Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Everything Is Lies” as Want to Read:
Everything Is Lies
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Everything Is Lies

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,369 ratings  ·  431 reviews
No-one is who you think they are

Sophia's parents lead quiet, unremarkable lives. At least that is what she's always believed.

Everyone has secrets

Until the day she arrives at her childhood home to find a house ringing with silence. Her mother is hanging from a tree. Her father is lying in a pool of his own blood, near to death.

Especially those closest to you

The police are
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published February 22nd 2018 by Penguin
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Everything Is Lies, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Helen Callaghan
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,369 ratings  ·  431 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Everything Is Lies
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This psychological thriller is a good quick read and certainly a page turner. I enjoyed this novel and throughout the book wanted to carry on reading to find out what happens next. The plot is certainly not flawless and some things better not dwelt on but this did not spoil my enjoyment in the slightest.
The lead character Sophia discovers her mother dead and her father critically injured in what appears to be a murder, suicide. Sophia does not believe this to be the case and searches for the ans
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Helen Callaghan returns with a brand new psychological drama, Everything Is Lies. Her debut was Dear Amy, which I very much loved.

We get to know a Londoner in her twenties, Sophia. Sophia returns home to visit her parents, Nina and Jared. She finds her mother dead, in an apparent suicide and her father barely alive. Sophia is in shock. She wants answers. She finds herself looking into her family and its background. Who are her parents? Are they as normal and dull, as they very much appear? Sophi
Liz Barnsley
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I got thoroughly immersed into “Everything Is Lies” almost immediately – excellent lead in to an emotionally charged story that was absolutely gripping.

Sophia comes home to find her mother dead and her father critically injured in an apparent murder/suicide – but she is not convinced and when she discovers her mother has finally written a book so begins a journey into a dark past that has never let go…

Helen Callaghan has written a story about personality, manipulation and perception, wrapping it
ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook
Do whatever you want, my darling heart. You get to choose. But before you do, first of all, you need to take a deep breath and think.
This book was so wonderfully layered from the start that I enjoyed every minute of it. You realise that something terrible is going to happen right from reading chapter one but not exactly what. But the thing is, with this book it isn't totally about the "big secret" it's actually the journey up to it that's as enjoyable. The author builds up the layers of th
Zoe Mann
Feb 21, 2018 rated it liked it
'Everything is Lies' by Helen Callaghan is written in such a refreshing way and the story is portrayed in a way I have never experienced before.

The story is told by Sophia in the present and also by her mother in the past through her hidden notebooks. I loved this concept and was encouraged to read for longer and faster than usual to get to the notebooks and discover the secrets.

Sophia's mother is found hanging in the family tree and her father is critically wounded. The police say her mother
Renita D'Silva
Jun 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Thrilling and twisted. A great read.
Kim Ebner
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
The first couple of chapters of this book made for riveting reading and I was hooked instantly. Wow, this one got off to a cracker. I immediately bonded with Sophia, and my heart went out to her. The terrible situation that she found herself in, the guilt, the pain, the "what if's", I could understand it all, and it made me feel immediately invested in the story.

When I started reading this book I was excited to discover that it was a dual time-frame narrative, as I really love those. This story
Kate A
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads
This book is one that you don’t want to go into with too much knowledge, I had read the blurb but when I got around to reading I couldn’t quite remember entirely what it was and that made for a more intense and mysterious reading experience.

The story is told in two narratives, through Sophia as she discovers her mother dead and father badly injured and then through Nina, Sophia’s mother, when Sophia discovers notebooks that unveil her past. I really enjoyed how the story switched from one to ano
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, net-galley
I really enjoyed this book which kept me guessing all the way through. I didn't manage to guess what was going to happen. I was suspicious of everyone, but not sure who was going to turn out to be part of the mystery!
Sophia is called home by her mum and delays returning until the following day. She finds her mum dead and her dad badly injured in what the police believe is a murder/suicide. She refuses to believe that her mum could be responsible and tries to clear her name. After finding some jo
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have to say, I hardly ever come across a book that I never ever want it to end. Sure, I've given a lot of 5 star ratings, with all my heart too, but what I am talking about here is something completely different. My eyes seriously hurt, I was reading for 2 hours straight and didn't even know it. This is far more than a 5-star book. I don't want to ruin this unique experience for you by giving out details, I just HAD to urge you to move this one up in your TBR right now! ...more
DNF at page 74
There's nothing really wrong with this book, but I can't seem to get interested in reading it.
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
London architect Sophia MacKenzie receives a phone call from her mother asking her to return home to Suffolk because they need to talk. Sophia, enjoying a night out with colleagues and over the legal limit to drive, puts her mother off until the following day. But when Sophia does arrive home, her parents aren't there. Venturing into the garden she finds her mother's lifeless body hanging from a tree and her father lying near-death in a pool of blood.

Sophia is astonished to learn her mother was
Claire Douglas
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this psychological thriller and was gripped from the first chapter. The story begins when Sophia goes back to her childhood home to visit her parents and finds her mother dead and her father seriously injured. The police say it's suicide but Sophia doesn't believe it. This is such a great premise and hooked me in straight away. Sophia digs deeper into her parents' past to find out what really happened to her mother, Nina. When she uncovers some notebooks from Nina's past in the late 1980 ...more
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: february-2018, kindle
I read Helen Callaghan's debut novel, Dear Amy, whilst on holiday in Naples and Rome in 2016, and could barely put it down. I was really looking forward to her second book, Everything is Lies, and feel as though my rather high hopes were met. Callaghan writes engaging, gritty novels, which are very easy to get into, and which are incredibly well paced.

Two concurrent stories run here, one which tells the present day story of Sophia, and another which releases the mystery of her mother's earlier
Rosemary Standeven
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a riveting read, that heads off in some quite unexpected directions. It starts with an office party gone wrong. Sophia is hungover before the night comes to an end, and in no condition to drive home to calm her mother’s perpetually fractured nerves. By the time the morning comes, it is too late. Sophia gets to her parent’s garden centre/café to find no-one there, except ….
The police are called, but Sophie cannot believe what they try to tell her. Her mother, Nina, – the mother that
Feb 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Sophia is an Architect is a high profile firm. She is out enjoying herself after work when she gets another call from her mother asking her if she can come home, this time it’s an emergency. She reluctantly agrees to go home the following day.
When she arrives at the family home she finds her mother dead hanging from a tree in the garden and her dad is unconscious after being stabbed, on the ground.
The police are called and they believe that Sophia’s mother killed herself and tried to kill her fa
Sophia's life in London is a bit of a mess, and after an ill-advised hook-up with a married colleague that threatens to jeopardise her career, she flees to her parents' country home. There, she finds an unimaginably horrifying scene: her mother has repeatedly stabbed her father, leaving him in a coma, before taking her own life. Sophia can't believe her mum, Nina, could do this, but the police confirm they are treating the case as an attempted murder-suicide.

In the aftermath of this shocking eve
Rebecca Stobart
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I went into everything is lies without reading the blurb, I didn’t know what it was going to be about at all -I just saw Helen’s name and downloaded the book from Netgalley on the spot. When I found out that it was about a cult I got really excited because the two books this year I have read about cults have been brilliant.

Helen Callaghan has written about a woman called Sophia Mackenzie, whose mother stayed at a place called Morningstar, the hub of a spiritualist cult, prior to her birth.

May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 -> 5*
This novel baited me with its wonderful title and I can only say that it really lived up to its promise! It's funny how it turned out to be completely different from what I expected when I read the blurb though. I thought it would be a novel weaving some lies into a story, getting all out of proportion in the end and with big consequences perhaps yes but not that it would be about lying in an up front and into your face fashion, and that someone would find herself smack dab in the middl
Elaine Mullane || At Home in Books
2.5 - 3 stars

Sophia is a twenty-six year old architect living her life in London. Her parents, who live a seemingly quiet and unremarkable life, call her one Friday night and ask her to return to her small-village home in Suffolk. Used to her mother's needy calls, Sophia puts off the trip back until the following morning, when she enters her parent's garden to find her mother hanging from a tree and her father stabbed and struggling for his life. It looks like (and is deemed by police) a murder-
Julie Lacey
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book!
I was hooked from the first few chapters and was desperate to know more about Sophia’s mum’s life before she was born.
Sophia returns home to find her Mum hanging dead from a tree and her dad fighting for his life on the floor.
The Police think her Mum is responsible but Sophia just won’t accept it.
Sophia then starts to discover that her mum had some secrets from her past and starts to unravel them.
I never expected this book to be so addictive and I really liked the way it s
OK, I know I'm in the minority here but I DNF this book. Half-way through - after forcing myself to that point - I thought I really can't bear anymore of this cult type talk and I really disliked the majority of the people in the book. I just couldn't connect with any of them. I'm old so maybe it appeals to a younger group of readers. The beginning didn't grab me and the only part that got a bit interesting was once Sophia reached home. After that it just sort of lagged for me. ...more
Dear Amy was one of the first books I read last year, and I absolutely loved it, and so I was incredibly eager to read Helen Callaghan’s latest novel – Everything Is Lies. When I began reading I was delighted to realise it was a duel time frame narrative, as in the present Sophia discovers her quiet and reclusive parents dead in what appears to be a murder/suicide while the secrets of her mother’s past are revealed in the notebooks she’d compiled in the months leading up to her death. I LOVE a d ...more
Aileen Mckenzie
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
*Actual rating 3.5

Everything is Lies is the second book by Helen Callaghan but the first of Helen’s I’ve read. Gripped from the start by the distinctively original plotline, Everything is Lies is an immersive read that sucked me right under.

“Everything is lies. No one is who you think they are.”

When London architect Sophia returns home to visit her parents, Nina and Jared, she finds her mother dead, hanging from a tree in an apparent suicide. Her father is lying unconscious in the bushes next to
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
When Sophia gets a late-night call from her mom asking her to come home, she does what she always does - puts it down to her mom's usual erratic behaviour. Putting her mom off, she tells her she's had too much to drink and will drive over the next day, which she duly does only to find her mom (Nina) dead and her dad seriously injured, with knife wounds to the stomach.
While her dad lies in a coma, unable to tell them what happened, the police rule Nina's death a suicide - something Sophia can't g
Rachel Bridgeman
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
This was amazing!!! As soon as I had finished this it was one of those books that you rush to your nearest electronic device, summon carrier pigeons and start semaphoring to anyone who will listen-this is a wonderful sophomore book from the author of 'Dear Amy'.
It twists and turns right until the end, you feel as though you are experiencing the plot reveals along with main character Sophie.

She is a 26 year old architect with parents, who ring, like most parents, at inopportune moments. Snapping
Vikki Patis
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Everything Is Lies is the second book by Helen Callaghan, and it is just as engrossing as the first. This is a powerful coming of age story, set against the dark backdrop of sex, drugs, and violence in the 80s.

The characters are deep and real, drawn expertly to create a cast that you almost recognise. Being a 90s kid, I missed the revolution that began, slowly, with the suffragettes, and paved the way for second wave feminists. A time when more women were realising that, actually, it wasn't eno
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 massive stars and I just adored this book it had everything that I love in a book..good writing, mystery, great characters and most of all a cult !!! Many many thanks to Helen Callaghan for a fantastic read ...well recommended
Jan 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, thriller
I received a free copy via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

This is a complex thriller which at times I found difficult to follow.
Still it was worth the effort as I did enjoy the story.
I’ve read a lot of intense and amazing books recently, and after a while it can feel like you need a palate cleanser. Mystery/thrillers always do the job perfectly for me, as 99% of the time they are easily engrossing and interesting. This is definitely true for Everything is Lies (which I have really struggled to put down). I’m excited to see what the author will bring out next.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Forgotten Child
  • The Dinner Party
  • Magpie
  • Seven Days
  • Lock Me In
  • The Catch
  • The Widows’ Club
  • The House Share: Seven housemates. Seven lies. Would you dare to join?
  • The Alibi Girl
  • Do Not Disturb
  • The Roommates
  • The House Swap
  • The Secrets You Hide
  • I Confess
  • Never Be Broken (DI Marnie Rome, #6)
  • Sleep
  • The Devil You Know
  • The Escape
See similar books…
My name is Helen Callaghan and I write fiction whenever I am left unsupervised. I live in Cambridge amongst teetering piles of books.

My debut novel, Dear Amy (2016), and my other novels, Everything is Lies (2018) and Night Falls, Still Missing (2020), are published by Michael Joseph and available now.

Related Articles

We asked Alice Bolin, author of Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession, and journalist-turned-crime novelist Laura...
100 likes · 49 comments
“Morningstar was a grande dame, beautiful and luxurious but with arthritic bones that snapped and popped as we crossed her floorboards or clung to her bannisters.” 0 likes
More quotes…