The Care and Management of Lies: A Novel of the Great War by Jacqueline Winspear, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Care and Management of Lies: A Novel of the Great War

The Care and Management of Lies: A Novel of the Great War

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by Jacqueline Winspear
     
 

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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

Overview

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 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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
05/12/2014
The Great War’s impact on the home front and battlefield is portrayed in Winspear’s (the Maisie Dobbs series) winning stand-alone tale about two girlfriends and how their disparate lives entwine when one of them marries the other’s brother. Kezia and Thea couldn’t be more different: Kezia is a vicar’s daughter and Thea (originally called “Dorrit”—from Dorothea—by her Dickens-loving family) grew up on the family farm as a tomboy, competing with her younger brother, Tom. Both girls were scholarship students, but it’s their differences that bind them. Tensions rise when Kezia becomes engaged to Tom. Thea doubts her city-born friend can manage farm life and, as a dig, gives her The Woman’s Book, a publication advising women on a variety of subjects. Excerpts from it, as well as from military manuals of the time, set up chapters told from varying points of view, including that of Edmund Hawkes, a member of the gentry and Tom’s neighbor, who becomes Tom’s commanding officer. Tom enlists and becomes his sergeant’s whipping boy; Kezia thrives as mistress of the farm; and Thea transforms from being a suffragist and pacifist to running an ambulance on the front lines. To keep up Tom’s spirits, Kezia sends letters detailing the imaginary scrumptious meals she’s prepared for him, which he shares with his comrades. While questioning war’s value and showing its terrible effects off the battlefield, Winspear fashions a stunning trajectory for her main characters. Agent: Amy Ren­nert, Amy Rennert Agency. (July)
NPR's Fresh Air
“Winspear has returned—via a good new, standalone, non-mystery novel called The Care and Management of Lies—to the wartime period that clearly continues to haunt her. In a publishing season crowded with commemorations of the outbreak of World War I...Winspear’s books more than hold their own.”
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-05-19
Five kind and honorable people are caught up in the depredations of the Great War in this first stand-alone novel by the author of the Maisie Dobbs mystery series (Leaving Everything Most Loved, 2013, etc.)In 1914, as war looms, newlyweds Tom and Kezia Brissenden are making a go of the farm Tom inherited from his father, a farm that would have been part of the estate of wealthy gentleman Edmund Hawkes had not his great-grandfather lost it to Tom's great-grandfather in a darts game. Kezia, a vicar's daughter, is earnestly striving to supplant her finishing school ways with those of a farm wife, consulting a housewifery guide, The Woman's Book. Although Hawkes is attracted to Kezia, he keeps a respectful distance, just as he is cordial but not friendly toward Tom. This distance persists as Tom and Hawkes both enlist and are sent to the front line in France, where Tom, a private, serves under Capt. Hawkes. Kezia keeps Tom's spirits up with her letters describing the sumptuous meals she prepares for him in her imagination, where wartime food shortages and government inroads on the farm's production aren't problems. The whole battalion soon looks forward to her letters and the occasional fruitcake. However, Tom is scapegoated by this novel's closest thing to a villain, the cynical and embittered Sgt. Knowles, who resents the influx of so many green recruits. Meanwhile, Tom's sister (and Kezia's best friend), Thea, anguishes over whether she will be arrested for her activities as a suffragette and pacifist. Ultimately, she decides that the only way to escape government oppression is to reaffirm her loyalty: She becomes an ambulance driver at the front, where Kezia's father, Rev. Marchant, is ministering to troops in the trenches. Without questioning either the cause of the war or the dubious tactics employed, seemingly, to ensure maximum loss of life for minimal military advantage, these characters simply get on with it, reaffirming our faith in the possibility of everyday nobility.A sad, beautifully written, contemplative testament.
the Oprah Magazine O
“Fiction at once fresh and timeless, intimate and sweeping that chronicles the challenging friendship between a suffragist and a farmer’s wife….A rare stand-alone novel by the author of the beloved Maisie Dobbs series.”
Good Housekeeping
“Captivating.”
Bobbi Dumas
“Winspear knows the history of the war that changed the world. In The Care and Management of Lies, she’s telling us the story, she’s bringing it home. Beautifully, tragically, indelibly.”
Bill Goldstein
“A simply told, beautifully written story.”
USA Today
“Jacqueline Winspear is one of our best….Beautifully imagined and executed….As with every Winspear novel, there is beautiful writing-and in Kezia and Tom, two characters you won’t soon forget.”
Seattle Times
“Just as strong [as the Maisie Dobbs series]-enough to guarantee satisfaction for even the most fervent Maisie fan.”
Maureen Corrigan
“Winspear has returned—via a good new, standalone, non-mystery novel called The Care and Management of Lies—to the wartime period that clearly continues to haunt her. In a publishing season crowded with commemorations of the outbreak of World War I...Winspear’s books more than hold their own.”
Washington Post
“s much a story of the home front as of the battlefield, this new stand-alone novel is, above all, a moving tale about the beauty of those very virtues—fortitude, faithfulness, compassion—that the Great War called into question.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“Captivating….It is in Kezia’s imagination and kitchen where this tragic story of war, passion, love and friendship comes alive. Winspear illustrates how food-whether it’s imaginary or real-can provide the perfect amount of tenderness and compassion when it’s needed the most….A suspenseful wartime narrative.”
Washington Times
“A moving and remarkable book.”
Martin Cruz Smith
“There is power in subtlety. This one is a stunner.”
Margot Livesey
“In this dazzling novel Jacqueline Winspear writes irresistibly about the First World War, both in the trenches of France and the fields of England. Her characters walk off the page and into our imaginations, as we fight with them, farm with them, cook with them. I devoured this book.”
Herman Wouk
“An engaging picture of the human spirit in a distant time of war, World War I, from the battlefields to the home front in an English village.”
Adam Hochschild
“A haunting evocation, from an unusual angle, of the war that cast such a shadow over the whole 20th century. Jacqueline Winspear knows her native England, and the human heart, very well indeed.”
Booklist
“In a stand-alone departure from her popular post-WWI mystery series featuring psychologist Maisie Dobbs, Winspear has created memorable characters in a moving, beautifully paced story of love and duty.”
Library Journal
05/15/2014
Winspear's beloved period mysteries featuring Masie Dobbs (Leaving Everything Most Loved) depict an England haunted by memories of the Great War, so it's no surprise that she uses the conflict as the backdrop to this elegiac historical, her first stand-alone novel. Kezia and Tom Brissenden have been married only a few weeks when Britain declares war on Germany on August 4, 1914. Tom enlists, leaving his town-bred bride in charge of his sprawling Kent farm. His commanding officer is Edmund Hawkes, an aristocratic neighbor whose loneliness is magnified amid the horror of the trenches. Meanwhile, Thea Brissenden, Tom's sister and Kezia's estranged best friend, volunteers as an ambulance driver on the front lines to avoid charges of sedition stemming from her involvement with a pacifist group. Kezia and Tom exchange letters full of love and well-intended deceit concocted to shield the other from anguish, while Edmund and Thea struggle to overcome self-deception and find meaning in a senseless war. VERDICT Though this is not a mystery, Winspear's fans should welcome the keen period detail and thoughtful tone so familiar from the Maisie Dobbs books, while historical fiction readers will be gripped by this sensitive portrayal of ordinary men and women on the home front and battlefield. [See Prepub Alert, 1/26/14; for more novels about World War I, see Mara Bandy's roundup "Battle Scars," LJ 11/1/13.—Ed.]—Annabelle Mortensen, Skokie P.L., IL

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062220509
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/01/2014
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
1,097,578
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the New York Times bestselling Maisie Dobbs series, which includes A Dangerous Place, Leaving Everything Most Loved, Elegy for Eddie, A Lesson in Secrets, The Mapping of Love and Death, and six other novels. Her standalone novel, The Care and Management of Lies, was also a New York Times bestseller and a Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalist. Originally from the United Kingdom, she now lives in California.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Ojai, California
Date of Birth:
April 30, 1955
Place of Birth:
Weald of Kent, England
Education:
The University of London¿s Institute of Education
Website:
http://www.jacquelinewinspear.com

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