ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – None of This is True by Lisa Jewell

None of This is True by Lisa Jewell will be published tomorrow (20th July) by Century in hardcover, ebook and audiobook. My thanks to Najma Finlay for the proof copy (with pink spredges!).

Celebrating her 45th birthday at her local pub, podcaster Alix Summer crosses paths with an unassuming woman called Josie Fair. Josie is also celebrating her 45th.

A few days later, they bump into each other again, this time outside Alix’s children’s school. Josie says she thinks she would be an interesting subject for Alix’s podcast. She is, she tells Alix, on the cusp of great changes in her life.

Alix agrees to a trial interview and indeed, Josie’s life appears to be strange and complicated. Aix finds her unsettling but can’t quite resist the temptation to keep digging.

Slowly Alix starts to realise that Josie has been hiding some very dark secrets, and before she knows it Josie has cajoled her way into Alix’s life – and into her home.

Soon Alix begins to wonder who is Josie Fair really? And what has she done?

A chance meeting in a pub brings together Alix Summer, a podcaster who normally interviews successful women, and Josie Fair whose ears prick up at the sound of Alix’s birthday celebrations. The two women are birthday twins, exactly the same age and born on the same day. Alix agrees to Josie’s request to interview her for a new kind of podcast – ‘Hi, I’m Your Birthday Twin’ – and it’s ‘fair’ to say that before too long she doesn’t know what has hit her. There’s a lot more to Josie Fair than meets the eye.

I’ve always loved Lisa Jewell’s books but None of This is True has to be one of her best. It’s completely and utterly addictive, a metaphorical car crash playing out before my eyes as Josie insinuates her way into Alix’s life. Given the title of the book, I was wondering how much to trust Josie’s account of events in her life and I loved that about it.

I found the format of the book very appealing. Chapters that tell the story day by day and at various times on those days feel like a blow by blow account of events and are interspersed with interviews for a Netflix series which gives the unfolding story a real sense of foreboding with a fabulous touch of the unexpected at the end. I found None of This is True to be a hard to put down book full of fascinating and complex characters. It blew me away with its razor-sharp storyline and Jewell has once again proved what a brilliant author she is.

LISA JEWELL was born in London in 1968.

Her first novel, Ralph’s Party, was the best- selling debut novel of 1999. Since then she has written another eighteen novels, most recently a number of dark psychological thrillers, including The Girls, Then She Was Gone and The Family Upstairs (all of which were Richard & Judy Book Club picks).

Lisa is a New York Times and Sunday Times number one bestselling author who has been published worldwide in over twenty-five languages. She lives in north London with her husband, two teenage daughters and the best dog in the world.

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