Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Book Review: The Care and Management of Lies, by Jacqueline Winspear

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 book

Kezia 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.

Published by Harper, July 1, 2014
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
336 pages

Rating: 4/5

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