The Care and Management of Lies

Jacqueline Winspear’s The Care and Management of Lies is a wonderful story of “The Great War”, WWI, the war to end all wars. I’ve read so many books about the war over the past couple of years, all of them wonderful by the way, but this one is the first that has a story revolving, in part, around food – yes, food. Which is probably why I loved it so much. When Kezia Marchant marries her best friend Thea Brissenden’s brother Tom, little does she know that, not only will farm life change her beyond imagination, but she will be left to “tend the shop” when Tom goes off to fight in the war. Tom is amazed at how Kezia embraces farm life and cooks meals that rise way above the ordinary, basic farm food that he grew up on. In order to buoy his spirits while off fighting the unthinkable, and not reveal just how difficult it is to run the farm, Kezia writes delicious descriptions of imaginary meals she’s prepared for her beloved. These letters from Kezia become the heart and soul of his existence in the hell-hole that he’s landed in. Even his fellow soldiers need daily rations of readings to keep them satisfied. In reverse, Tom sends home letters that hide the unthinkable horrors of war. Each hide their true feelings of that terrible time of hardship and horror, hoping against all odds that the ghastly war will end soon and their lives will be returned to something akin to normal quickly. But everyone thought the war would be over by Christmas that first year didn’t they. I really enjoyed this book. It was a surprise find for me… I’m glad I spend so much time wandering around book stores. I have no idea how you’d find these treasures I discover online.

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