Little White Lies by Philippa East ★★★★★
Published : 6th February 2020
Publisher : HQ
Format : Kindle, Audio, Paperback
Genre . : Thriller
She only looked away for a second…
Anne White only looked away for a second, but that’s all it took to lose sight of her young daughter.
But seven years later, Abigail is found.
And as Anne struggles to connect with her teenage daughter, she begins to question how much Abigail remembers about the day she disappeared…
How many lies are to many?
How many mistakes are allowed?
What I they were tiny hidden stitches that could easily be unpicked?
What would happen if you pulled the stitch that was supposed to hold everything together?...
Thank you HQ for this fantastic blog tour spot! I assumed this would be a fantastic read when I read the blurb, but I didn't expect it to grab me as much as it did.
This is a breath taking, hold your hand over your mouth and wait for the worst kind of read.
Filled with secrets, lies and a fantastic twist that will shock you at the end.
The story starts with the news that Abigail, Annes daughter has been found after seven years of being abducted.
After seven years of searching, harassing and never giving up she is finally on her way home. No longer the eight year old little temperamental girl that got lost at the tube station but now a fifteen year old girl.
Anne and Robert drop the twins off to Lillian, Annes sister and head off to the unit where they have been instructed to go and wait for the arrival of their daughter.
Robert is excited, relieved and can't believe there little girl is coming home, a stepfather to Abigail but always has loved her like she was his own.
Anne is also relieved and overwhelmed by the news, anxious to see her daughter again... but also there is a niggling doubt that is scratching away at her surface, what if she remembers what she did?.
Anne's character is a loving mum who fiercely loves her children, but she is riddled with guilt over something that happened seven years ago and she doesn't know how to deal with it. She is constantly over thinking Abigail's every move and always seems to make the wrong decision when really she is trying her best to make it all right again. Robert has no clue what Anne is hiding. He is a loving, caring father and husband and she fears she will lose everything is he finds out.
Annes sister Lillian and her husband Fraser know the truth, Anne called Lillian, her big sister when it happened and as she always has done in their life, Lillian made it better, took over and helped sort out Annes mistake.
Lillian is ordered, controlled and has what seems like the perfect life, a loving husband and a daughter, Jess all in a perfect house, whereas Anne always makes mistakes and needs her sister to either advise her or steer her in the right direction.
I did understand Anne and Lillians relationship throughout the book, I also have a big sister who, like Lillian is my go to for advice and if I feel im making a mistake then she is my sounding off board so I could really connect with there closeness.
Cousins, Abigail and Jess are two weeks apart in age. Before Abigail goes missing the two are inseparable, always together like twins they share everything and when Abigail comes back it is Jess who can make her relax and help her to feel calm and centered. But it is not necessarily a healthy bond, Jess has frozen her life waiting for Abigail to come back. She should be with her teenage friends out having fun but she holds off on all the things a teenage girl should be doing so she can do them with Abigail, but the girl that comes back is not the same girl who went away and Jess struggles to admit that whilst they can still be close, they can't go back to how they were.
Abigail is extremely fractured and confused, she doesn't know what to believe or who she can trust.
Is it the mother who is constantly fussing telling her everything is ok now, but clearly hiding something, or the man who kept her prisoner for the past seven years, who convinced her she was handed over to him to have forever?
Through out the book I was desperate to know what had happened to Abigail, almost the entire book is either from Annes perspective or Jess's, with the occasional at the end from Lillian.
When the truth comes out about what really happened to Abigail at the end it was a shock as I assumed it would go a different way and a great twist, I was literally on the edge of my seat with the last couple of chapters hand over my mouth dreading what was going to happen when I turned the page.
This book is entwined with manipulations, little lies and secrets that it isn't until the end that it all makes sense and becomes clear.
If you liked Room by Emma Donoghue then you will love this.
This is an amazing debut novel and I can not wait for Philippa's next book.
Meet the author...
Hello, I am a fiction writer living in Lincolnshire.
I have written short stories for a several years, a number of which have been published in literary magazines including Brittle Star, Fictive Dream, and Shooter Magazine. I’ve also had a few successes in competitions such as The Fiction Desk and Retreat West.
In 2017, I was long listed in Mslexia First Novel award. This year, I secured a publishing deal with HQ/HarperCollins for my debut ‘Little White Lies’.
This Book Club read tells the story of a family whose missing child is found alive seven years after her disappearance; it is a book that begins where other stories end.
In the beginning, I graduated with a degree in Psychology and Philosophy from Oxford University. I subsequently trained as a Clinical Psychologist and worked for 12 years in the NHS before establishing my own psychology practice.
This background in philosophy and psychology serves as the inspiration for many of my stories.
I now divide my time between clinical work and writing, and I share my love of writing with my members of the Lincolnshire-based writers’ group The Lindum Scribes.
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