13 August 2014

Book Review: Lies Told in Silence by M. K. Tod

02_Lies Told in Silence Cover

Paris 1914: Half the city expects war while the other half scoffs at the possibility. With knowledge gained from his role at the War Department, Henri Noisette fears that Germany may soon attack Paris. He therefore sends his wife, mother and two younger children to a small village in northern France. The novel examines love and loss, duty and sacrifice and the unexpected consequence of lies.

Available on Amazon US and Amazon UK


I have to start by ‘declaring an interest’. As a keen follower of the author’s blog A Writer ofHistory, I feel I know her quite well. I appreciate how much care and effort went into Mary Tod’s new novel Lies Told in Silence, so as I began reading, it was a little like being asked to comment on a proud parent’s new child.

I needn't have worried, of course. This is without doubt one of the most moving and engaging books I have read in a very long time. A sense of historical inevitability forms a backdrop to events throughout the book, yet although the reader may know about the decisive battles it is timely, in the centenary of the outbreak of hostilities, to spare a thought for the ordinary people of France, as well as the young soldiers from all over the world who came to their aid.

Taking the unusual viewpoint of an extended French family, we follow the ominous beginnings of the First World War and experience the life-changing impact it has on each member of the family. As a Canadian, Mary brings a certain authenticity to the involvement of allied soldiers in the defence of France, with an eye for convincing details brought together by a powerful narrative.

The title offers a clue to where the story could possibly lead, although I was taken completely by surprise by the turn of events. Lies Told in Silence is the perfect counterpoint to Mary’s first novel, Unravelled, and I hope both will be read by future generations as a way of understanding the human side of the 'war to end all wars'. Highly recommended.

Tony Riches

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About the Author

03_M.K. TodM.K. Tod has enjoyed a passion for historical novels that began in her early teenage years immersed in the stories of Rosemary Sutcliff, Jean Plaidy and Georgette Heyer. During her twenties, armed with Mathematics and Computer Science degrees, she embarked on a career in technology and consulting continuing to read historical fiction in the tiny snippets of time available to working women with children to raise. In 2004, she moved to Hong Kong with her husband and no job. To keep busy Mary decided to research her grandfather’s part in the Great War. What began as an effort to understand her grandparents’ lives blossomed into a full time occupation as a writer. Her debut novel is UNRAVELLED: Two wars, Two affairs. One Marriage. LIES TOLD IN SILENCE, her second novel, is set in WWI France and tells the story of Helene Noisette who featured in Unravelled. Mary has an active blog - www.awriterofhistory.com - which discusses all aspects of historical fiction and includes author and reader interviews. Additionally, she is a book reviewer for the Historical Novel Society. Mary lives in Toronto where she is happily married with two adult children. Connect with M.K. Tod on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Tony ... many thanks for your wonderful review. I am so delighted that you enjoyed Lies Told in Silence.

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