Nina Findlay, alluring, accomplished, deluded, always the heroine of her own life, has found an irresistible safety in being adored by two men, brothers she’s known since childhood. But when her sister-in-law becomes gravely ill, the triangle that Nina’s depended on becomes catastrophically unstable.
The life she’s known begins rapidly to unravel, and odd things begin to happen which those around her insist are all in her mind. Separated from her husband, she goes on holiday to a tiny Greek island, the honeymoon island of 25 years earlier, and is involved in a serious road accident. There, while recuperating, she becomes close to her doctor, who’s also on the point of divorce. A new relationship seems possible – but what’s real in the situation, and what’s imagined?
Pressed in at all sides by other people’s truths, how can Nina be sure of identifying her own? A diary that was her mother’s proves to be a turning point. Perhaps romantic love is always a kind of undiagnosed madness. Face to face with the facts behind her assumptions, the time has come for Nina to unravel the taut knot of her past.
“Gillies writes magnificently on everything she touches.”
“We have a major new talent in our midst.”
Praise for The White Lie:
“A gripping exploration of the stories families tell about themselves, myths sometimes more potent than the truth.”
“Gillies excels in her portrait of a landscape that consumes the merely human; eats it for lunch, as it were, and has slowly, over many generations, created a family in its own image.”
Helen Dunmore, The Times
“The prose is elegant and beautiful, and Gillies has a skill for creating both character and a sense of place… I couldn t put The White Lie down.”
For Books’ Sake
“The White Lie is a page-turner…It is also, finally, very moving.”
Francine Stock, The Guardian
“Gillies excels both at describing the landscape and at delineating those subcutaneous secrets and shared assumptions that bind families together.”
“A wonderfully compelling portrait of a family haunted by secrets and lies…pitch perfect on the chilling, devastating consequences of guilt.”
“Gillies’ beautifully crafted debut combines page-turning aplomb with psychological insight… She is a tantalising story-teller, dropping in clues, vertiginous surprises and unexpected revelations.”
“There’s an echo of Virginia Woolf that lifts Gillies’ work above the average family drama… This is an unusual, unsettling, often lovely story that plumbs the depths of what family means.”
Andrea Gillies has had a diverse career, encompassing writing, publicity work, travel and reference book editing, and writing a drinks column for Scotland on Sunday newspaper.