Amanda Craig has written that her novels ‘try and capture something of the way we live now’. The Lie of the Land is a satire on the problems facing divorcing couples, the clash of city versus country life and the tensions caused by immigration and zero-hours contracts. It centres on Quentin and Lottie Bredin, who had minor roles in Craig’s 2009 book, Hearts and Minds. With their marriage collapsing thanks to Quentin’s infidelities, but unable to afford a divorce, they are forced to rent out their London home and downsize to a dank but cheap cottage in Devon, along with their young daughters, Stella and Rosie, and Lottie’s teenage son, Xan.
The theme of city folk struggling to adjust to country ways is a well-worn one, but Craig brings a fresh eye to it. Observing her new neighbours, Lottie thinks that she ‘has never known people like this, with their terrible teeth and terrible clothes and kindness’. Stella asks, ‘When are