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Publisher's Summary

Set during and just after the First World War, The Lie is an enthralling, heart-wrenching novel of love, memory and devastating loss.

Cornwall, 1920: A young man stands on a headland, looking out to sea. He is back from the war, homeless and without family. Behind him lies the terror of the trenches. Behind him is also the most intense relationship of his life. Daniel has survived, but will he ever be able to escape the terrible, unforeseen consequences of a lie?

©2014 Helen Dunmore (P)2014 W F Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Never striking a false note, The Lie is one of those rare and arresting novels that make you think and feel with greater lucidity." ( Daily Telegraph)
"An electrifying and original talent" ( Guardian)

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  • Margery Diamand
  • 11-12-14

Wonderful novel ruined by poor narration

I'm a great fan of Helen Dunmore, and was looking forward to listening to 'The Lie'. The story itself is gripping and show's Dunmore's usual great skill. However, Darren Benedict's narration was clumsy in the extreme, grating and, for me, ruined the novel. (Northern instead of West Country accent; poor inflection and inability to pronounce 'nasturtium' properly - just for a start!). I'd recommend reading the book instead of downloading the audiobook.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Ann
  • 03-06-15

Great book, terrible reader

What a shame this book was ruined by the narrator. Not only did he mispronounce many common words - "barrage" and "hearth" being just two examples of dozens - he also read sentences with completely wrong emphasis, indicating that he had no idea what the sentence was about. I stuck it out only because of the marvellous Dunmore writing.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • biznben
  • 11-22-15

so sad

Would you consider the audio edition of The Lie to be better than the print version?

i can't answer because i haven't read the printed version

What other book might you compare The Lie to, and why?

not sure, the description of the landscape reminded me of some daphne dumauier books

What does Darren Benedict bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

the narration was wonderfully paced and he brought real emotion to the charcters

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

very sad but made you smile too

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Joan
  • 02-10-15

Dull delivery.

This was my first Helen Dunmore book. She is a good writer, her description is excellent and I enjoyed the first hour of listening even though the narrator's delivery was rather dull.
It all went downhill from there for me. The plot was slow and did not interest me. It was all rather fantastic, like the storyteller was living in a dream world. Haunted by ghosts.

I do wonder if I would have enjoyed it a bit more if the narration hadn't been so boring.

It was an unhappy book leaving me feeling unsatisfied. But it was well written. I wonder if her other books have similar themes, or are worth a listen..... because she is a descriptive writer.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs
  • 04-06-16

Slow and tedious

This book tells of Daniel who returns from the trenches, physically unscathed but very emotionally damaged (PTS), and his attempts to settle back into civilian life in the place he grew up. While working on the land of Mary Pascoe, a friend of his dead mother, Daniel reflects on his childhood, particularly the times spent Frederick and Felicia the children of his mother’s employee, and his life journey to where he is today.

Is the lie of the title about the mystery surrounding Mary Pascoe's death or could it be the horrors of war and life in the trenches sold as glory and patriotism?
Daniel’s friendship with Frederick is ambiguous. He saw him die in the trenches and is haunted by the circumstances. Is this the lie?
Daniel’s reconnection with the life he left behind, and the rekindling of his friendship with Felicia, now a war widow with a young child, is built on a precarious base of secrets and dishonesty. Is this the lie?

Whatever the lie, I found this book too slow and tedious to read. It didn’t hold my attention and although there are some good descriptive passages about life in the trenches I think there are other books that portray the horrors much better. I am sure that many will enjoy this book but it wasn't for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-31-17

Poignant tale of the after-war lives of war veterans

This is a beautifully written book that brilliantly reveals how a soldier was just unable to make a life for himself after the First World War. The story shows how the traumatised returnees had little to come back to, and were offered no understanding or support. The reflections on what happened to the main character in the war itself are vividly portrayed with just the right weight to take you there without shifting the focus away from the fact that the setting was the immediate post-war. I heard the ending driving to my train station this morning and was stunned. I cannot speak.

Finally I thought the narrator was perfect for this story and really enriched the experience by helping me relate to the main character and also understand his deep bond with his best friend that is the core thread of the story.

Not my usual genre but really glad I stepped out to give this a try.