The White Lie
A stunning debut novel from the winner of the Orwell Prize 2010 and the inaugural Wellcome Trust Book Prize 2009.
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.
Andrea Gillies has had a diverse career, encompassing theatre publicity work, editorship of an inflight magazine, reference book editing and drinks writing. For a while this meant she had a garage full of booze and free flights to Paris. Her first book, Keeper, about looking after someone with dementia, won the Orwell Prize and the Wellcome Trust Book Prize. She lives in Edinburgh with her family. This is her first novel.