The Lie of the Land by Amanda Craig
Amanda Craig, once known as a lighthearted satirist, has more recently turned to the “gap between the haves and have-nots”, said Francesca Angelini in The Sunday Times. In Hearts and Minds, she unpicked the “grimy layers of global London”. In her new novel, she turns to the “dichotomy between London and the countryside”. Lottie and Quentin are a “smug metropolitan couple” who, upon finding themselves unemployed, move to a cheap rental in Dartmoor with their “resentful” children. Far from being a pastoral idyll, Devon proves to be a place of “casual racism” where “sexual assault is a given”. This is a gripping and often funny tale, despite the occasional lapse into cliché.
While parts of this novel are “morbid or jaundiced”, the storytelling has a “pleasing buoyancy”, said Henry Hitchings in the FT. As in previous works, Craig perceptively skewers middle-class manners, and allows her characters to develop in unexpected directions. The Lie of the Land is an enjoyable and “sharp-witted” tale that also debunks “a few quaint myths about the patterns and textures of rural life”.