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Everything and Nothing

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  1,378 ratings  ·  160 reviews
A gripping psychological suspense read. 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 are—just—holdi ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 20th 2011 by HarperCollins UK (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,378 ratings  ·  160 reviews


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Felicia
May 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
I really hope an editor was not compensated for their effort on this book.

Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall was among my favorite books for 2018. It was dark and disturbing with an unreliable cuckoo narrator.

After reading the synopsis for this earlier book by the same author, I went into it hoping to find more of this author's immersive psychological storytelling and found that this effort was anything but. That's a bad thing in this case.

This story is not told in chapters. It's one marath
...more
Litt1edarling
Dec 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely amazing new book by Araminta Hall.

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 Book Whisperer (aka Boof)
The book begins promisingly. A young girl walks down a middle class street in London on her way to an interview for the job of nanny. Greeted by the chaotic scene around her (mum and dad on the verge of spliting up, two unruly children) Agatha already knows she wants this job – and we already know she is hiding something!

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
Plum-crazy
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2017
The theme of this book maybe not be an original one but for me this was a cut above others that I've read in a similar vein. The story is told from the views of the three main characters Ruth, Christian & Aggie yet unlike many other books it's not told in the first person. I found the style & tone of the writing credible (I don't think there is a mother out there that won't identify with at least one of Ruth's concerns or feelings) & utterly compelling.

Looking at other reviews it seems to be one
...more
Lesley
May 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Didn't seem as dramatic as the description of book gave it, just average family insecurities! Did not hate it but it passed the time!
Jane
Mar 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: borrowed
“The tube spat Agatha into one of those areas where people used to lie about their postcodes. Although why anyone ever would have been ashamed to live here was beyond Agatha’s understanding …”

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
Gill
Aug 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this book and the feeling of spiralling chaos from Ruth and Christian's problems contrasted with Agatha's tight control. In the end, of course, she is the one truly out of control and the family have a chance of balance. A good read.
Smitha
Feb 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Emma
Jul 02, 2014 rated it did not like it
Having picked up this book expecting a Nicci French/Sophie Hannah style thriller (and such expectations, I would argue, were not unreasonable given the fact that the book's publishers essentially have masqueraded it as precisely that), I was very disappointed with the actual content of Everything and Nothing. The blurb promises a suspenseful, sinister tale of a perfect nanny infiltrating a chaotic working couple's home - yet what is delivered is a tedious exploration of a cliched couple's marita ...more
Samantha Lee
Nov 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've seen mixed reviews for this book and whilst I can completely understand the comments, they are some of the reasons why I loved it so much.

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
Emma Allan
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. It's the first time in ages when I have just related to one character but to all three characters.

The relationship between Christian and Ruth was so recognisable, as was the difficulties of being a working mum in today's 'have it all' world.

I'm not sure if I was supposed to dislike Aggie but I couldn't. She was the biggest victim of all.

The book reviews on the cover say that the book is chilling and suspenseful. I'm not sure I would describe it as that. It was defini
...more
Rachael Phillips
Sep 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
I read this book in one day, not because it was a "can't put it down" but simply I had nothing else to do. Sums the book up really. SO much of the book was dedicated to building this story and then boom the "twist" and the ending completed in about 20 pages.
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
Chloe
Jan 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
There's a fine balance between order and chaos. At the beginning, it seems the parents lives are chaotic and pulled in different directions, juggling family and work and relationships. At the beginning, it seems the nanny brings order and calm to the household. At the end, we realise that order and chaos can be an illusion.

A well written story, an easy quick-ish read (I read it in one day). I'm not sure that it was as "chilling and suspenseful" as the blurb suggested, but certainly a good story
...more
Laura Wilkinson
Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dark-fiction
When my children were younger I had a live-in nanny/au pair one summer - she was lovely but the atmosphere of the house shifted considerably as a result. Araminta Hall's debut captures perfectly (and creepily) what could happen if your live-in help turns out to be less than perfect. Agatha is damaged and wreaks havoc on her employers marriage and life. No one is perfect here - the three viewpoint characters all have secrets - and the tension builds to a terrific climax. Raced through this fabulo ...more
Sue
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A bit above average thriller. Ruth and Christian have a difficult marriage and are raising two children. Since both of them work, they hire a nanny and Agatha enters the story.

I felt sorry for Agatha the whole way through despite her machinations to take over the family. The writer did a great job of developing Agatha’s character. Ruth and Christian were likable but came across as very self involved. The book kept my interest right through the last page and I’m giving it an extra star as a resu
...more
Emma
Sep 21, 2011 rated it did not like it
Most depressing and boring book ever. Made me remember why I don't read "normal women" books. Dysfunctional parents, bratty kids, Nanny who's mental and complete lack of a story except for everybody hates each other. Only finished because it was short.
Lisa
May 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
I just about gave up on this one, but kept reading to see if anything exciting was going to happen, sadly I was disappointed
Lilliana
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a good read bu predictable. I would say that this is not a chillimg or menacing read as some of the reviews describe it but it was a good read
L
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jodell
May 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: wtfuck-ending-s
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Roxy Harrison
This is the second book I have read this week which features someone who suffers from child abuse and then turning into a psycho and then killing themselves and to be honest it’s getting very boring now. None of the characters in this story were likeable, Ruth can’t stand her children,
Her husband is a cheating scumbag and Agatha turns into a psycho quite early on. The ending really let the book down, why do authors portray abuse survivors as crazy and suicidal? Why can’t Agatha have gotten the h
...more
Christina Rochester
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love a good thriller. And for me Everything and Nothing really ticks that box. A family who are struggling to hold themselves together combined with a creepy, too good to be true nanny, and I had everything I needed.

Ruth was the only character that I really sympathised with throughout the book because she has the hardest deal. Sure Agatha went through childhood trauma, but her actions can't be excused by that. And Christian, well I feel like he got what he deserved with Sarah.

This book may be
...more
O Dia da Liberdade - Silvia Reis
I have kids but I never wanted a nanny. Not because I am this psychotic but because I had one who I really enjoyed and lost her at 4 :(. I didn't want my children to go through that!

Now I wouldn't want my children to go through both experiences :((.
The book was interesting and well written as well as the description of the characters and their evolution. But come on - realistic - who could be this perfect with two toddlers ;).
Pat Osment
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
On the whole I thought this book was brilliant ,full of suspense and fast paced.I really enjoyed how the author described the emotions of the three main characters and how their emotional hang ups and weaknesses provided the threads that interwove the story.one small criticsm was that the character of Agatha could possibly have been more sinister or was that a deliberate move for the reader to have some sympathy for her.
Mommy Reads And Reviews
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ok so I loved ‘Our Kind Of Cruelty’ which was the last book I read and so today I wasn’t feeling great so simply downloaded another Araminta Hall and I am delighted to say I enjoyed it more! I devoured the book in one day! While Ruth and Christian (a typical Londoner couple) are floundering around in their wreckage of a marriage, they hire the amazing Agatha as a nanny to their two small children. All is not what it seems in their marriage and in their nanny!
Stevie Fouts
Captivating story, but I needed more

The story hooks you from the start. The couple with their problems, the nanny with ulterior motives. I feel like the author just keeps you floating right above all the juicy details only to end abruptly and leave you feeling like you watched a movie while dozing thru some of the good parts.
Catherine
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I did not like either the husband or the wife in this story. They seemed totally confused and out of touch with their lives.I think I've met a lot of people similar to them. I did feel sorry for the nanny. You knew from the start that all was not right with her, but once you read why she was different pity for her took over.
Covie
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
I would give it 3 stars had it not been for the ending - which I find comes pretty much out of nowhere. I did enjoy the writing and some parts made me smile. I wish we could give half stars and then it would be a 2,5 in my book.
Lynda
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Young couple with two children employ a new nanny.
Is the new nanny is too good to be true!
But cracks are also appearing in the hard working couple marriage...is it all going to end in tears?

read and find out..
Chloé Smith
I have to be totally honest - this book was ok. That's it, ok.
It didn't' leave me with any feelings, which I think a storyline like this should have. Having worked as a Nanny previously, I went into this thinking it would leave an impression on me but it just didn't. It was ok as a light read and it certainly wasn't bad - maybe I just expected too much. I like books to have little twists here and there that make you 'Wow' and it didn't do that for me.
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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.

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