|(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)|
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.
Oh dear. I hate to admit this, but I did not finish this novel. I just found the book to be too slow-going and I didn't connect with any of the characters. I had really thought I would be fond of Thea (she's all about feminism), but I found her rude and snarky attitude to be a bit much. Kezia was too naive at times and I just wanted to shake her awake and accept the reality that war was upon them. As for Tom, he was just too sweet to a fault. Now, I didn't finish the story, so who knows how much these three changed over the course of WWI, but I can imagine it was done in spades.
Cripes! I had really wanted to like this book. I just love Winspear's fantastic Maisie Dobbs' series - they are always such a fun treat to read - that I had really thought I would fall in love with The Care and Management of Lies. Well, I didn't. Although the writing was extremely detailed and flowed rather nicely, I didn't find myself captivated by Thea or Kezia's stories. I wanted to be swept away into the story (like I normally am when reading a Dobbs' story), but this book just didn't have that element of engagement (or at least I didn't experience it). I forced myself to keep reading for some time, but eventually had to call it quits. This book just wasn't for me.
I think next time I pick up a Winspear book, I'll make sure its a Dobbs' one. However, I think I'm the only one who didn't like this one, because tons of other bloggers on this tour raved about it. Here's the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Care and Management of Lies