend this book for that aspect. Interesting but not fully successful.

  • Pamela
    2019-03-28 23:08

    This was a giveaway book so thanks to Goodreads and Allison and Busby. A beautifully written but deceptive book. It begins by wrapping you up in warmth like a cosy dressing gown, but gradually the effects of war strip this away. This creates a sense of sadness and loss, the realisation that things will never be the same again. Jacqueline Winspear skilfully shows the changes brought by the Great War, not just to those fighting, but to those left behind as well. The novel follows the fortunes of Kezia, her husband Tom, and her best friend Thea (Tom's sister) in the pre-war period and into the first year of WWI. These are likeable, believable characters that you come to care about. I did find Kezia just a bit too saintly and sunny, everyone loves her and admires her, and she is capable of rising to every challenge. This was a bit irritating initially, but as she faces real hardships trying to run the farm while Tom is at the front, her resilience and optimism are tested, and she becomes more sympathetic as a character. Thea was more nuanced, basically a good person but struggling to find her place in the world, and I found myself really involved in her story.The narrative moves gently but steadily along. The horrors of war are not glossed over, but this book does not dwell on them, it shows how these events affect ordinary people, changing their ideas and thoughts. The use of food and recipes is a clever device to connect Kezia and Tom during their separation, and a fascinating glimpse of life at that time.I loved this book and would recommend it as a gentle and intelligent read to anyone who enjoys fiction from this period.

  • Lesa
    2019-03-28 05:14

    Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs mysteries often deal with the repercussions of the Great War, World War I, on the people of England. But, according to the author's note in The Care and Management of Lies, the seeds for this novel were planted long before she became an author. Here is a powerful story of The Great War, the story of four innocent people from Kent caught up in a nightmare that was unexpected. And, Winspear said this novel began when she found a dogeared copy of The Woman's Book, a book about household management covering topics including cooking, children, business, and dress. Published in 1911, on the eve of the war, Winspear could only imagine the life of the woman that owned it. So, she gave that woman her great-grandmother's name, Kezia, and set out to tell her story.In June 1914, when Kezia Marchant prepared to marry her best friend's brother, Tom Brissenden, she never dreamt of what was coming. "The country was in the early weeks of a summer that would become memorable for its warmth, and despite worries farther afield, there was a sense of being cocooned in Englishness." But, no one really knew what to expect in the near future. Not, Thea Brissenden, who was passionately supporting women's suffrage, nor Tom, who had taken over the family farm, nor Edmund Hawkes, whose family owned much of the land neighboring the Brissenden farm. All four, in their late twenties, if they even thought of war in June, thought it would be over quickly. They were caught up in their own lives, passions and dreams.Kezia was a little hurt when Thea gave her a copy of The Woman's Book, insinuating that Kezia was leaving behind her life as an educated woman, a teacher, to become a farm wife. But, Kezia would not be the only one leaving behind the life she knew. In fact, she became the one to keep the farm going, the dreams of home burning, as the other three left for war. And, all four managed to lie about their situations, trying to keep hope alive.With the anniversary of World War I in August, there will be many books published about the war. But, Jacqueline Winspear has always grasped the brutality of war, and the effect on the people at home in England. Her Maisie Dobbs books never romanticized the aftereffects of war. In The Care and Management of Lies, her characters come to life as they try to put a positive spin on life in order to appear brave. But, it's those very stories that show how tragic and terrible the war was, both on the battlefield and at home. Kezia Brizzenden represents so many women who courageously took on roles they were unprepared for. If you're looking for a novel that tells the truth, the emotional truth of war, reach for The Care and Management of Lies.

  • Connie
    2019-04-15 00:00

    The Care and Management of Lies shows the comfort of love and friendship during the dark days of World War I. Best friends Thea Brissendon and Kezia Marchant were scholarship students, and later taught together, at a private school. Kezia, the daughter of a vicar, married Thea's brother Tom to become a farmer's wife. Thea went in a different direction, becoming very passionate about the women's suffrage movement and other causes.Tom enlisted when World War I started, leaving Kezia to manage the farm in Kent with just a few men who were physically unable to become soldiers. It was a big challenge for a town girl, but soon Kezia was out in the fields plowing, planting crops to feed the troops. Thea became an ambulance driver, transporting injured soldiers from the French battlefields.There are vivid descriptions of trench warfare and the terrible carnage where Tom is stationed in France. Kezia, an inventive cook, makes a special effort to send baked goods to Tom and Thea, which they share with friends. Tom also reads them parts of Kezia's letters where she writes about the delicious "imaginary dinners" she is preparing for him. There is so much warmth and love baked into her cakes and her "pretend dinners," a piece of home sent to the battlefront. Tom responds with loving, upbeat letters, although he is living in constant danger in the muddy trenches with death all around him. The title, The Care and Management of Lies, refers partly to the way Kezia and Tom put a happy, positive spin to their letters so they would not worry their loved ones. The families of deceased soldiers always received letters from the commanding officers that their family member had fought courageously and had died instantly without any pain, which is a comfort to the family but often a lie.The book starts off very slowly, introducing the reader to the characters, setting the scene, and including lots of historical details. It picks up pace as it gets into World War I with the spotlight on Kezia and Tom. Many chapters begin with a quote from "The Women's Book" about household management, published in 1911, which was the inspiration for the author to write this novel. The military chapters start with quotes from the "Field Service Pocket Book" of 1914. Kezia was such an endearing character that I was hoping that Jacqueline Winspear might consider writing a sequel.

  • Jennifer
    2019-03-29 22:59

    Disclaimer - I received this from the First Reads Giveaway. Additionally, I do not summarize the plot - that is at the top of the page.If there was only one thing I was allowed to rave about _The Care and Management of Lies_ it would be how much I came to care about the characters. At a critical point of the novel, I even broke my readers code - no reading ahead! - but my break was over and I couldn't leave the character hanging!Please read this novel: the emotions the characters put you through are genuine. At the conclusion of this book, I had 'a book hangover'; I could not pick up another book as I was still thinking about this one. I still do catch myself thinking about it in random parts of my day.

  • Celeste
    2019-04-14 02:52

    I love Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series, but was disappointed in this effort.It's well-researched and gives one a clear feeling of what it was really like for the English before and during World War I. It is beautifully written, with some absolutely poignant and profound moments, and insightful nuances. But a compelling story needs to take you somewhere; at the end, one should feel that there was a reason for being on this journey. When I finished this book, I just felt deflated. While I'm not a person who insists on a happy ending, I felt the denouement of this story was a bit hollow and dissatisfying.

  • Lori
    2019-04-10 22:18

    Unfortunately, just as the 'Maisie Dobbs' series fizzled out at about book # 4, this departure, also centered around WWI, does the same. No doubt Winspear is a talented writer, but it may be time to explore new territory. I am not entirely sure what I'm to get from this other than WWI was horrific and tore people's lives apart. The characters are not really developed: Kezia and Tom marry and create an almost pastoral, bucolic, existence on the family farm while Thea/Dorrit scrambles from one cause to the other without much reason other than to avoid the police or because she's bored. Details of the battlefield are graphic--be prepared--and the end? Well, it just ENDS. I kept thinking 'what the...?' Is this a set up for another book? A new series? All in all, I felt like I was treading the same, tired, overdone, territory Winspear (and others) have done countless times before. IF, however, you are a new reader of Winspear--this might not be a bad introduction.

  • Shirley Schwartz
    2019-04-21 22:17

    This book was totally astonishing. What I found the most remarkable is that Ms. Winspear covers the human side of World War I better than any other fiction book I've read that has been set during the Great War. Ms. Winspear wrote this book to commemorate the 100 anniversary of the beginning of this terrible war. The setting is a farm in Kent and of course in France where the fighting was occurring. The time is 1914 and 1915. The book is all about Kezia Marchant who becomes Kezia Brissendon when she marries Tom Brissendon in early 1914. Kezia is a parson's daughter and well educated for the times. She is a school teacher when she marries Tom, a farmer in Kent. Kezia gives up her London life to become a farmer's wife. She has not got much experience in cooking, keeping house or farming for that matter, but her love for Tom encourages to embrace her new life with both arms. Kezia and Tom are deeply in love, but then Tom decides to join the army at the very beginning of the war (August 1914). At the time everyone thought it would be all over by Christmas. Kezia is left to manage the farm and the house on her own. She is only a few months married, but her optimism and the letters that she and Tom send to each other help her cope. The letters that Tom and Kezia exchange are the main things that drive the plot along in this surprising book. As we know, there was so much misinformation and outright lies divulged about the war and what it was actually like for the soldiers in the trenches, that people at home in England never really understood the enormity of the war and the huge toll it took on lives on both sides. This is apparent in Tom and Kezia's letters as neither one tells the other one what is actually going on with them. Neither one wants to worry the other one. Ms. Winspear introduces the real story of what happened in the trenches in between these wonderful warm letters and it is done in such an understated way, that it makes the war even more vile than what we the readers have thought it was. World War I was a despicable war with no redeeming qualities and nothing is solved by it as is made apparent when World War II began only 21 years after the end of WWI. The book raises a good many questions about patriotism, war-time sacrifices, and the damage done to human lives and psyche both at home and in the trenches. This is a remarkable book. It is both very dark and very warm at the same time.

  • Tara Chevrestt
    2019-04-20 21:08

    I found this story very, very dull. I could not get into, nor grow to care for the characters. It pontificates, telling us the same thing over and over, in just different words. She loves Tom. She loves Tom. She has never cooked before, never worked a farm. This person's great grandfather had a gambling problem. Thea is growing away from Kezia.I get it; I do. I got it the first time it was mentioned.What I don't get is all the cooking and how in the world it ties into the war. I grew terribly bored with Kezia's cooking and what ingredients she was using and how long she cooked the fish.I feel like something was there but I could not see it. I just know that halfway through the book, I declared, "Let's get on with it already!!! I don't care what you make for his high tea or dinner!"Just wasn't for me. I will say, however, I was intrigued with how everyone in different parts of the country reacted to the idea of war. There's the country folk who think it won't touch them, the pacifists and their protests, the young men who sign up thinking it's an adventure, and the poor who just want three square meals a day.

  • Roselyn
    2019-04-06 23:04

    I was all set to love this book. I'm a big fan of the Maisie Dobbs series, but this just didn't capture me. I kept waiting for that moment when I really sink into the story...and it never happened. The relationship between Kezia and Thea was never really developed--I thought that was left hanging. So I was disappointed as I finished this book that I have been looking forward to reading, and I hated the ending.

  • Cathy Cole
    2019-04-24 22:16

    When I first learned that this was not the latest book in Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series, I did feel a moment of disappointment. I've grown to love Maisie, and I look forward to seeing how her life changes; however, this book-- written to coincide with the centenary of World War I-- is about one of my favorite time periods, and I wasn't about to ignore it. I'm glad I didn't.This elegiac and slow-moving narrative was inspired by a book Winspear found in a London book stall. The battered book on household management was inscribed to a bride on the occasion of her wedding in July 1914, and Winspear couldn't help but wonder about the changes that young woman's life underwent in the succeeding years. In The Care and Management of Lies, we see the hardworking, honorable and compassionate Tom enlisting after several of his farm workers do. (The war was going to be over by Christmas after all.) Kezia, a vicar's daughter totally unused to the workings of a prosperous farm, is left to carry on with the help of a couple of the old and disabled and a variety of workers brought in to make do. Thea reluctantly finds herself learning how to repair ambulances and driving them back and forth to the front lines. Each, in his or her own way, depends on letters and care packages from the others to help them cope with the seemingly overwhelming difficulties and horrors of what they must do.Kezia, the only one of the three left behind, finds herself the primary caregiver to the other two. Her letters to Tom become eagerly awaited items by Tom's entire outfit. In them, she describes in detail the meals she has lovingly prepared for her husband, and while Tom reads them aloud to his mates, each one is comforted by the memories these words from home evoke. Kezia sends care packages containing food and small items that Tom and Thea need, and her words bring love and respite. None of the three tell the truth of what they are facing. All three want to shield the others with loving lies and omissions.As I said at the beginning, this book is slow moving, and it's not about Maisie, but there's gold to be found in the pages. If you love food, you're going to love Kezia's descriptions of the meals she prepares-- they can make your mouth water. There's quite a bit about those meals, but I didn't find it repetitive. Kezia uses those descriptions to care for those she loves in the only way she can, and as you read about her life on the farm, it's easy to see that, in the writing of them, she's taking herself away from reality for a while, too.Winspear brings the reality of war in the trenches and living with men from all levels of society to life in all its smells, pettiness, filth, horror, and heroism. The relationships between Tom and the other soldiers show so much of the human condition. By book's end I realized that I had just read about the trial by fire of a generation who would go on to "keep calm and carry on" twenty years down the road. This is a lyrical and sobering book indeed.

  • Annette
    2019-04-01 03:52

    I'm a huge historical fiction fan, and there seems to be a dearth of books about World War I, so when I saw The Care and Management of Lies, written by a well-known author, I couldn't pass it up. For the most part, I really enjoyed the bookKezia and Thea are best friends. Well, at least they were all through school. But now Kezia is going to marry Tom, Thea's brother, and move to the family farm to become a farm wife. Thea is enjoying her job as a teacher in London, so the girls have grown apart.It is surprising how well Kezia takes to farm life. She is a society girl, and knows nothing about cooking or running a household. But she works hard and she and Tom have a great relationship. Shortly after they are married, World War I breaks out, and Tom enlists. Kezia must now run the entire farm, with the help of a few men who for various reasons can't fight in the war.Thea, always a suffragette, is now protesting the war, and when she is in danger of being arrested for sedition, she has a change of heart and joins a medical team and runs an ambulance transporting wounded from the front lines to the hospital.The Care and Management of Lies does a good job of describing life in the trenches for the soldiers, as well as the changes in the lives of those left behind in England. Not a lot happens, but Kezia is a wonderful character, and I enjoyed reading the letters she wrote to Tom, and seeing her become such a strong woman. Ultimately, The Care and Management of Lies is a book about surviving a world turned upside down and holding true to what is important.Winspear writes very beautifully, and The Care and Management of Lies will be enjoyed by those who want to know more about life during the war. The characters are memorable and while the book is heartbreaking, it's also heartwarming.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-04-07 03:10

    Sadly disappointing from an author who can do better. The main problem in this one is the plotting, or lack thereof. I could tell she had a plot point at which she was aiming, but she seemed to struggle with the setup until about halfway through the book. The beginning was deathly boring and not terribly illuminating as to anyone's character. Once things finally got going, it was pleasant to get to know the three main characters, and the little window into farm life circa 1914 rural England was quite sweet. I very much enjoyed the cooking parts; garden geek that I am, it made me think about my house garden in a climate that is similar to England's. The ending came abruptly though not as a surprise. I feel a little like she's setting herself up for a series. At this point I'd say go back to Maisie Dobbs!

  • Anne
    2019-04-14 21:50

    Jacqueline Winspear got the inspiration for this novel when she stumbled across a woman's household management book; The Woman's Book - Contains Everything a Woman Ought to Know which was edited by Florence B Jack and first published in London in 1911. The book not only covered household management, but also had comprehensive sections on cookery, children, home doctor, business, dress, society, careers, and citizenship.Set just before, and during the First World War; The Care and Management of Lies is a haunting, yet very engaging story that tells of life both behind the trenches and back at home in rural Kent.Kezia and Thea became best friends when they were both scholarship girls. They formed a bond, sharing new experiences together and considered themselves to be sisters. As they grew up, they grew apart - with Thea risking her liberty by taking part in anti-war demonstrations, whilst Kezia fell in love with Thea's brother Tom. Kezia and Tom married and Kezia was determined that she would be the best farmer's wife in Kent. Throwing herself into an almost alien way of life; cooking, helping on the farm, Kezia thrived and Tom wondered how he had been so fortunate to find this practical, passionate woman.When war is declared, both Tom and Thea join up and find themselves on the frontline. Tom's sense of duty forced him to follow the village men into the Army, whilst Thea took the opportunity to distance herself from the increasingly violent protests that her friends were becoming involved with.Kezia is left to run the farm herself, with just the help of a couple of elderly and unfit men. Turning to the Woman's Book that Thea gave her when she married, she started to create wonderfully delicious dinners for her absent husband. Cooking the meals, and then describing them in fine detail in letters to Tom made Kezia feel as though she was doing something for the war effort. Whilst Tom cheered the hungry, cold and scared soldiers by reading out the descriptions of these succulent treats.The Care and Management of Lies is an unusual story, giving a different aspect to this dreadful and ferocious war. Jacqueline Winspear has vividly portrayed life behind the frontline and at home, creating wonderfully lifelike characters who the reader can really relate to. I felt as though I too had travelled their journey, and admit to more than a couple of sniffs and sobs along the way.This is the first time that I have read anything by Jacqueline Winspear and I was very impressed by the strength of feeling that her writing inspires. I will most certainly read more of her books.

  • Patty
    2019-04-02 01:57

    The Care And Management Of LiesByJacqueline WinspearWhere it all takes place...Much of this book takes place in and around London, a family farm outside of London and the battlefields of the First World particular...France.When much of it happens...Most of this story takes place just a few months before England enters the war. The intense parts of this book occur on the battlefields and back at the family farm while the war is actually happening. What it's all about...Thea is best friends with Kezia...they go to school together and become teachers together. Along the way Kezia falls in love with Tom...Thea's brother...and marries him and becomes a farmer's wife. Thea becomes involved with suffragettes and becomes political and just a bit disdainful of Kezia. Enter World War I and all of its horrors. Tom leaves, Thea leaves, even Kezia's father leaves for war. Kezia deals with the farm and it's workers. Tom...gentle sweet Tom...not only has war to live through but also an evil horrible Sergeant Knowles...who literally hates him for his goodness. Kezia and Tom's next door neighbor is also Tom's commander but he still can't do much to stop Sergeant Knowles from persecuting Tom.Which characters had the most impact on me...Kezia was my most impactful character. She was so sweet and true and brave. Every small or large thing that she did was laced with elegance and beauty. She started with always using her best napkins at tea to wearing Tom's trousers to milk cows while Tom was at war. She literally saved the farm during this period. What did I love the most...Oh my...I loved Kezia and Tom's relationship. I loved their gentle ways with each other. I loved the letters they wrote to each other during this war.Whom did I love the least...This is easy...Sergeant Knowles. And actually...I was not a huge fan of Thea, either. She was too disdainful of Kezia...she felt too superior for absolutely no reason.Why I wanted to read it...I love this author's Maisie Dobbs books and wanted to read this stand alone new one.What made me love it...This author made me love it. This book grabbed me from the start and I literally loved every word, every scene, every character...well...almost every character.Why you should read it, too...It is an amazing book about the lives of people who were living through a horrible war. It will touch your soul. I could not believe the beautiful ending of this book. I laughed...I cried...I loved every word.

  • Florence Millo
    2019-04-03 21:56

    The Care and Management of Lies is a beautiful story of the love and friendship of three people and how those lives were forever altered by World War I. Kezia and Thea met in school and became best friends. Kezia marries Thea's brother, Tom. Thea becomes active in the suffragette movement and is convinced that Kezia is going to have a difficult time being a farmer's wife.As the war begins, Tom sees that many of the men who work on his farm are enlisting. Thea volunteers as an ambulance driver to avoid being arrested for her war protesting activities. Kezia is left to keep the farm running, with an old man and a lame boy to help her with the work.Kezia keeps the farm running and makes everyone around her feel loved and cared for. Her letters to Tom are filled with her cooking that she cooks for him at home. These letters are read by Tom to his men who feel her love for Tom and give them something to think about besides the mud and rats and death that actually surround them. There is no gratuitous violence and the characters are complex and well-drawn. I listened to this as an audio-book and the reader's voice was perfect for it. A really good read or listen.

  • Jennifer
    2019-04-06 05:13

    This was quite tedious. Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series are thoroughly entertaining, but this was an overly sentimental and misinformed novel of The Great War. For 2/3 of it, nothing happened as readers followed 3 trite, undeveloped and stereotyped characters. To think that those living through that tragedy would concern themselves with fantasies of cooking is unbelievably naive and...boring. In the final 60 pages, Winspear perhaps realized this, too, and the climaxes of these characters' experiences came fast and furious. I have read many historical fictions about this era, and this was the pits.

  • Jessica Howard
    2019-04-12 23:18

    A quiet, yet unsettling, novel about Kezia, her new husband Tom, and her best friend (Tom's sister) Thea, as WW1 breaks out. Tom enlists, Thea becomes an ambulance driver, and Kezia, who had been a teacher, is left to run the family farm alone. The book's gentle tone and slow pacing are a bit at odds with the tragic events that inevitably occur as a result of the war. I found myself dreading what was coming as I read.

  • Rachel
    2019-03-27 00:52

    This book is about a woman--a strong, intelligent, caring and confident woman. She knows who she is and she's not afraid to make mistakes and that's what gives her the strength to do what she must. She loves truly. She is a powerful influence for good in the lives of those around her. She's an amazing woman and I want to be just like her.

  • Colleen
    2019-04-18 00:07

    This is a tough one to rate and review. There were parts of this book that I really loved and others (particularly at the beginning) that I felt quite disconnected with. It was a bit baffling to have such a swing in emotion from page to page. But overall, I did find this a well-written, heartfelt book. The Care and Management of Lies focused of Kezia, her new husband Tom, and her best friend turned sister-in-law Thea. Kezia was an interesting character. Although she was often considered to be an impulsive daydreamer, she was quite intelligent and had a strong core made of optimism, hard work, and perseverance. I had more trouble relating to Thea in the beginning. Although I understood where she was coming from, her actions were driven by anger and bitterness. I liked her more as the book progressed though.Tom didn't have as much emotional depth. He is more of a catalyst in the story of Kezia and Thea than fully fleshed out character. The sections of his experiences in war were raw and unglossed. I think Winspear did a good job of making a believable period piece without that trying-to-hard reenactment feel. This is not a romantic version of war, but rather a authentic-feeling account of regular people doing their best to survive and help their relationships survive as well. The book revolves around the lies people tell to comfort or to assuage guilt. There were two main relationships in the book. The first was that of the long standing friendship between Thea and Kezia. Although they had been best friends for many years, they both felt the pain of a faltering friendship caused when two people grow in very different directions. I could certainly identify with that pain. And I did emphasize with Thea's turmoil over being usurped as the number one confidant to Kezia and Tom as the found each other and started on a new portion of life without her. Thea is left bitter and floundering to find her place in life. And Kezia is left desperately trying to repair that bond of friendship. The second relationship is that of Kezia and Tom. Not long after being wed, World War I breaks out and Tom leaves for war (although it was a lot farther into the book than I was expecting). Kezia is left struggling not only to keep the farm running and nourish the tendrils of a new marriage, but also to find her place and figure out who she was. Aside from the setting of the war, there was the classic lesson that few discuss: how do you reconcile the person you are expected to be after marriage with the person you see yourself as? It was a poignant message. I loved the way that early on, Kezia realized that she would never be like her mother-in-law and didn't try to be. Rather she went about filling her role in her own way. Learning and getting things done but always with her own flourish and without loosing touch with herself. Kezia adapted and became a new person that encompassed her old self and her married ideal. It was a rousing story. She was fighting not only to keep the farm running, but also to provide moral for her husband. She mainly does this through describing wonderful meals that she says she is making when is truth she is hungry just as often. But the letters are filled with such sincere love that even the other men in Tom's troupe begin to take comfort in them. This is certainly a character driven book with minimal plot. However, the last hundred pages or so I was frantically reading because I couldn't wait to find out what happened. Despite the slow pace, it still built up to an intense climax. A fair portion of the book is told through letters which is always risky. But they did not become boring even with the lengthy descriptions of food. I think is was because Winspear did such a good job of making their love feel real.The writing in the second half was remniscent of All Quiet on the Western Front which admittedly is one of my favorite books. The ending was a bit abrupt, and I definitely turned the page expecting more. This was followed by an exclamation of, "Wait, that's it??" and a long sigh. After mulling it over though, I do think the ending fit the book even if it didn't turn out the way I hoped. Overall, it was an strong, emotional read good for lovers of historical fiction.This review fulfills the "Book by an Author You Have Never Read Before" category of the Popsugar reading challenge.

  • Shoshanah
    2019-04-07 00:00

    I've never read a book by Jacqueline Winspear, but I've heard great things about her Maisie Dobbs series. I even own the first one, I just haven't found the time to read it yet. I'd probably say this book is a mix of Betsy's Wedding (of the Betsy-Tacy series) and Somewhere in France (also subtitled A Novel of the Great War) two books I'd list on my all-time favorites list. I wouldn't necessarily say this book would be on that list as well, but I still really enjoyed it.There's basically three main characters in this, Kezia, her best friend Thea, and Thea's brother Tom, who Kezia marries on the eve of WWI. And while the story is told partly from the point of view each one of the three, it's really Tom and Kezia we get to know the best. In some ways I wish Thea's character had been a little more fleshed out, but then we would have had less time with Tom and Kezia who were my favorites.The sustenance of novel is really the letters between Kezia and Tom who's fighting over in France. Kezia spends most of her letters describing elaborate meals she'd cook for Tom and while they all sound delicious it's really the love inside of each the speaks the loudest.I have read a number of books about WWI, but this is the first I can remember where life in the trenches was so detailed. You feel awful for Tom and his fellow soldiers and can't wait till the war if over and their able to be reunited with their loved ones.Then of course, there's the ending. I'm not going to give anything away (although I wish you all had already read this so we could yell about it together), but I couldn't belief that was it. I actually went onto the author's website immediately after finishing it to see if there was a final note or something that didn't make it into the ARC. But sadly I think the ending is exactly that, the end.With this year being 100 years since WWI started, I know there's likely to be even more period books coming out soon. And knowing how much I've enjoyed the ones I've already read, I can't wait to read through them all!Disclosure: I was provided this book through TLC Book Tours. All opinions expressed are my own.

  • Guanajasharon
    2019-04-20 22:16

    Jacqueline Winspear just keeps getting better in my opinion. I am hooked on the Maisie Dobbs mysteries and then I happened to check this book out from the library as it sounded interesting. She never disappoints. The story is about three individuals just before World War I; a woman, her brother and the brother's soon-to-be bride who is a friend of the sister. Each individual's character is well thought out and presented. The story is complex but totally realistic. We delve into each character and the passions they have, the goals they hope to attain all wrapped up in the complications of life.It is a poignant story about love, war and the searching for something in life to give it meaning. It, ultimately, is a sad story with one being drawn into the deep love between the characters and the management of the lies they must tell to keep each other sane.I highly recommend this book. As a historical novel it displays the tragedy of WWI without going into all the gory details. It also shows how people on the home front had to deal with day-to-day life and how they coped with it.One thing I will always be struck with was a section where the husband is at the front in France facing death every day knowing that if he does not kill the Germans, they will kill him. He gets a letter from his wife who informs him that the British have captured many Germans and are keeping them not in prisoner of war camps but in a guarded fashion allowing the local farmers to use the men as helpers to grow the food to supply British Troops. She tells her husband that his German is among them, working, eating and sleeping in order to help the British cause. He feels it is so ironic that while he is close to death the same people he fears are taking his place on his farm doing his work which he would otherwise be doing if he was not at the front fighting. He is facing death and his enemy has replaced him in the peace of his home.

  • Cheyanne
    2019-04-24 21:50

    This is an ambitious novel about the effect of World War One on the British people, both at home and on the battlefield. Tom, a young farmer from Kent, enlists in the army and his new bride, Kezia, a genteel vicar's daughter, must learn to manage the farm on her own. In the trenches in France, Tom finds himself under the command of an aristocratic neighbor, Edmund, who harbors a secret infatuation for Kezia. These three sublimate their passion and frustration (with classic English restraint, no one in the novel seems to have actual sex) through letters that Kezia writes to Tom, in which she describes delicious meals she would like to cook for him. Edmund, in his role as military censor, surreptitiously reads the letters and dreams of trading places with Tom. If the novel had been limited to this romantic triangle and its unique culinary expression, the result might have been a stronger, if shorter, work.However, in an apparent effort to create an epic narrative of the Great War, the author introduces an assortment of additional characters and subplots. Tom's sister, Thea, a suffragette and pacifist, becomes a battlefield ambulance driver in order to avoid being sent to prison for her political activities. Kezia's father, the vicar, becomes an army chaplain and finds his faith challenged. A malevolent sergeant makes life miserable for both Tom and Edmund. A gentle German POW is sent to work on Tom and Kezia's farm alongside Kentish women who must take up farm labor while their menfolk are in the army. Unfortunately, none of these stories is fully developed as the novel shifts abruptly between plot lines.That being said, the portrait of life on the home front, from the daily activities on a working farm to the near hysteria of the London crowds on the eve of war, is vivid and memorable and I recommend the novel for this reason.

  • Dina
    2019-04-23 03:15

    Take four young people in England in their 20's. Add the sufragette movement, a wedding, a chance encounter, and Britain's declaration of war in 1914. Sauce liberally with love and "little" white lies. Enjoy a taste of what life was like during World War I - at home on the farm in Kent, in London as part of the pacifist movement, and in the trenches at the battle front. Each of these young men and women struggles to figure out who they have become as they try to do what they believe to be right. The newlyweds exchange letters overflowing with their love, but omitting or glossing over much of the truth of what's happening to and around them. Kezia's descriptions of the suppers she would prepare for her husband Tom if he were home on the farm nourish not only him but also his trenchmates. Thea, Tom's sister, finds herself participating in something to which she is vehemently opposed. Edmund, the country squire who owns much of the land around Tom's farm, goes to war as an officer and anguishes over what he must order his men to do--and the letters he must write to grieving families. Although the book gets off to a slow start, the characters are well-developed - people you will care about. The coming of war to England is vividly portrayed, from the excitement at the prospect of going to war to the prevalent illusion that it would end in a few months. It is hard to witness the heart-breaking struggles of Tom and Kezzie, Theo, and Edmund, but the reading is well worth the effort.I received an uncorrected proof of this novel as part of the FirstReads giveaway program.

  • Marcy Heller
    2019-04-19 01:11

    If PBS' "Home Fires" left you wanting more, Winspear's "The Care and Management of Lies" will not disappoint. I enjoy Winspear's Maisie Dobbs mysteries, but she is also a wonderful story teller and student of history who weaves the tale of a farmer-turned soldier, his sister, a suffragette and pacifist turned ambulance driver, and her best friend who becomes her brother's wife, and who is left to manage the farm while her husband Tom and friend/sister-in-law Thea are at the front. Thea aggressively seeks change, but it is Kezia, the farmer's wife who evolves with the changes in women's roles during the First World War. I loved the entrees at the beginning of most of the chapters from a popular book of the era "The Woman's Book", given to Kezia in spite by her sister-in-law for becoming a 'farmer's wife.' The book turns out to be a modern guide for the 20th century woman and reflect's Kezia's metamorphosis from teacher to wife to farmer.War visited on both sides --those who go and those who stay home-- is not a new topic, but in this book, 'lies' are the sustenance that keep the war machine functioning--Kezia's letters describing ornate dishes she supposedly cooks for Tom are 'food for the soul' for the soldiers in the trenches. Tom in turn, supplies Kezia with a rosy enough description of war for her to carry on, as does the British government, which assures every family who loses a son of their bravery in combat and death.

  • Caroline Anna Bock
    2019-04-17 01:11

    The Care and Management of Lies: A Novel of the Great War tells the story of three interconnected lives immediately before and during World War I in England -- Kezia and Thea, school teachers in London, and Thea's brother Tom, a farmer. A bit slow-moving in parts, the way Downton Abbey sometimes lingers on a scene or moment, so does the author Jaqueline Winspear. I'm not sure the title of this novel does it justice. Every warm as we in America have found out this past decade is predicated on lies, but the story is deftly woven between the three characters. Ultimately, 'the war to end to all wars' doesn't end in a neat tea cozy at the end, but no spoilers here— each character must recognizes their own truth and lies about war and love. A good choice for readers of historical fiction set in World War I or Downton Abbey lovers, who like the scenes with the 'downstairs' help as much as with the ones who live upstairs.

  • Marjorie
    2019-04-08 00:05

    I've never thought much about how we manage 'social' lies, white lies, or even big lies but this book sure does that. You'll be thinking about that for a while. Maybe even talk about it with your dinner companion who hasn't read the book.In time of war, upcoming war; government, patriotism goes into hyper gear to sell flesh and blood the conviction to sign up and get killed for a good cause.The home front sends encouragement and glosses over the worrisome news. The battle front sends I miss you, can't tell you what's REALLY going on heart tugs.The idea of writing to an absent lover the description of the special food cooked for them is lovely. Found myself cooking up special things too.The extra touches, in many cases really aren't THAT hard to implement. I mean rosemary is easy to grow.

  • Arlene
    2019-04-08 02:09

    I realize I am in the minority opinion on this novel. My good friend and fellow voracious reader suggested this book to me as she really became engrossed in the story. I enjoy the Maisie Dobbs books and was hoping for another good series book by Ms Winspear but I could not really get into this novel of WW1. I did not care for Kezia or Thea..they seemed like cardboard figures and never fully developed. I think one of the reasons for this is that both characters are introduced at life changing moments in their lives. Of all the characters, Tom was my favorite. Toward the end of the book, I was skimming which is never a good sign!

  • Gerry Welsch
    2019-04-03 04:01

    My reading seems to be stuck in the period of World War I. Having enjoyed the Maisie Dobbs series by Winspear, I decided to read this book by her as well. It is one of the most unusual and moving works of fiction I have read about this historic period. Dealing with both the home front in London and on the farms of Kent, and with trench warfare and the madness of war in France, the story is gripping. In a most unusual plot development, much of the story is connected with cooking and recipes. Kezia Marchant Brissenden is a character I will not soon forget.