Little White Lies – Philippa East

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…

Book Information: 351 pages. Publisher: HQ. Publication Date: 6 Feb 2020

About The Author:

Philippa East is a fiction writer with HQ/HarperCollins and she also works as a clinical psychologist.

Philippa grew up in Scotland before moving to Oxford and then London to complete her clinical psychology training. A few years ago, she left the NHS to set up her own part-time practice and dedicate more hours to writing. The result was her debut novel LITTLE WHITE LIES, which was longlisted for The Guardian’s Not-The-Booker Prize and shortlisted for the CWA “New Blood” Award 2020.

Philippa’s next book SAFE AND SOUND is another twisty and compelling tale. For a fun preview, check out the video trailer on Philippa’s Amazon Author page (best with sound on!). Released in February 2021, SAFE AND SOUND is available to buy now.

Philippa now lives in the beautiful Lincolnshire countryside with her husband and cat. She loves reading (of course!) and long country walks, and she also performs in a local folk duo called The Miracle Cure. Alongside her writing, Philippa continues to work as a psychologist and therapist.

You can find Philippa on Twitter: @philippa_east

My Review:

I read SAFE AND SOUND earlier this year and really enjoyed it so when I saw that Philippa’s debut novel LITTLE WHITE LIES was on an Amazon Monthly Deal of 99p it was a quick and easy click for me.

Firstly, I should point out that the story is about a missing/abducted young child so if this topic is a “trigger” then this book probably isn’t for you.

Abigail went missing at the age of 8, when she was with her mother and twin toddler siblings on a busy train in London. She vanished into thin air and hadn’t been seen again, until she walks into a police station age 15 with another little girl who had recently been abducted. What should then be a happy reunion with her family slowly starts to show the cracks and secrets surrounding her abduction and their collective guilt begins to split the family apart.

The story is narrated by Anne, Abigail’s mother and Jess, Abigail’s first cousin and best friend. As a mother I found it difficult to understand Anne’s behaviour towards her daughter, but as the story progresses we learn more about their relationship and what led up to that fateful day. The chapters told from Jess were so sweet and heartbreaking, having lost her best friend at the tender age of 8, Jess has refused to give up hope of her safe return and waited patiently for this miraculous day, but it’s apparent immediately that Abigail is no longer the little girl who vanished, but a troubled and secretive teenager struggling with her demons.

The story is full of twists and turns, surprises and questions, which kept me guessing throughout. If you enjoy well plotted stories with dysfunctional characters then I am sure you will enjoy this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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