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To Tell Me Terrible Lies: A Romance of the Pine Barrens (Wainwright Chronicles 1778-1783, No 1) Hardcover – April, 1993

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, feisty Serena Wainwright returns home to the New Jersey Pine Barrens after spending months with her lover Stuart Brandon, a rugged privateer who harasses British ships. But her family has been turned against her by obsequious scoundrel Caleb Salem, who aims to control the Wainwright ironmaking business and has vowed revenge for Serena's refusal of his marriage proposal. Rejected and pregnant, Serena makes her own way in the world, first as an apprentice to a local healer, then as mistress of a wealthy man who promises to protect her daughter. Throughout her travails, Serena is sustained by her will to survive and her love for the rebel privateer. His final betrayal, and Caleb's death, change her life once again. Debut novelist St. Clare doesn't make much use of her historical setting, although it provides a mildly interesting backdrop for her characters' adventures. The first in a projected series of five historical romances, this title may startle readers with its ending, which makes a sophisticated departure from genre conventions.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

St. Clare's debut romance novel is the first of a five-part series set in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey during the American Revolution. Serena Wainwright harbors a dream of running her father's iron plantation, although she knows that he would never leave the works to a woman ironmaster. Kidnapped by a thief, she is rescued from the brink of rape by American privateer Stuart Brandon. When Brandon informs her that her family has disowned her for running away, she embarks on an affair with him. He leaves her homeless and pregnant within the first 70 pages, and the rest of the book is filled with Serena's melodramatic struggles with violence, unwed motherhood, and life as the mistress of a wealthy old man, all the while pining for Brandon. Plot and character development are sacrificed to a setting rich in detail and metaphor. St. Clare does not deliver an "entrepreneurial heroine" but a silly girl and a supporting cast of ineffectual, insensitive, or sadistic people.
- Kimberly Martin, Washington Univ. Law Lib., St. Louis
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Series: Wainwright Chronicles 1778-1783, No 1 (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 335 pages
  • Publisher: Wainwright Pr; Collector's ed edition (April 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963283014
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963283016
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,177,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
I started reading "Lies" in the bathtub and I couldn't put it down! It's "smart women/foolish choices" and (not) having it all in one novel. It has a dashing hero (Stuart Brandon) you love to hate; a fresh, fascinating setting (New Jersey's Pine Barrens); and conflicts of autonomy that ring as true for the 21st century as for the 18th when the book takes place. And, as one of the jacket reviews says, "the nature writing is lyrical."
The story weaves real "lanes and legends" of the mysterious Barrens with characters based on historical figures like The Black Doctor of the Pines, "Pine Robber" Joe Mulliner, and an eccentric industrialist trying to build a utopian community.
Story events aren't just "plunked in"; they arise from the ecology of the area, the technology of the time, and the motives and passions common to men and women in all times.
"Romance" doesn't have to be a dirty word; it's a literary tradition going back to "Jane Eyre." "Lies" is romance without guilt with people, places, and writing worth remembering. Read it once for the story and again just to savor it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a resident who was raised in the Barrens of New Jersey, I found this novel to be incredibly correct with regard to geography, attitude and "culture" of us "Piney's". The plot is compelling; a can't-put-it-down story; and begs the reader to hope the author creates another sequel to follow this one.

Yep, a real treat of writing in the midst of most inferior novels being published today.

Thank you, Katherine St. Clare!!
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