White Lies by Lynn Michell

Critics’ Reviews

A debut novel which possesses and is possessed by a rare authority of voice… It is the mother’s voice that sings White Lies into unforgettability. Hers and Eve’s. Their thoughts and writing ring like music.
— Tom Adair, The Scotsman
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An anatomist of the human heart.
— Wanda Whitely, HarperCollins

Gripping… with a bombshell of an ending.
— Michele Hanson, The Guardian

Moving, memorable and totally absorbing. Captures perfectly the trials of a middle-aged woman trying to care for and build a relationship with her distant father, now in his dotage, through the writing down of his memories.
— Sophie Radice, Guardian & Observer columnist

A naturally gifted writer and not afraid 
of ambitious projects as this one is. 
It has great filmic potential.
— Christopher Rush, author of Will

… a fine job capturing the time and 
transporting the reader there whilst 
exploring the reactions, feelings and 
fears of those who lived through the early stages of the Emergency. A first class read.
— Martyn Day, Lawyer for former Mau Mau insurgents against the British Government

Credible and touching. Dramatic and tragic.
— The Torch

A wonderful evocation of Africa not just as a place but as a milieu, strangely seductive and yet riddled with all the inherent contradictions of the White Man’s Burden and the White Man’s Guilt. Lynn Michell is an extremely accomplished writer. There are passages of extraordinary vividness and beauty and the characters spoke to me very convincingly. I love the sense, by the daughter, of unease at her father’s painting of a golden era of colonialism, the spaces, the gaps that he is unwilling or unable to discuss.
— Edwin Hawkes, Makepeace Towle

Readers’ Reviews

This book is beautiful and very sad, at least for me. It is so well constructed: apart for Ann and Clara, all the members of David’s family give personal — first person — accounts of their experiences, which makes breathtaking reading… The heroine is so delicate, so fragile and yet so strong in her fragility. As she says in her letter to Ann, she went through a painful weighing of possible alternatives choosing to lie for the better; lie as a necessity for all, not just for her or for her daughter. There are moments of playfulness, like when Harry whistles a song of Vera Lynn. And moments of love in the abandoned houses of Lake Navaisha. For the rest… the tenor is dramatic: beauty and war and human pain. This book that has shaken me.

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