Review By Gabrielle

Dive into a truly troubled mind in Lisa Jewell’s latest, None of This is True.

Favourite Quote:

‘Born on the same day, in the same hospital.’

‘Wow! That’s amazing,’ says Zoe.

Then Zoe and Alix turn the conversation away from the Huge Coincidence and immediately Josie sees that it has passed, this strange moment of connection, that it was fleeting and weightless for Alix, but that for some reason it carries import and meaning to Josie, and she wants to grab hold of it and breathe life back into it, but she can’t.

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Celebrating her forty-fifth birthday at her local pub, popular podcaster Alix Summers crosses paths with an unassuming woman called Josie Fair. Josie, it turns out, is also celebrating her forty-fifth birthday. They are, in fact, birthday twins.

A few days later, Alix and Josie bump into each other again, this time outside Alix’s children’s school. Josie has been listening to Alix’s podcasts and thinks she might be an interesting subject for her series. She is, she tells Alix, on the cusp of great changes in her life.

Josie’s life appears to be strange and complicated, and although Alix finds her unsettling, she can’t quite resist the temptation to keep making the podcast. Slowly she starts to realise that Josie has been hiding some very dark secrets, and before she knows it, Josie has inveigled her way into Alix’s life—and into her home.

But, as quickly as she arrived, Josie disappears. Only then does Alix discover that Josie has left a terrible and terrifying legacy in her wake, and that Alix has become the subject of her own true crime podcast, with her life and her family’s lives under mortal threat.

Who is Josie Fair? And what has she done?

This is a twisty one, folks. More psychological than grisly (although there is a bit of that, too), this book definitely plays with your brain. I loved the premise and structure of the story. It is truly clever. From the description alone, the reader already knows a lot. At first, I found myself thinking, ‘But isn’t there going to be more?’ Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of juicy details to discover along the way, but the plot, in general, is pretty much what you read in the description. The ingenious part is the characters.

Lisa does a terrific job of crafting each character. We get to read the point of view of both Josie and Alix, with little sections of a Netflix script in between. What we are left with as a reader is to determine who is telling the truth. Who can we trust? Who can we believe? We meet other characters connected to each of the women, too, Josie’s husband Walter, Josie’s mom, Alix’s husband, and others, and each of them brings new perspectives to confuse us and make us question what’s really going on.

It’s a thinker of a book. I found I had to keep putting it down to ponder on it before picking it back up. For me, it wasn’t an escapist, tear-through-it kind of thriller. It was more of a read-in-smaller-sections and give-it-some-time-to-settle sort of book. If that vibe is what you live for, you’ll like this story.

Thank you, Simon and Schuster Canada, for the ARC in return for an honest review.