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." * Sunday Times * "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." * Sunday Mirror * "Never striking a false note, The Lie is one of those rare and arresting novels that make you think and feel with greater lucidity." * Daily Telegraph * "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" * Spectator * "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." * Country Life * "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." * The Times *
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