Everything is Lies by Helen Callaghan #BookReview

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


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.


The police are convinced it is an attempted murder-suicide. But Sophia is sure that the woman who brought her up isn’t a killer. As her father is too ill to talk it is up to Sophia to clear her mother’s name. And to do this she needs to delve deep into her family’s past – a past full of dark secrets she never suspected were there . . .

What if your parents had been lying to you since the day you were born?

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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 middle of this web of lies like a little fly.

Everything Is Lies turned out to be a real page-turner. This is practically a story within a story and it was written so perfectly that the switch between both storylines went seemless and fluent. Of course I was very curious right away about the truth surrounding Sophia’s mother’s death and if it was an attempted murder on her father by her mother and a suicide or not. I found myself completely taken in by her mother, Nina’s story, however, when I started reading her diary entries. The past thread is actually Nina’s story and she tells everything that happened to her from her arrival that first day at university. She made a friend in Rosie, went to her first party, made some more friends and then.. let herself in with a bad crowd who showed an interest in her which she wanted to believe was real. Nina’s character, her shyness, her lack in confidence and her naivity were written so well that although I knew she was foolish, I could understand her all too well when she reacted the way she did.

The lies continue and they are spun delicately around little Nina and she doesn’t even know what’s going on. She doesn’t realise how she’s manipulated and played with, which made it even more disturbing to read about. I bristled all the while and wanted to reach out and protect her and whisk her away from those people she calls her friends and tell her that boy was not worth her love but she obviously wouldn’t have listened anyway. I was very much kept in suspense, almost losing hope myself, about how the lies would stop.

The only reason I’m not giving it a full five star rating is because I was able to predict some of the twists. I don’t think they’re actually too easy to spot but I just had a feeling about it. It didn’t spoil my enjoyment in any way though as I was still eagerly anticipating the reactions once the twists became obvious. I also really couldn’t predict the consequences or future for Sophia once she knows everything her mother tried to hide for so long. I liked how the story showed how everyone faired long after the facts too and suddenly the scales tipped over and the present had me in its grip and I was just hoping history wouldn’t repeat itself and Sophia wouldn’t let herself be manipulated by anyone. You’ll have to read to find out more ;-).

I’m very happy now that I didn’t know what this novel was exactly about because I’m normally the first to say that this type of novel isn’t really my thing and I’m quite sure I’d not have taken the chance to read it and in doing so I would have missed out on such a great read and a wonderful journey with Sophia and Nina. I can highly recommend this one!

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.


20 thoughts on “Everything is Lies by Helen Callaghan #BookReview

  1. I unfortunately stumbled on a review that was full of spoilers before reading which meant I didn’t enjoy as much as I would have but it is a great story and not at all what you expect. Have you read her previous book? I liked it but I think this one is better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh no. Well I did my best not to say too much (I think). I can understand it spoiled the story big time. It’s actually the first novel I read from her. I saw the publisher giving out copies and I flashed on the word Lies :-). I think she spun this one very nicely and I was very engrossed in the story! Thank you Ali.


  2. Amazing review! I loved this book. Like you, I also thought that it would be the usual mystery story but was pleasantly surprised by the unexpected turn that it took.I especially loved the past narrations. Glad you enjoyed this one Inge despite the predictability of some of the reveals.

    Liked by 1 person

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