Skip to Content
The lie

The lie

Dunmore, Helen, 1952- author

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?

Hardback, Book. English. Historical fiction. Historical.
Published London: Hutchinson, 2014
from 17 users

Available at Holt Park and Pudsey.

  • Holt Park – One available in Adult Fiction

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    45938911 Adult Fiction Adult fiction Available
  • Pudsey – One available in Adult Fiction

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    4593374X Adult Fiction Adult fiction Available


Statement of responsibility: Helen Dunmore
ISBN: 0091953928, 9780091953928
Intended audience: Specialized.
Physical Description: 294 pages ; 23 cm
Subject: Cornwall (England : County) History 20th century Fiction.

Author note

Helen Dunmoreis an acclaimed bestselling author who has published nine novels, includingZennor in Darkness, which won the McKitterick Prize;A Spell of Winter, which won the inaugural Orange Prize;The Siege, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award and for the Orange Prize;Mourning Ruby,House of OrphansandCounting the Stars. Her 2010 novel The Betrayal was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Orwell Prize. In 2012 she published the novellaThe Greatcoatunder the Hammer imprint at Cornerstone. She is also a poet, children's novelist and short-story writer. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and her work is translated into more than thirty languages.


"[A] superb, timely novel of the First World War"
The Times||"Helen Dunmore ... is a poet as well as a novelist, who is celebrated for her delicate language and acute observations.

The Lieis no exception. This really isan expert novel."
Sunday Times||"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."
Sunday Mirror||"Never striking a false note,The Lieis one of those rare and arresting novels that make you think and feel with greater lucidity."
Daily Telegraph||"The Lieisa 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."
Mail on Sunday||"Dunmore has brilliantly served up this past to us in a way that does not allow us to forget it"
Spectator||"With a shocking twist in its tail,The Lieis a novel to re-read.Written with imagination, intelligence and integrity, it is both quiet and memorable.I predict it will outshine, and outlive, many another new rendition of the war to end all wars."
Country Life||"An enthralling novel of love and devastating loss . Powerful storytelling."
Good Housekeeping, Book of the Month||"Helen Dunmore, an author who has taken time to build up a following and gradually accumulated those much-required prize nominations, knows what she needs to make a story, and how to go about finding it. The result isa moving account of a young man's emotional life, and what brutality and death can do to it ... Dunmore has done her research and expertly so."
Scotland on Sunday||"Dunmore writes with disarming simplicity and clarity. Read her novel in a single sitting in a quiet place."
The Times

Back cover copy

Cornwall, 1920

A young man stands looking out to sea.

Behind him the horror of the trenches,and the most intense relationship of his life,

Ahead of him the terrible unforeseen consequences of a lie.