In the High Peaks

Monday, July 28, 2014

Updated: Once Again, The Lie by Helen Dunmore

I'm writing about The Lie once again this year because it was Caroline's July choice for her Literature and War Readalong at her blog Beauty is a Sleeping Cat. My previous thoughts are included in my April post regarding The Lie.  I must say that I didn't say much about it at that time.

A spoiler alert!!! 
I will say that I so appreciated Dunmore's empathy and her considerable sympathy for the war-damaged protagonist. I so understood his withdrawal from the thrum of village life and his withdrawal to the far outskirts of the local community. His care and solicitude for his elderly neighbor are a sign of his healing from the trench warfare's irreparable damage to his psyche. But when he reconnects with Felicia, the sister of his long-time buddy Frederick, who was killed in battle, the two wounded survivors appear to find a way around their awkwardness, the horrible war years past, and Frederick's death. They commence the beginnings of a new life and make plans for the future. Despite the threats coming from the village, they manage to plan an escape route. Why Dunmore didn't allow this plan to follow through, I'll never know. Yes, there were plenty of suicides of soldier survivors, but the hope building in these two damaged people's relationship seemed stronger. I mourn the author's decision in this one.

I will say that Caroline's review is exquisite, so don't miss it.


  1. Thanks for the kind words, Judith.

    1. You're welcome, Caroline, but they were truer than true words and not only kind.
      Best to you!