A powerful personal documentation of unshared truths, dedicated to a family whose lives were left shattered in the aftermath of events that will never be fully understood.

“Quite simply, a powerful tour de force”

Gregg Davies
Graphic Designer & Audio book narrator
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I got so lost in the beautiful manner the author uses to weave her tale as she paints a picture of her pain and torment followed by a show of amazing strength of human spirit, that at times I felt I was living this story myself...
Paula Gruben
Author: Umbilicus
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An incredibly brave confessional memoir in which the author confronts her demons head on in an effort to find forgiveness from the family she unwittingly ruined, and an elusive sense of inner peace...
Deborah du Plooy
Manager: Skoobs Theatre of Books
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The reading is so rich. There are just too many moments to single out any one. She communicates to the heart of the reader with what I call 'word pictures'. Sensory richness in its purest form.
Sonia Pietropaolo
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I loved the story. It trapped me into a reality world full of the complexities of the human experience.
Cynthia Grice
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Thank you for giving me something in your story which resonated with mine, forced me to face my own realities, and helped me in ways you will probably never know...

From the Back Cover

To the outside world, Claudia Stevenson is living the dream. The perfect home, a beautiful family and a successful career all hide the nightmare that is going on behind closed doors. Trapped in an emotionally turbulent, verbally abusive marriage, Claudia yearns to escape.

When Alex reappears in her life after seventeen years, Claudia is faced with a choice: Does she run while she can, or does she stay?

Her decision leads her on a dangerous path where, in a tragic twist of circumstances, she finds herself watching her life spiral out of control.

Based on actual events, Four in the Morning is a story of love, tragedy, forgiveness and redemption. It is a powerful personal documentation of unshared truths, dedicated to a family whose lives were left shattered in the aftermath of events that will never be fully understood.

The True Story behind the Book

In 2007, after a heated argument, my husband got into his car, left our home in a blinding rage, and was never seen again. The chain of traumatic events that happened that day all led back to me, and there was no way that I could escape them.

Seven years later, burdened with guilt and desperate to find peace and forgiveness, I decided to share my story with the world. I started writing my book as a memoir but, because I wanted to protect identities, I decided to write it as a novel instead.

Four in the Morning was published as an eBook in July 2015, and in Paperback and Large Print in April 2017.

My hope is that anybody who has been through trauma and has struggled to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives afterwards will find peace and hope through my story. I also hope that my story will inspire others to share their own.

If you’d like a little taste of the book, I’ve posted the first five chapters of the book online here.

I love hearing from my readers! Please feel free to contact me at phillipa@phillipamitchell.com. All messages will be responded to personally.


I didn’t think I ever would but I did. So many people have read my book and told me that they were shocked by the ending and wanted to know what happened afterwards.

So I wrote the “What happened afterwards”.

If you purchased my book on Kindle, go to the home screen of your app or device and then click on the Help option. Select “Additional help” and then “Common Troubleshooting” and then click on “Other Issue” and type a request to Amazon asking them to push the latest version of the book to you. The latest version includes the epilogue. Alternatively, click on the “Sync” option, which will do the same thing.

Otherwise, you can click here to read the epilogue online.

Four in the Morning is available in Kindle and paperback format on Amazon stores worldwide. Customers residing in South Africa can order an autographed copy of the book from Red Pepper Online.

Book Launch

On the evening of the 22nd of August 2017, a dream came true. Ten years in the making and my book Four in the Morning was launched to the world. The atmosphere – as so many who attended told me – was so full of love. I felt it too. It was the first time in a decade that I was able to publicly honour Grant, my children, and every person who made this book possible.

To Deborah du Plooy and the team at Skoobs Theatre of Books, thank you for providing the most beautiful venue, with every detail taken care of; your incredible staff, and your beautiful heart.

To Donna McCallum, my Fairy Godmother, for holding the space for me to share this dream come true, I could not have wished for anyone more special to wave her wand over me last night. Thank you for flying all the way up from Cape Town to share in and facilitate the evening.

To Robin Pullen, for so graciously offering to MC the evening’s events and for doing it with such panache. Thank you.

To Justin Mitchell, my son, you thought you couldn’t but you could and you did. I had tears in my eyes as I listened to you playing the piano in the background. I love you and I thank you.

To Kim Hunter (Tango with Text) for surprising me with a full live stream of the evening’s events, I am still gobsmacked that you did this for me. Because of you, people who couldn’t make it to the launch, people from all over South Africa, and the world, could celebrate with me and share in this final phase of my journey. I don’t know how to thank you. But thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

To everyone who showed up in person on the night… WOW! I still cannot believe the turnout. On a school night. I am deeply grateful and honoured to have shared this space with each of you. My only regret is that there weren’t enough hours in the evening to share individually with each of you.

If you missed out on the launch, it’s all here, from beginning to end. My dream come true.

Interview with Sara-Jayne Makwala-King from Cape Talk

On Sunday the 17th of September, I was interviewed on air on Cape Talk by the fabulous Sara-Jayne King, who recently published her harrowing memoir (now a bestseller) “Killing Karoline”, which focuses on the lie surrounding her adoption as a young baby, the “illegal” product of a relationship between her white mother and her black father.

It was wonderful to swap notes as authors and to share in each other’s journeys. Click on the link below to listen to the 45-minute long podcast.