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The White Lie by Andrea Gillies

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A darkly enthralling literary novel about secrets and murder.


The White Lie by Andrea Gillies

On a hot summer's afternoon, Ursula Salter runs sobbing from the loch on her parents' Scottish estate and confesses, distraught, that she has killed Michael, her 19-year old-nephew. But what really happened? No body can be found, and Ursula's story is full of contradictions. In order to protect her, the Salters come up with another version of events, a decision that some of them will come to regret. Years later, at a family gathering, a witness speaks up and the web of deceit begins to unravel. What is the white lie? Only one person knows the whole truth. Narrating from beyond the grave, Michael takes us to key moments in the past, looping back and back until - finally - we see what he sees.


'Gillies writes magnificently on everything she touches.' Sunday Times

'Absolutely searing... we have a major new talent in our midst.' Daily Express

'Gillies beautifully crafted debut combines page-turning aplomb with psychological insight... She is a tantalising storyteller, dropping in clues, vertiginous surprises and unexpected revelations.' Marie Claire

'One hot summer day, Michael Salter, 19-year-old scion of a posh Highland family, disappears. When his childlike aunt claims she drowned him during a fight, the family close ranks. No police. No memorial service. No titbits for village gossips. A decade of deceit begins. Narrated by Michael from beyond the grave, Andrea Gillies debut novel unpicks the mesh of lies, some white, some not, that entangle the Salters, bringing the closed world of the big house to life with cinematic clarity. A gripping exploration of the stories families tell about themselves, myths sometimes more potent than the truth.' Financial Times

About the Author

Andrea Gillies

Andrea Gillies lives in St Andrews with her family and is now writing a novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st July 2012


Andrea Gillies

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Short Books Ltd


576 pages


Family Drama
Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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