Genre: Fiction
Published: 3 April 2014
Publisher: Short Books
International Rights have been sold to US/Other Press

The Enlightenment of Nina Findlay

by Andrea Gillies

Growing up in a Scottish village, best friends with the boys next door, Nina Findlay thinks her life will unfold like an old folktale. She ends up marrying one of those boys, remaining best friends with the other. For many years the three of them assure themselves that the triangle is stable. The triangle is stable, until Nina’s sister-in-law dies and the whole delicate balance is thrown into chaos. It’s stable until, one fateful evening, her brother-in-law appears on her doorstep. Separated from her husband and encouraged to take a break, Nina travels to a small island in Greece – the same one she’d gone to on honeymoon 25 years earlier – and is involved in a serious road accident. While convalescing in the village hospital, and filled by what the doctor calls “survivor’s euphoria”, Nina can’t stop thinking and remembering and obsessing about the details of the past. An old diary she’s brought with her proves to be a turning point. Perhaps romantic love is always a kind of undiagnosed madness. The time has come, she realises, to unravel the taut knot of her life –

"In her disturbing and...tantalizing second novel, Andrea Gillies...plumbs the heart of marital infidelity. In the world of this novel, we betray our spouses simply by withholding the best of ourselves, by saving it for another." - The New York Times Book Review
"Gillies’s brisk, confident style deftly manages convoluted jumps in time, and small gems of insight glitter among her clean, precise prose...This sure-handed, lovely exploration of the human heart is certain to build Gillies’s audience." - Publishers Weekly
"In her second novel, Gillies explores...the fallibility of memory and the often heartbreaking half-truths we tell ourselves by way of compensation."
- Kirkus Reviews
"Gillies is a skilled writer, painting the scene of Nina’s Greek getaway with cleanly evocative prose." - The Huffington Post
"Gillies offers a lot of food for thought about love, memory, and the lies we tell ourselves."
- Booklist
"Riveting." - Library Journal
"A rich, intricate, utterly convincing portrait of one woman's midlife meltdown." L - Lisa Zeidner, author of Layover and Love Bomb
"This mesmerizing, intelligent work overturns traditional assumptions about love, family, and loss and delivers a series of twists that are as unexpected as they are richly satisfying." - Diana Abu-Jaber, author of Birds of Paradise
"The Enlightenment of Nina Findlay is at once lyrical and riveting. Unfolding on a radiant Greek Island, with darker echoes of Scotland and Norway, this lushly transporting, thoughtful novel moves through overlapping time periods in an intricate series of themes and variations. Despite its graceful cadence, it courses with suspense; Andrea Gillies has given us something rare, an exquisite page-turner." - Hilary Reyl, author of Lessons in French
"The Enlightenment of Nina Findlay is a sure, poised, relentlessly honest novel that carries the reader through multiple layers of deception and revelation, showing us the hidden heartbreak in families and marriage." - Fernanda Eberstadt, author of Rat and The Furies
"Gillies writes magnificently on everything she touches." - Sunday Times
"[The Enlightenment of Nina Findlay] moves backward and forward across several decades, uncovering intergenerational secrets and the holes in the stories people tell themselves." - The Guardian
"Funny and wise . . . not to be missed." - Good Housekeeping (UK)
"An intelligent, thoughtful, grown-up romance about second chances and the complications of relationships." - The Herald (Scotland)
"Winner of the Orwell and Wellcome prizes for her first book, Keeper, Gillies combines a wonderfully unreliable narrator with a deeply layered love story." - Scottish Book Trust
"Romance is everywhere, there is love—filial, parental, platonic, amorous—and flirting and coupling and unraveling. But The Enlightenment of Nina Findlay is not chick lit. There’s a provocative intelligence in Gillies’s tale that challenges perceptions and beliefs about love, honesty, and betrayal." - Bookanista

Other Books by Andrea Gillies