The Care and Management of Lies

  • by Jacqueline Winspear
  • Narrated by Nicola Barber
  • 9 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A reminder of the truth of World War I

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

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.


If you’ve listened to books by Jacqueline Winspear before, how does this one compare?

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.


What about Nicola Barber’s performance did you like?

She did a very good job. Her voices were well-differentiated and felt very real.


Could you see The Care and Management of Lies being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No, there are much better portrayals of the so-called Great War.


Any additional comments?

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).

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- Hope

Not up to this authors other books

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.
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- Jeanette Finan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-01-2014
  • Publisher: HarperAudio