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This has been such a difficult book for me to review because the writing was so perfect, so supremely beautiful and completely spot on in its descriptions of farm life, complex families, end of life care and the mess that can occur in marriage. I absolutely loved the depth and connection between the characters. Even better, the really scary bits were subtly woven into the story. For me, the scariest parts of the book oddly had little to do with the murder mystery.
Craig really captured the realities of farm to table food production in all its horrors and heartbreaks. She got so much right about the back breaking degree of labor required to live the country life. She delved deeply into complicated issues of trust and honesty in relationships. My favorite aspect of the book was the year-in-the-life tone it took in portraying living in the country and the impact that had on each family member. The descriptions of the seasonal changes, the harshness of winter, the beauty of nature and the seaside were evocatively written and wonderful. I really loved so much about this book.
That said, I have to admit that there were things I disliked or really disagreed with about the book. I, for example, hated the ending. I cringed at the factory food production stories and I found that I disagreed with some of the medical info presented. In the end, however, it was precisely these extreme feelings--both positive and negative, that made me choose to rate the book all five stars. The story had real depth and caused such powerful reactions and emotions that it had me fussing and thinking. The sign of really good fiction. Glad I didn't miss this one.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
This was a bit of a slow burner for me. I think I struggled to get into it because I just didn’t care much for the characters. The son Xan was the only one I did like.
A bit predictable but I did enjoy it in the end.
The narrator was ok in general but was terrible at ‘accents’ and that put me off a bit.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
What would have made The Lie of the Land better?
I was longing to edit out some of the long, repetitive passages. I thought the themes of the novel, town v. country values, longterm marriage, men and women, guilt and forgiveness were great and the plot excellent. The story alone could have held these themes without the point being laboured so, and the novel would have been shorter, more subtle and less predictable.
What was most disappointing about Amanda Craig’s story?
The amount of repetition and how things were spelled out rather than suggested
What about Emma Powell’s performance did you like?
Voice and pacing were great
You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?
It was a cracking story. Much as I was irritated by some of the long passages, I had to know what would happen
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Found it to be well-written and insightful concerning marriage and the human condition. Some big thrills and spills in there too, to keep you turning the page.