Everything and Nothing
Grips you right from the start, so much so that I didn't put this book down until I had finished (needless to say it only took me two days).
Written from the view points of the three main characters: Ruth and Christian, married but falling apart and their seemingly perfect nanny, Agatha.
This story twists and turns right up to til the end, with intensity growing throughout. I felt as if I was there going through everything with them, sympathasing thro...more
The opening of Araminta Hall’s debut novel sets things up very nicely.
Ruth and Christian are struggling to balance their busy, busy lives: juggling demanding careers, patching up a marriage battered by his affair, a five-year old daughter who won’t sleep, and a three-year old son who won’t eat.
But then ther...more
I personally quite liked the character of Agatha. I know you're not supposed to, since it is told very plainly from the st...more
The fact that Ruth and Chris were having such a difficult time of it, unable to hold together their busy lives with children and careers to cope with set a very good scene for potential disaster.
Enter Agatha, on the surface a gem, a lifesaver to this chaotic family. Of course we know from the very start that something is amiss.
I loved the way Aramnita Hall began to build the tension as Aggie brings her o...more
I liked and admired this book for its ability to make me understand and sympathise with all the characters - including the nanny - and its willingness to take on the big philosophical topics of life and set out to encapsula...more
The plot raced along at a satisfyingly quick pace and the characters of both Ruth and Christian (the parents) were nicely drawn; lots of angst, guilt, anger and blame and I beli...more
Araminta Hall writes honestly, she doesn't sugarcoat arguments or family lives. She writes as you imagine the characters to be thinking and thus makes them l...more
A very interesting book and easy read. I finished it in a relatively short time and was gripped with the story line. It is thrilling to say the least and the actions are fast paced. You don’t have to wait forever for something to happen. What I didn’t like however is the ending. It...more
I liked the story and the snippets of learnt info along the book building up into climax at the end of the book. Left an awful lot to the end of the book to tie up quickly in a couple dozen pages.
I found the characters very believable and as a mum could relate well to the way Ruth felt about many things throughout the book.
Gave this 3/5...more
The author's writing style, narrative & wonderful descriptions made the book for me. I would read another book by her for these reasons alone.
The ending was a major weak link, however. After a slow boiling build up, the ending felt like it happened in a paragraph or two, and w...more
Ruth and Chris are a married couple trying hard to deal with the fallout from his affair with a younger woman a year ago. With two young and high maintenance children and demanding careers, they are a family in crisis. In an attempt to regain some control they hire a nanny, Agatha. Aggie soon becomes indespensible, the house has regained some order, the...more
'Unputdownable!chillingly well-drawn' Sophie Hannah 'An assured debut takes the Mary Poppins myth and turns it into a menacing tale of the enemy invited in! Araminta Hall has turned the perfect nanny trope into something much more disturbing. Imagine a mash-up of Mary Poppins with Stephen King and you get the general idea! What makes this smartly written first novel so disturbing is its moral ambiguity; Hall keeps us engaged with all the characters, even the duplicitous Agatha, right up...more
It's a shame because the writer is clearly talented but it's a little as though she got bored of her own story and just ended it. You know like when you were in primary school and finished off "and then I woke up, it was all a dream". Boring...more
There are no hidden meanings here its just a terribly good read. Women characters are drawn better than the men. The core relationship between baby/working mother/nanny is excellent
A better synopses would have been " the eternal struggle of motherhood and marriage ".
In the end the book redeemed itself and it was after all an enjoyable read.
The story itself sounds promising but the characters are all pretty awful.
Ruth was really annoying, she overthought everything and was on such a downer about everything, I found her incredibly depressing.
Christian is also annoying, and a bit of a self obsessed pig. And Agatha well...started off interesting and then it was like the writer got bored of her.
Because I found the characters so unlikeable it affected the whole book for me.