Meandering Em's

Passion is books, photography, running and traveling. Also passionate about environmental issues.

Something to read for Armistice Day, November 11

The Care and Management of Lies: A Novel of the Great War - Jacqueline Winspear

Kezia married her best friend's brother just a few months before World War I began. Kezia marries a farmer and is learning the skills needed to be a farmer's wife. She improves her cooking by experimenting with herbs from her garden and and her new husband is enjoying her experiments. Soon after the war begins, her husband volunteers to join the army and fight in France. Kezia is left to farm the land with only two workers, while her husband goes to the battlefront. Kezia's best friend decides to drive an ambulance to pick up the wounded on the front lines. Kezia writes cheerful letters to her husband and includes descriptions of meals she is supposedly making. These letters are very popular with all the soldiers, especially since their food is awful.


War is terrible, especially one that did not need to occur, like World War I. Everyone is affected. The war was fought in trenches with little or no progress for years. There were many horrible injuries, both mental and physical. There were so many deaths on the front lines. However, this novel also shows how women were affected by the war. They stayed home trying to be the farmers, workers and breadwinners. Food was scarce. The government took their horses, but still expected the farms to produce crops for the army. There was constant sorrow in the villages when many of the young men died. It is hard to comprehend why this war was allowed to continue for four long years, killing more than 7 million CIVILIANS. That number does not include the combatants.


Jacqueline Winspear only writes about the first year of the war, but that is all that is needed for the reader to comprehend the senselessness of war. Her novel reveals the devastating events of exactly one century ago. It is an excellent book to read on Armistice Day, November 11.

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