Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Review: The Care and Management of Lies by Jacqueline Winspear

Title: The Care and Management of Lies
Author: Jacqueline Winspear
Year Published: 2014

Genre: Adult historical fiction
Pages: 319
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2014 Google Reading map): UK and France

FTC Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book for review by TLC Tours

Summary (from the back of the book): 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 Britain declares war on 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 woman must find a way to endure the ensuing cataclysm and turmoil. But will well-intentioned lies and self-deception be of use when they come face to face with the enemy?

Review: Give me a book set during World War I and I am sure to enjoy it. Add in Jacqueline Winspear's prose and story and we are good to go.

I really liked the characters in this book; they all have struggles ands failings, but they are really out to do the best they can with the situation that they are in. Thea wants desperately to challenge the establishment, Tom wants to do what's right by enlisting even though it means he is away from his farm and wife. Kezia is my favorite. She is strong, smart, caring, and not only making due with what she has: a farm that she knows nothing about; she is newly married; she misses her teaching job; and she really wants her husband to be at home. The only nasty character is Sergeant Knowles, who has it out for Tom from minute one. Though I didn't like him, he was a good character that brought out important events (which I won't mention since it will ruin it if you read the book).

The plot is good as well. While it is a World War I book and it certainly contains life in the trenches, it is really a story of relationships. How do we feel about old friends as our lives take on different roles? How do we behave when put into new situations and the people around us change? I loved the relationship between Kezia and Tom, shown to us through the letters they send one another while Tom is fighting at the front.

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