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The Lie by Helen Dunmore

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

January 2014 eBook of the Month.

Shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize 2015.

A tale rooted in the sadness of the effect of World War I on those who returned. We are going to get a lot of these in this centenary year. This one is from a very fine writer indeed. It tells of Daniel, a poor village boy, trying to forge a life while damaged and traumatised, intercepted with flashbacks to the war and to his relationship with a childhood friend. Official guidance information is included which is fascinating and Dunmore’s description of how things smell, the mud, dirt, wounds, men etc. is quite extraordinary. There are several lies and a huge amount of sadness; a most impressive book.

If you like Helen Dunmore you might also like to read books by David Benioff, Esther Freud and Paullina Simons.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Set in Cornwall after the First World War, Daniel’s life has been destroyed by his time at the Front. Although physically unscathed, he is literally haunted by Frederick, his childhood friend, who never returned. Shunning society, his only real contact with the world is Frederick’s sister, Felicia. Dan has never told Felicia the truth about her brother’s death, but he has another darker secret.


The Lie by Helen Dunmore

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?

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About the Author

Helen Dunmore

Helen Dunmore was the author of fourteen novels. Her first, Zennor in Darkness, explored the events which led to D H Lawrence’s expulsion from Cornwall (on suspicion of spying) during the First World War. It won the McKitterick Prize. Her third novel, A Spell of Winter, won the inaugural Orange Prize, now the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction. Her bestselling novel The Siege, set during the Siege of Leningrad, was described by Antony Beevor as ‘a world-class novel’ and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel of the Year and the Orange Prize.

Helen Dunmore’s work has been translated into more than thirty languages and she was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She died in June 2017.

Author photo © Caroline Forbes

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Book Info

Publication date

16th January 2014


Helen Dunmore

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