Book Review: Everything and Nothing by Araminta Hall

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Some books jump at you from bookshelves. This was one of those. I don’t know what made me pick it up, but I did.

Actually, it was probably these lines on the blurb.

Cupboards were sticky from spilled jam and honey, and the oven smoked when you turned it on because of the fat that had built up over the years. Agatha would never, ever let her future home end up like this. She would never leave it every day like Ruth did. She would never put her trust in strangers.

Ruth and Christian Donaldson are a busy London couple with a life that could be the envy of others. However, their marriage is falling apart, their two children, five year old daughter, Betty, wouldn’t sleep and three year old son Hal. Everything seems to be a mess. Ruth is at her wits end trying to balance work and life. Her guilt over choosing to work surfaces now and again. Until Agatha, or Aggie, their new nanny steps in.

Aggie seems to be an angel in disguise. She seems to have changed their lives ever since she arrived. The kids adore her, she seemedto have taken control over everything in minutes. She seems the answer to all their problems but why is it that Ruth is feeling so uncomfortable. Something isn’t quite right about Agatha. We as readers start to understand what is wrong, while Ruth struggles to figure out in the middle of everything else that is happening in her life.

The blurb calls it a psychological thriller and it certainly fits the bill. It is scary and yet completely believable. People with ordinary lives, dysfunctional at some levels, struggling to make things work out. Agatha, is probably any mum’s worst nightmare. The person you trust with your children can easily be the most dangerous of people. And dangerous in a way that is difficult to come to terms with.

It was an interesting read. An absolute page turner. Ruth and Christian are believable characters, flawed but believable. Agatha was a character who was confusing and as the story progresses, her motivations and her state of mind becomes clearer. The characters are well defined, and story is fast paced and gripping. It grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go till the very end. I would rate it a 4/5.

About the Author

Araminta Hall began her career in journalism as a staff writer on teen magazine Bliss, becoming Health and Beauty editor of New Woman. On her way, she wrote regular features for the Mirror’s Saturday supplement and ghost-wrote the super-model Caprice’s column.

This book is available from Amazon.

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