Hey guys! Today I’m bringing you a review of “The Big Lie,” by Julie Mayhew. This book was absolutely terrifying in the best way possible. The Big Lie follows Jessika, a teenage girl in modern Nazi Germany. This story is an Alternative fiction, based on the idea that Germany wasn’t defeated in World War II, and instead they took over France, England, and much of Northern Africa. Jessika lives in a world where surveillance, torture, and disappearances are routine. When she falls in love with Clementine, the girl next door, it sets off a chain of events that could endanger Jessika and her entire family.
I think that this book handled a really tough topic extremely well. Alternative historical fiction in general can be very problematic, but this book didn’t glorify the topics. It instead read more as a cautionary tale, one that is extremely relevant with the rise in hate groups today. It reminds us what the world may have looked like if history didn’t turn out the way that it did, and that is a truly horrifying vision.
I think that what scared me most about this book was the fact that although it was set in a completely alternate timeline, it definitely reminded me of some things that are still happening today. We need more books like this, books that acknowledge how horrific that past was at times and that remind us that we must actively strive for tolerance if we want to see change in our world.
The book itself was excellently paced and plotted, and it did some really interesting things with the timeline of the book. The main character, Jessika, was a really interesting character, because she wasn’t a cut and dry hero. She was a girl trapped in a regime who had been brainwashed into believing certain things. And the scary part of that was seeing how easily the same thing could happen to anyone living under a regime of hatred.
This was a really thought-provoking read for me. The prose was gorgeous, and the subject matter was intense and very charged. For anyone with an interest in history, I highly recommend this book.
Thanks for reading my review, and until next time, happy reading 🙂