The Lie

To be published on 20 July 2023

Joan, once a singing star of the 1940s and 1950s, now ekes out a lonely, impoverished existence – until a chance encounter promises a comeback concert and an album.

Her sister Kathleen is a successful medical researcher who has been offered the directorship of a prestige institute in Los Angeles in her retirement as she contemplates the recent break up with the love of her life.

In their old age, Joan and Kathleen draw closer together. Until a figure from Joan’s past threatens everything they’ve built. As the sisters excavate the lies that bound them together, a more profound truth threatens to drive them apart.

Set in three time frames, the novel unravels the sisters’ lives as choices past and present collide.


Praise for The Lie

I galloped through this beautifully written epic tale, unable to put it down. The Lie is full of tension and twists, but it’s also a poignant portrait of what it means to be a mother.  We follow the plights of two sisters from WW2 until the 2000’s, very different women, both struggling to survive in a world that refuses or begrudges them power and agency because of their sex. The Lie is a fascinating look at women’s evolving role in history, and an emotional, heart-stopping read. Saskia Sarginson, author of The Twins

‘In The Lie, Mary Chamberlain expertly weaves together the different timelines, whilst simultaneously unpicking the nature of women’s relationships. Chamberlain is a brilliant storyteller and this tightly-plotted tale of tough choices and hard truths doesn’t disappoint.’ Sonia Velton, author of Blackberry and Wild Rose

No-one honours the hidden stories of women who’ve lived through wartime like Mary Chamberlain. The Lie is a testament to all those who’ve had to hide their truth – a compelling, poignant and heartfelt tale about the quiet devastation that is caused when the secrets of the past surface in the present. Lianne Dillsworth, author of Theatre of Marvels.

‘A gripping, absorbing mystery about the true meaning of family, and a fascinating exploration into the huge social changes that impacted ordinary lives, particularly those of women, during the 20th century.’ Sarah Day, author of Mussolini’s Island

‘Not only is The Lie a fascinating and deftly-written novel of sisterhood and secrets exploring women’s untold stories, but it’s the first book I’ve read in which Rick Astley is thanked in the Acknowledgements.’ Anna Mazzola, author of The Clockwork Girl

Praise for The Hidden:

‘A powerful and raw, elegantly written, character piece dealing with inhumanity and endurance, firmly grounded in real events.’ Herald

‘Recent novels such as The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society have taken the occupation as their subject, but none so potently as Mary Chamberlain’s The Hidden.’  Sunday Times

‘A heart-breaking yet hope-filled tale.’ Woman’s Own magazine

Praise for The Forgotten

The Forgotten is an utterly absorbing novel… The devastation of Berlin in 1945 is powerfully portrayed through the eyes of the women who are caught between the conquering forces, trying desperately to survive and to protect one another… The plot twists kept me riveted.’   — Jennifer Saint, author of Ariadne

‘Beautifully crafted, elegantly written, with characters to root for – I loved this heart-stopping tale.’– Saskia Sarginson, author of The Bench

‘Mary Chamberlain has written another fine novel about lives shaped by the Second World War… a moving story of two people discovering the power of past trauma to intrude on the present.’– Sunday Times

‘Through a cast of memorable characters, [the novel] reveals the difficult choices faced by ordinary people, and their aftermath. A compelling work of fiction that’s grounded in real events.’ — Choice Magazine

‘Mary Chamberlain’s moving novel is a vivid and immersive exploration of the lasting impacts of war and how love can rise from the ashes.’– Woman’s Own

Praise for the international bestseller, The Dressmaker of Dachau

‘The Dressmaker of Dachau is a thrilling story, brilliantly told. I couldn’t put it down. Ada Vaughan is a character to fall in love with: utterly real, flawed and beguiling’ Saskia Sarginson, author of R&J pick, The Twins and Without You

‘I found myself completely swept up in this tale of love, ambition and vanity’ Juliet West, author of Before the Fall

‘A powerful and gripping tale of longings and dreams, and how a chance meeting that seems to offer the answers and more, instead comes with devastating consequences. It’s a story about what a person will do and can do under force.
The world before, during and after World War II is amazingly well-drawn. But it is the character of Ada Vaughan that lingers, her resolve, her passion and her flaws’ Cecilia Ekback

‘A book not to be missed’ Shropshire Star