Haddington: Disappearing violinist is at centre of third novel

Haddington: Disappearing violinist is at centre of third novel

THE sudden disappearance of a talented violinist and the cracks in her seemingly perfect family are at the heart of a new book.

Chrissie Goodlight impresses the judges in a televised national musician of the year programme before mysteriously disappearing.

The news throws a light on her mum and dad, Julia and Paul, and what appears to be a normal family life.

Philippa East, who penned the tale, was delighted to say that the story was already gripping readers.

The 41-year-old, who grew up on Haddington’s St Martin’s Close, admitted that waiting on reviews was a nerve-wracking time but said: “I was glued to my iPad yesterday trying to catch up with all the messages and retweets.

“I was a bit hooked by the end of the day.

“I’ve just had lots of people talking about how excited they are and initial reviews are really good, which is always a relief.”

The latest novel follows in the footsteps of the success of Philippa’s debut book, Little White Lies, and Safe and Sound, which was released in 2021.

I’ll Never Tell focuses on the Goodlight family, who, according to the author, are “seemingly perfect on the outside”.

Main breadwinner Julia is a successful lawyer, while her husband Paul is involved in the upbringing and career of teenager Chrissie.

Philippa said: “Chrissie is tipped to win a national musician of the year competition, which would be a huge life-changing success for her and the whole family.

“But they go to the televised semi-final, she gives an incredible performance in front of a live audience, television cameras, and then very publicly disappears.

“Her disappearance casts a spotlight on the real goings-on within the seemingly perfect Goodlight family.”

The writer, who now lives in Lincolnshire, balances the demands of writing along with her job as a clinical psychologist and therapist.

She said: “Unfortunately, authors, even very successful authors, do not earn a huge amount. Also, I think, being a psychologist and therapist, I still very much relate to that as part of my identity and professional role.

“Even though my sense of myself as a novelist gets stronger all the time with the more books I publish, I am not ready to let go of that part of myself – for now it feels like a good balance.”

Philippa’s love of reading and writing stems from her childhood.

She told the Courier that her family did not have a television for many years and, instead, she would be joined by her older sister Katherine visiting Haddington’s library.

Philippa, whose mum and dad, Claire and Brian, still live in the town, said: “We would go to the library every week and probably take out about eight books between the two of us and just read them.

“I read voraciously and I did English all the way through school, right up to sixth year studies, and had a couple of really good teachers in the English department – David Swinney and Jim Maxwell.”

I’ll Never Tell is available on Amazon and published by HQ.

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East Lothian Courier
Cameron Ritchie

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