The Book of Lies
By Mary Horlock
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780062065094, 368pp.)
Publication Date: July 2011
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Life on the tiny island of Guernsey has just become a whole lot harder for fifteen-year-old Cat Rozier. Shes gone from model pupil to murderer, but she swears its not her fault. Apparently its all the fault of history.
A new arrival at Cats high school in 1984, the beautiful and instantly popular Nicolette inexplicably takes Cat under her wing. The two become inseparablegoing to parties together, checking out boys, and drinking whatever liquor they can shoplift. But a perceived betrayal sends them spinning apart, and Nic responds with cruel, over-the-top retribution.
Cats recently deceased father, Emile, dedicated his adult life to uncovering the truth about the Nazi occupation of Guernseyfrom Churchills abandonment of the island to the stories of those who resistedin hopes of repairing the reputation of his older brother, Charlie. Through Emiles letters and Charlies wordsrecorded on tapes before his own death a confession takes shape, revealing the secrets deeply woven into the fabric of the island . . . and into the Rozier family story.
MARY HORLOCK was born in Australia but grew up on Guernsey in the Channel Islands, moving to England at the age of eighteen. She studied at Cambridge and went on to work as a curator at Tate Britain and Tate Liverpool. She is a former curator of the Turner Prize. Mary lives in London with her partner and their children and is currently writing a book on art and camouflage in the Second World War. Although she has written widely on contemporary art, this is her first novel.
“The joy of this ingenious debut is that, somehow, it manages to link twin stories convincingly to create an impressive fable about the relativity of truth and the deceits that make living on a small island possible. Highly recommended.”
“Moving, engaging and complex . . . Horlock’s authorial debut is impressive.”
“[An] assured debut. . . . Horlock has created an authentic voice and not only illuminated the history of a small island but also thrown light on the subjectivity of history, truth and memory.”