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The Lie Book

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THE LIE Helen Dunmore

The Lie

Current Status:
In Season
Helen Dunmore
Atlantic Monthly Press

We gave it a B+

The great British novelist is back with a piercing look at the long and lingering tentacles of war, in The Lie. In 1920, Daniel Branwell returns home to a fishing village in Cornwall after his tour of duty in France. He’s a shell of a man, living off the land of an elderly recluse. (Would that she hadn’t died so soon, because the old biddy is fascinating.) Haunted by his memories and unable to escape his feelings of guilt, Daniel gingerly reconnects with his one remaining childhood friend, Felicia, whose brother was his commanding officer in the trenches. Dunmore writes with elegant authority, her language crisp and tense. Though her denouement seems rushed, you’ll still feel deeply for this broken man’s dreamlike grappling to find a place for himself in a world forever shifted. B+