UKDana's Reviews > The Book of Lies

The Book of Lies by Mary Horlock
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May 01, 11

Read from April 16 to May 01, 2011

From the opening page, when Catherine admits to the murder of her best friend, this book had me gripped. Catherine then goes on to explain the events that led up to her murdering her friend and these chapters alternate with those of her uncle who tells his story of life during the war in German occupied Guernsey.


I felt that Catherine’s voice rang very true throughout the novel. A highly intelligent yet lonely and naïve teenager. Much of what she said was simply repeating the mantra of her recently deceased father, a local historian who wanted the locals to acknowledge what went on during the German occupation.


As the novel progressed the two stories alternated with parallel themes. Catherine’s loneliness and dismay at being ostracised by her friends felt very real and echoed her uncle’s feelings at trying to convince the islanders that his family were not collaborators.


We learn from the past and it helps us to shape the future. However the message from this book is that we don’t always want to acknowledge the recent past. For the islanders the German occupation was something they preferred not to talk about. Friends, families and neighbours were pitted against one another and years later the truth behind some events is still not known.


A great insight into a little known period of history, recommended reading for anyone who enjoyed “The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society”.

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