Nominated for the Folio Prize and shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historial Fiction, and the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize.
Set during and just after the First World War, The Lie is an enthralling, heart-wrenching novel of love, memory and devastating loss by one of the UK’s most acclaimed storytellers.
Cornwall, 1920, early spring.
A young man stands on a headland, looking out to sea. He is back from the war, homeless and without family.
Behind him lie the mud, barbed-wire entanglements and terror of the trenches. Behind him is also the most intense relationship of his life.
Daniel has survived, but the horror and passion of the past seem more real than the quiet fields around him.
He is about to step into the unknown. But will he ever be able to escape the terrible, unforeseen consequences of a lie?
[A] superb, timely novel of the First World War
Helen Dunmore ... is a poet as well as a novelist, who is celebrated for her delicate language and acute observations. The Lie is no exception. This really is an expert novel.
The bar for book of the year is set sky high by this heart wrenching tale. Daniel has survived the WWI trenches, but returns to Cornwall to find his family gone and home lost. He moves in with a childhood friend, but gets caught up in a lie that has terrible consequences. Tender, touching and totally absorbing.
Never striking a false note, The Lie is one of those rare and arresting novels that make you think and feel with greater lucidity.
The Lie is a tale of memory and loss delivered with quiet aplomb by one of our classiest writers ... Dunmore captures the emotional torment of her hero with tenderness and skill.
Written by her son, Patrick Dunmore, this extract from Helen Dunmore's final work Girl, Balancing is a beautiful tribute to Helen Dunmore, writer – but also to Helen Dunmore, a dearly-loved mother.