The Big Lie: Book summary and reviews of The Big Lie by Julie Mayhew

The Big Lie

by Julie Mayhew

The Big Lie by Julie Mayhew X
The Big Lie by Julie Mayhew

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Book Summary

In a gripping novel set in present-day England under a Nazi regime, a sheltered teen questions what it means to be "good" - and how far she's willing to go to break the rules.

Nazi England, 2014. Jessika Keller is a good girl - a champion ice skater, model student of the Bund Deutscher Mädel, and dutiful daughter of the Greater German Reich. Her best friend, Clementine, is not so submissive. Passionately different, Clem is outspoken, dangerous, and radical. And the regime has noticed. Jess cannot keep both her perfect life and her dearest friend, her first love. But which can she live without?

Haunting, intricate, and unforgettable, The Big Lie unflinchingly interrogates perceptions of revolution, feminism, sexuality, and protest. Back matter includes historical notes from the author discussing her reasons for writing an "alt-history" story and the power of speculative fiction.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Mayhew manages two feats, both crucial: she creates a believable modern-day Nazi society built on rules, silence, and surveillance, and a compelling depiction of a girl caught between what she has always been taught and what she is coming to suspect is true." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Mayhew explores the very unnerving scenario of a world in which the Nazi regime is still in power and thriving - and why...Terrifying and eerily timely, this is a difficult read - emotionally - for mature readers. An excellent choice for most YA shelves." - School Library Journal

Mayhew's careful research and richly detailed plot create a frighteningly real world, and her thoughtful afterword explicitly spells out questions about our right and responsibility to create change through revolution." - Booklist

"Readers who know their World War II history and enjoy extremely unreliable narrators will find great satisfaction in puzzling out the truth behind the horrors Jess leaves unspoken." - Kirkus

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Author Information

Julie Mayhew

Julie Mayhew is the author of Red Ink. She has written plays for radio and the stage and is the cofounder and host of a short-story cabaret and the head of a writers' workshop. She lives in England.

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