BOOK CLUB: The Guardian of Lies

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Our Beauty and Lace members are reading The Guardian of Lies by Kate Furnivall. You can read their feedback in the comments section below, or contribute to the conversation with your own thoughts on the book. Review copies are courtesy of the publisher.

Author: Kate Furnivall
ISBN: 9781471172328
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Discover a brilliant story of love, danger, courage and betrayal, from the internationally bestselling author of The Survivors.

1953, the South of France. The fragile peace between the West and Soviet Russia hangs on a knife edge. And one family has been torn apart by secrets and conflicting allegiances.

Eloïse Caussade is a courageous young Frenchwoman, raised on a bull farm near Arles in the Camargue. She idolises her older brother, André, and when he leaves to become an Intelligence Officer working for the CIA in Paris to help protect France, she soon follows him. Having exchanged the strict confines of her father’s farm for a life of freedom in Paris, her world comes alive.


But everything changes when André is injured – a direct result of Eloise’s actions. Unable to work, André returns to his father’s farm, but Eloïse’s sense of guilt and responsibility for his injuries sets her on the trail of the person who attempted to kill him.

Eloïse finds her hometown in a state of unrest and conflict. Those who are angry at the construction of the American airbase nearby, with its lethal nuclear armaments, confront those who support it, and anger flares into violence, stirred up by Soviet agents. Throughout all this unrest, Eloïse is still relentlessly hunting down the man who betrayed her brother and his country, and she is learning to look at those she loves and at herself with different eyes. She no longer knows who she can trust. Who is working for Soviet Intelligence and who is not? And what side do her own family lie on?

8 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Guardian of Lies

  1. Guardian of Lies

    I have really enjoyed all of Kate Furnivall’s books but I struggled with this title.
    I found it difficult to get into the flow of the story but persevered as I was hoping it would grab my imagination.
    It is a story set in France 1953 during the Cold War. There is political unrest and America/Russian tensions are rife and allegiances to both countries are still strong.

    Eloïse is the protagonist in the story and is a brave and tenacious woman. Her allegiance is with America and she desperately wants to join the intelligence services like her brother Andre but they won’t accept her so she becomes a private investigator in Paris. She feels she is responsible for a car accident that badly injures her CIA intelligence officer brother, Andre and herself and both their lives are changed dramatically. Eloïse is scarred but her brother struggles to walk again . She feels indebted to find out why her brother was targeted and who is responsible. She is living in Paris but returns home to the family horse and bull farm, Mas Caussade, in the south east of France. Her father has sold off part of the farm to the American airforce and the farm and her family become a target for anti American protestors. Eloïse begins a quest to find answers and the truth but who can she trust and who guards against the lies.

    There is danger, courage, romance and mystery in Guardian of Lies. I can’t say it is a favourite Kate Furnivall book but I’m glad I persevered with it. Well worth reading especially for the history lesson about that period of time.

  2. I have read a few of Kate Furnivall historical fictions, The guardian of lies is not my favorite. The story and characters are not as well developed as her previous novels. However I still truly enjoyed the story, it is an easy read.

    The story is set in France during the Cold War. Eloïse Caussade is a courageous young Frenchwoman, raised on a bull farm near Arles in the Camargue. She idolises her older brother, André, an Intelligence Officer working for the CIA in Paris. Her life changed when as a consequence of her actions, Andre gets severely injured.
    Eloise heads back to her father’s farm and gets involved in the conflict dividing her hometown in relation to the new American base on their land. There is danger, love, treason, family conflict…truly entertaining. I woudl definitly recommend to my friends for an easy historical fiction.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to review this book.

  3. I have never read a Kate Furnivall book before and was pleasantly surprised by how layered and interesting this one was! Set during the Cold War, it will appeal to anyone who is interested in that historical period as it cleverly weaves historical information throughout the narrative of Eloise and her family. Although the novel probably would be defined as a romance (which usually doesn’t interest me), I found the complexity of the historical narrative and the setting that included intrigue, spies and danger really made a robust read for someone that likes books with a lot going on. The only thing I found a bit tricky was that I got a bit lost at times, particularly in the beginning as all the threads of the narrative were still coming together. However, that is a minor issue with a very enjoyable book – thank you to Beauty and Lave and Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to read and review.

  4. This is my first time reading a Kate Furnivall book & whilst the premise of the book was intriguing, I was somewhat disappointed overall.

    I found the story very difficult to get into. The anger & blame that Eloise’s brother & father portrayed towards her for “causing” her brother’s accident was ridiculous. Also, the death & torture of their prized bull?

    It was probably only the last quarter of the book that began to get interesting, with the story picking up considerably, but then it was all over in a flash.

    Thank you for the opportunity to read this book. While, it wasn’t an overly enjoyable book for me, I’m going to pass it on to my mother in law to see if it is more her style.

  5. The Guardian of Lies is an intriguing historical fiction set in post-war France that had me captivated with lots of twists and turns and kept me guessing. As the Americans and Russians vie for nuclear supremacy, Kate Furnivall takes you on a thrilling ride of espionage, fear, murder, mystery and betrayal and where love, loyalty and courage also shine through. Overall I enjoyed Guardian of Lies and look forward to more from Kate Furnivall in future.

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Simon & Schuster Australia for providing a copy for review.

  6. The guardian of lies is a gripping historical fiction that is also part espionage, part romance. The story, set in post WWII France begins with the gruesome murder of her families prize bull and gets even more dramatic as you read on (no spoilers). I found the setting and characters really interesting and the last third was so fast paced it was unputdownable.
    I really appreciated the strong heroine lead in Eloise, as well as her strong family ties. I’ve read one other of Kate’s books (with a couple still to read on my shelf) and wasn’t disappointed in the short novel and will continue reading her collection.

    Thanks to the publisher & Beauty & Lace for the chance to review.

  7. The Guardian of Lies is an entertaining story , set in France not long after the 2nd world War , when tensions were running high over the involvement of America in establishing airforce bases to ward off the mounting pressure from Communism. There were many threads to this story, love, loss, family and the pressure to be on the right side, which ever side that might be! Eloise is a complex character, feeling immense guilt over an accident that cripples her brother Andre, and scars her deeply. I found the various threads of the story came together to tell an interesting and compelling narrative and I would recommend this book.
    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and to Simon and Schuster for the chance to read and review

  8. Guardian of Lies is the first book by Kate Furnivall that I have read and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it – will be looking out for her others.
    I enjoyed the romance, family dramas and espionage set in post World War 2 in France. I loved Eloise and her strong family values.
    Thanks Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read this book and once again you didn’t disappoint.

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