Thursday, 7 April 2011

White Lies

White Lies by Lynn Michell

I bought a couple of books from Linen Press last year and thoroughly enjoyed them both, so was looking forward to this year's crop. White Lies certainly did not disappoint - I have barely been able to put it down since I started it!

At its heart, the story is of a love triangle between Mary; her husband David whom she married young, pre-WW2, and found she didn't really know after the war years kept them apart; and Harry, David's friend and colleague. But the whole thing is set against an unforgettable backdrop - 1950s Kenya, and the beginnings of the Mau Mau uprising. That's not a period in history I knew a lot about, and I always love learning a bit more history from reading a novel. David, Harry and Mary are stationed in Kenya, living the colonial life with plenty of black servants at their beck and call - loyal servants now but some are beginning to violently turn on their white masters. Mary and David have two young daughters. The story is told in David's, Mary's and their daughter Eve's voices, and in places you get three versions of the same events. Everyone rewriting history, telling white lies, to suit themselves.

This book is beautifully written, and was a real page-turner. I loved it, and thoroughly recommend it. If you are tempted to buy it, please do so from Linen Press direct rather than from Amazon for reasons explained here.

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