Everything and Nothing was one of those books I didn’t simply love at the time of reading it, I still remember it now over two years later. Why did I love it so much? Because it was written so skilfully that I felt like I was actually viewing the story as it was revealed so I put Dot on my wish list, and kept my fingers crossed that after the long wait the next offering would be just as good. In my opinion it is. Reading this book gave me that magical feeling that I really knew the characters I was reading about.
Dot is a young girl, playing hide and seek in her Grandmother’s house with her best friend Mavis, when we first meet her. This is not just Dot’s story though. Araminta Hall expertly weaves many stories into a satisfying read with each one narrating their own part in an everyday if often tragic drama of family life. Dot, her beautiful mother Alice and her Grandmother Clarice all struggle to communicate with each other which is not the same as not loving each other. Mavis’s mother Sandra is trapped in a life of endless cleaning to stop her life falling apart and Dot’s absent father also has his own story to tell.
This is fundamentally a story about female relationships and how it can be hardest to reveal our secrets to those closest to us all told with an undertone of humour; `his lungs felt useless, as if he’d got them cheap in the Primark sale.’ The girls take on life had me smiling as I read the tragedy of lives not lived to the full.
This is such a beautiful story that I had tears rolling down my cheeks when I turned the last page.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I came across this book as recommended by Amazon, one of those I was glad I looked into this psychological novel is even more eerie for the way the story slowly increases in tension.
It all begins when Agatha attends an interview for a position of Nanny in a chaotic household where both parents work.
She is determined to become indispensible and takes over the running of the household and managing the children wonderfully. Ruth (the mother) feels she is strugggling with motherhood, work and wonders if she was right to take her husband Christian back after he had an affair whilst she was pregnant, and life goes on with Agatha managing everything perfectly…. so what could possibly go wrong?
The book is so well written, the characterisation is brilliant, you feel like you are looking through the window at a real family as you read this.
This is not a book I will forget in a hurry!