The New York Times best-selling 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.
©2014 Jacqueline Winspear (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers
I love well-written books in virtually every genre. Quirky characters delight me, and it breaks my heart when a good plot is badly done.
Not particularly, but I know enough history so that the book was not enlightening to me.I can imagine that someone who doesn't know much about World War I era history would find this more interesting. Also, I agree with the previous reviewer that the best part of the book for me was the description of life on a farm in Kent. I did like her characters too, but I didn't invest in them emotionally because of my knowledge of WWI.
I really, really like the Maisie Dobbs series, so this one doesn't come close for me, but it is well-written, it is just not a book I need to read/listen to.
She did a very good job. Her voices were well-differentiated and felt very real.
No, there are much better portrayals of the so-called Great War.
The word matriculate is used incorrectly numerous times; it seems to be used as a synonym for graduation when in fact it means the opposite, the formal enrollment in a college or university (or school).
This book didn't work nearly as well for me as Winspeare's Masie Dobbs series does. It was OK I guess but sadly I found it very predictable. I would not recommend it unless you knew nothing about that era and wanted the history lesson. As always Winspeare does a great job with the atmosphere of that time but there is really nothing driving this book as far as story. I knew in the first chapter how it was going to end.
What I did enjoy about the book was her portrait of life on a small Kentish farm. I also enjoyed the way Kezia, the wife who ran the farm and kept the home fires burning while her husband went off to war. She painted lovely word pictures in her letters to him of imaginary meals that she was cooking for them as if he was there with her. I thought that was a lovely way to convey a feeling of comfort and a connection to home. That was cleverly done by the author although the recipes did wander out into left field from time to time.
I did not care for the ending. It ended too abruptly. I know that Happy Ever Afters were thin on the ground at the end of WW1 but I'm not a reader who needs stark reality all the time. A little fantasy can be a good thing sometimes.
Addicted to Audible!
I love Maisie Dobbs, so I eagerly starting listening to this audio. First off the narrator did a horrible job with the male voices, they should have had two narrators or more. Second the story was slow moving and especially the endless boring descriptions of food, ie: food porn. I was going to just stop listening when I got to the millionth description of another boring meal but I kept going for some masochistic reason. I understand the basic premiss of this book, war is hell and in a way nobody ever really "wins". However, human beings don't change if history tells us anything. Ms. Winspear would have been better off writing another Maisie Dobbs story
love to read and love audio books!Favorite authors: Marcia Willett,Nevil Shute,Mary Stewart,and Jacqueline Winspear. I could go on and on but wont bore you! I belong to a book group and we often" Listen" to the books we have selected for the month while using a paper copy for the discussion notes. It really enhances the quality of the story.
Not a winner! I did not like this book.It was too grim and had too many descriptions of food
preparation which did NOT make my mouth water! Did not like either of the main women characters.Absolutely HATED the narration.Her male voices are cloying.
Got through chapter 10 but have no desire to finish it. Very Disappointed. Hope Winspear
sticks to Maisie Dobbs in the future.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
The tale begins in July 1914 about two girl friends and how their lives entwine when one of them marries the others brother. Kenzia a Vicar daughter and Thea who grew up on a farm were scholarship students. Thea gives Kenzia a book as a wedding gift “The Woman’s Book” a publication advising woman on a variety of subjects. The story pulls the reader immediately into Kenzie’s life. She struggles to be the wife her husband deserves, and struggles to maintain the farm while enduring the yearning their separation brings. Thea is transformed from being a suffragist to an ambulance driver on the front lines. Food is scares both on the home front and for the soldiers. To keep Tom’s spirits us Kenzia sends letters detailing imaginary scrumptious meals she’s prepared for him, which he shares with the comrades.
This historical novel illuminates the ways in which the Great War affected the men and women who were called to duty, as well as those who stayed at home. The story raises profound questions about conflict, belief, and love that echoes in our own time. This book was set 100 years ago; it was so well written I felt as if I had stepped back in time. It also made me think of all the advancement that has taken place over the past 100 years just in the home and on the farm. The book was published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Great War. Nicola Barber narrated the book.
One of the best of this year so far
Too many to choose
Good with voices but even better with "stiff upper lip" emotional restraint
While expecting it, the ending was so sad.
I loved Jacqueline Winspear's Massie Dobbs series, it was one of my all time favorites. But this book was boring and I wasn't able to bond with the characters.
Brooklyn by Colm Toibin, then Precious Gifts by Danielle Steel
I didn't have a favorite scene that stands out in my mind.
Winspear flawlessly weaves (dare I say, bakes) the narratives of four interconnected characters against the landscape of the war to end all wars. A must read/listen for anyone drawn to beautifully constructed passages and insight regarding what it means to be an individual confronted with the decisions that war demands.
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