Bright, ingenious, funny and gripping, I didn’t want The Lie of The Land to end
The Lie Of The Land is so packed with themes, it could have quite easily gone awry, but in the assured hands of Amanda Craig, they are skilfully threaded into one of the most entertaining novels you will read this year.
From the get-go it’s impressively gripping. Lottie and Quentin are unhappily married and yet can’t afford to divorce. Their relationship scarred beyond repair from years of infidelity and neglect, Lottie comes up with a surprising temporary solution: rent their London home out for a year and, at the same time, rent a crumbling old house in the country for a fraction of the cost then divide the spoils after a year and go their separate ways.
What unfolds is a novel rich in contemporary issues: the riven couple and their blended offspring; the mid-life pressure of caring for elderly, failing parents while parenting your own children and finding your career path going off kilter and, more tellingly, the chasm between town and country in broken Britain.
Into all of this Craig even manages to weave a thriller subplot involving an aging rock star, now lord of the manor, and the grisly fate of a previous inhabitant of the couple’s new country dwelling.