Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Lie of the Land” as Want to Read:
The Lie of the Land
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Lie of the Land

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,867 ratings  ·  232 reviews
Quentin and Lottie Bredin, like many modern couples, can't afford to divorce. Having lost their jobs in the recession, they can't afford to go on living in London; instead, they must downsize and move their three children to a house in a remote part of Devon. Arrogant and adulterous, Quentin can't understand why Lottie is so angry; devastated and humiliated, Lottie feels h ...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published June 15th 2017 by Little, Brown book Group
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Lie of the Land, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Lie of the Land

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,867 ratings  ·  232 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Lie of the Land
In a low key way, this is a multilayered epic novel that gives us a window into modern contemporary Britain and how political and social issues impact the lives of ordinary people. We observe the urban and rural divide through London and Devon. Craig's talent opens up the interior lives of a wide range of characters that render them real and authentic. The disintegration of the marriage of the middle class couple, Quentin and Lottie Bredlin, is beautifully described amidst the straitened financi ...more
Canadian Reader
May 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Craig’s new novel starts out relatively strong, appearing to be a meditation on marriage, Brexit, and the differences between urban and rural living. Sadly, it devolves into a messy melange: part potboiler, part mystery, and part soap opera, with a modicum of moralizing along the way. Lottie, an architect at a large London firm, and Quentin, a well-known journalist, have both lost their jobs. Not only that, their marriage has come apart because Quentin has been unfaithful. No longer able to affo ...more
Gumble's Yard
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
Waking with fortitude, living with compromise and sleeping with stress is normal for an architect in Britain. Even during the best of times, Lottie has spent weeks drawing up plans for prospects over which clients have then backtracked, changed their minds and cancelled. Experience has taught her that nothing is ever built without compromise, and yet she expected better from marriage. For just as we expect sweetness from the milk we first drink, so the child born to a happy union is wholly un
Jonathan Pool
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
*** update***
Amanda Craig appeared in conversation with Meg Wolitzer at Charleston, May 2018
While the conversation was themed to examine feminism, Craig did expand on some wider ranging influences that inform The Lie of The Land:
> Craig hesitates to go along with the Brexit label that has been attached to the book:
“It’s not a Brexit novel- sound so boring”
Craig’s disclaimer wasn’t too convincing. Exclusively Brexit novel it may not be, but having re-read the novel The ongoing Brexit divide in t
Lady R
Apr 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Whaaaaat?!!! Seriously what just happened.... I HATE it when authors/editors do that.
This was a seriously good read - a voice that was very fresh and original dealing sensitively (whilst at the same time being a page-turner) with family relationships, love, marriage & modern-day Britain.
It was definitely a solid 4 or even 4.5 stars.

Then the last 70 pages descended into a farce with everything thrown at the plot and requires some ridiculous far-fetched stretches of the imagination.

It’s as if Crai
Maya Panika
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An extraordinarily readable, engaging and gripping tale, but less for its plot than its brilliantly observed and executed look at Britain today. Ostensibly, this is a mystery surrounding a Devon farmhouse - a secret every local knows, but not the once-well-off London family who find themselves living there when hard times strike and they can no longer afford to stay in London - or divorce. Lottie has to stay with her serially unfaithful husband Quentin because they simply cannot afford the inevi ...more
Kirsty ❤️
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it

The book felt so much longer than it actually is without ever feeling like a lot of happening. Then you get near the end and realise you are completely wrong. It really does sneak up on you. There are so many layers to it with various points of view as told by the characters stories but also the viewpoints of city life versus country life.

Downsizing after the collapse of their marriage but like many modern day couples unable to afford to actually split up due to housing crisis and rising costs.
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
2.5 rounded down

Another novel being added to the category of "post-Brexit" fiction, The Lie of the Land follows a family with money troubles forced to relocate from their million pound London home to deepest Devon. I really enjoyed the first half of this one, but the second half dragged a little and the ending was kind of ridiculous.
Beth Bonini
'Inside a great novel, or poem, or play,' he told Xan, 'there is no time, only a place of joy where readers may meet and embrace each other. To share a love of reading is to share the best love of all, because there is no democracy of taste, there is one of feeling.'

One sign of how engaged I am with a novel is how quickly I read it - and I read this one (415 pages) in two days. Another sign is how many quotations I write down as I am reading - and for this book, I have pages of them. It was defi
Margaret Duke-Wyer
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Lie of the Land by Amanda Craig

Actually I made a mistake with this book. I settled down to read this expecting a light-hearted tale relating the trials and tribulations of Quentin and Lottie Bredlin as they desert London and move to Devon in an effort to consolidate their finances and their divorce. I half-expected details of their efforts to settle into a rural community whilst attempting to replicate their lives in the city – dinner parties, community events, etc. However, I think that thi
Nov 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Quentin and Lottie can't afford to divorce. Lottie sees her redundancy as her husband's fault. Quentin never meant to hurt his wife, but adultery isn't acceptable, when you marry someone. I was shocked to read about both of their lives before they married. For Lottie explaining to the children that mum and dad are separating, is difficult she has to minimise the suffering of her children. With not being able to find the money for a divorce the only option is to rent their house out and move to D ...more
From BBC Radio 4 - Book at Bedtime:
Amanda Craig's new novel is a state-of-the-nation black comedy that highlights the growing disconnect between life in London and the rest of the country.

Quentin and Lottie Bredin, like many modern couples, can't afford to divorce. Having lost their jobs in the recession, they can't afford to go on living in London either; instead, they must downsize and move their three children to a house in a remote part of Devon. Arrogant and adulterous, Quentin can't unders
Jill's Book Cafe
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, fiction
A year in the life - but what a year! On the face of it, the story of Quentin and Lottie as they, and their family, come to terms with their marriage breakdown and how to cope with their change in fortunes. Both out of a job and unable to afford a divorce, they rent out their London house and downsize to the Devon, not far from Quentin's aging parents.

The move proves to be less than idyllic for Quentin, who still likes to bask in his now fading if not absent glory as a columnist and is now reduc
John Anthony
Jun 12, 2018 rated it liked it
A very busy novel with lots going on and a book of many themes. It’s been dubbed the first Brexit novel, I believe? but that is by no means its central theme. Marginalization? : Yes and as such the UK Brexit vote should have come as no surprise after reading this. On the subject of themes: women v men, town v country, racism, child abuse, all appear here. Good story line(s) and the book generally qualifies for me as a page turner.

Quentin, something of a ‘ginger tom’, strays from home once too of
(3.5) A funny and insightful state-of-the-nation novel set in post-Brexit England. It’s in the same vein as Jonathan Coe’s Number 11, Laura Kaye’s English Animals and Rose Tremain’s The Road Home, and some of the characters (the journalist father, especially) reminded me of ones in Francesca Hornak’s Seven Days of Us. The central couple, Quentin and Lottie Bredin, want to divorce but can’t afford to, so they rent out their London home and move into a suspiciously cheap place in a Devon village, ...more
Jun 08, 2017 rated it liked it
his is a surprise of a book, it begins with the disintegration of a marriage and the need to move from London to Devon for financial reasons, and then surprisingly turns into a mystery. The plot weaves together well, and the characters are vivid, and varied. By the end of this book you will feel like you personally know the characters It does; however, start slowly which may put some off. Overall, an enjoyable, well written book. The charachter construction is the star here.
The mystery aspects of this novel seemed so minor initially that I was really surprised by the ending. The final few chapters were a rollercoaster! More twists than the average crime thriller... What had befallen characters in the past (and how who was connected to who) were easy to work out, but what actually took place in the present of the plot... Yes, I didn't see that coming! And it was pretty nerve inducing, I'll say.

Before this dramatic conclusion, The Lie of the Land feels like a mostly
Nov 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, crime, family
Surprisingly engrossing story of unhappy Londoners moving to the country. Not your standard escape to rural idyll dealing as it does with poverty, infidelity and murder. Clever and empathetic, this modern update to Dickens keeps the pages turning.
Louise Marley
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book! Wickedly funny with brilliant characters, I could hardly bear to put it down. The story is about Lottie and Quentin Bredin, who are forced to uproot from London and settle in the wilds of Devon because they can't afford to divorce. Dragged along for the ride are Lottie's son Xan and their young daughters, the precocious Stella and good-natured Rosie. Most of the humour comes from the shock of exchanging their lovely home in the city for an old farmhouse, which is da ...more
Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it
A change of perspective.

Lottie and Quentin’s marriage is on the rocks and so too are their livelihoods. Lottie decides they should rent out their lovely London home and decamp to Devon for a financial re-group. The kids – Lottie’s mixed-race son Xan from a youthful brief encounter and two young daughters from the marriage – are not happy bunnies. Quentin is appalled at the move but as the guilty party has lost his moral authority. Living in an unheated, ramshackle house in the West Country comes
Rhia (rhiareads...)
Aug 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for sending me a fee copy of this ebook, but unfortunately I'm going to have to DNF this at 30%.

The author's portrayal of Devon as some kind of backwards community full of idiots and racists is doing my head in. I have lived in Devon for all of my 23 years and never, ever, known an entire community like that. There are, of course, a few backwards, racists locals in every small town or village, not just in Devon, but to suggest a while county of them is , qui
Laura Spira
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Amanda Craig writes superbly, whether she is describing places (in this book, contrasting north London with Devon countryside) or characters (who are brought vividly to life with little physical description but with great attention to their thoughts and emotions). She is very good at conveying the ebb and flow of relationships, the knife-edge balance between love and hate. The disintegration of Lottie and Quentin's marriage is central to the plot: neither is wholly at ...more
S Murdoch
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was really disappointed in this book. How it managed so many Book of the Year awards I've no idea. Too many bizarre events, too much "my view of life" by the author no doubt in an effort to rationalise and justify the craziness of the story. I only persevered because I'd paid 3.99 for it. Next! ...more
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Bit at a loss as to why this book has received such rave reviews when it doesn't, in all honesty, deserve them. Just as perplexing is why I fall for the blurb when I should know better. The book is ok; but a little flat, slightly boring and seemingly never ending. ...more
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a book group choice, and I was surprised – as it is advertised as a “black comedy” - to find I thoroughly enjoyed it. It really isn’t a black comedy at all, but Amanda Craig derives naturally-occurring humour out of everyday life and the mess and muddle it invariably involves, particularly in this very chaotic family.

Lottie and Quentin are a couple on the brink of divorce, except they can’t afford it because they’re both out of work owing to the banking crisis/credit crunch. They’re co
Feb 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
I received a free copy via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

This was just to slow for me.
I could not connect with the characters who were dull with no depth.

Finished reading ... The Lie of the Land / Amanda Craig ... 19 November 2017
ISBN: 9781408709306 ... 415 pp.

Having read the first paragraph of the back-cover blurb to my book group and receiving the response, “I wouldn't read that!”, perversity made me plough on. The premise of the story – he loses his job, she loses hers, so in order to afford to live, they and children move to the country – together. I found it impossible to suspend belief and accept this because they had lived apart for the pr
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Don't be fooled by the blurb. This is one of those books where trying to summarise the plot (and, to be honest, it's not the most intricate of plots) would not do the writing justice. Because let's be honest - no-one is queuing up to express sympathy for a pair of affluent Londoners who can't manage to sell their expensive house. But it's a premise that has a surprising amount of mileage.

I felt like I’d been waiting all year to read a book like The Lie of the Land. It is razor-sharp and bitingly
Susan Hampson
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Quentin and Lottie Bredin are a very modern couple, although they don’t really live as man and wife they had always loved the London life, their jobs and keeping the family together but when they both loose their jobs it leaves them with little choice as to what to do. The option they take is to rent out their house in London and move to Devon and a really cheap farmhouse that they can afford to rent themselves. Ding ding ding goes the warning bells as to why the property is at a give away price ...more
Apr 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2017
Victims of recession.
How awful would it be to want to divorce your adulterous husband but instead to have to continue living with him because you're caught in the housing trap?! That is the position that Lottie Bredin finds herself in after she catches Quentin sleeping around. She's lost her job as an architect in London and his journalist skills are no longer needed - the only solution is to rent out their London house and move down to rural Devon where they can afford a run-down house in the s
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Middle England (Rotters' Club, #3)
  • The Carer
  • V for Victory
  • Trio
  • Magpie Lane
  • Small Pleasures
  • We Begin at the End
  • All Among The Barley
  • Hamnet
  • Old Baggage
  • Finders, Keepers
  • After the Party
  • The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life
  • The Cut
  • Islands of Mercy
  • The Librarian
  • A Change of Climate
  • Perfidious Albion
See similar books…
Amanda Craig (born 1959) is a British novelist. Craig studied at Bedales School and Cambridge and works as a journalist. She is married with two children and lives in London.

Craig has so far published a cycle of six novels which deal with contemporary British society, often in a concise acerbic satirical manner. Her approach to writing fiction has been compared to that of Anthony Trollope and Char

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
3 likes · 1 comments