Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The white lie - Andrea Gillies

I don't read many contemporary novels but this one just caught my eye. Not only did it have a series of glowing reviews but had an interesting premise. The book is narrated by Michael who is dead and has been dead for the past 14 years. He is a somewhat unreliable narrator as it is very difficult to distinguish his true memories from the lies that fellow family members spin. The book begins with his aunt Ursula confessing that she has murdered her 19 year old nephew. The family decides to let Michael rest forgotten at the bottom of the loch in order to protect Ursula who is clearly mentally unstable. As the story progresses it becomes apparent that Michael's "disappearance" is not the only secret the family hold. There is the mystery of Michael's father and the circumstances surrounding the dead of Sebastian, Michael's four year old nephew who drowned before he was born.

The story is intense and the reader cannot be certain of anything other than the fact that Michael is dead. The writing was beautiful and dense and thus took me longer than usual to finish. A great psychological thriller.

Rating: 4/5

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