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Lisa Jewell's Most Shocking Thriller Yet

None of This is True is a nail-biter.

none of this is true lisa jewell book cover on splattered paint background
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  • Photo Credit: Paul Blenkhorn / Unsplash

It should come as no surprise that an author who began her career on a literal dare from a friend would end up writing dark, twisty suspense novels

That’s exactly how Lisa Jewell started as a writer, drafting three chapters on a dare in exchange for dinner. Those three chapters turned into a bestselling debut; but, plot twist, it was a romantic comedy. 

But as she grew as a writer, a mother, and a wife, she began to explore more complex stories that have gotten darker, twistier, and grittier along the way. Don’t believe us?

Lisa Jewell's latest novel, None of This is True, while receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews was also noted as being her darkest, nastiest, and shocking book yet. 

Want to know more? Here’s everything you need to know about None of This is True by Lisa Jewell. Careful, spoilers ahead. 

What is None of This is True by Lisa Jewell about? 

None of This is True focuses on Alix Summers. Alix is a popular podcaster out celebrating her forty-fifth birthday. At a local pub, Alix meets Josie Fair, who is also celebrating her forty-fifth birthday. And the similarities don’t stop there. Turns out, they were both born at the same hospital, too. 

Over drinks, the women wonder how their lives might have been different. They can’t change the past, but Josie has ideas on what might change their future. 

When they run into each other again a few days later, Josie convinces Alix that her story is perfect for Alix’s podcast. After all, Josie has been controlled by her husband, who is thirty years older than she is, since she was a teenager.

Her oldest daughter is a mess and her youngest ran away when she turned sixteen. It’s time to make some changes and she thinks her transformation would be perfect for Alix’s show. 

Despite her misgivings, Alix has been a bit stuck creatively thanks to her husband’s escalating drinking problem. Besides, what could go wrong? 

But from the start, Josie’s story is dark and unsettling, and before Alix quite knows what happened, Josie has integrated herself deeply into Alix’s life.

And then, just like that, Josie disappears, and Alix’s nightmare begins. Somehow Alix is the subject of her own show and it’s turning into a true crime podcast.

With her life and her family’s life at risk, Alix is desperate to figure out exactly who she let in their lives. Who is Josie Fair? And how much of her story was true? 

cover of none of this is true by lisa jewell

None of This Is True: A Novel

By Lisa Jewell

Who killed Brooke in None of This is True

A lot of the story in None of This is True revolves around the mystery of what really happened to Brooke Ripley. According to Josie, Brooke was one of her daughter Roxy’s high school friends who disappeared.

In one of the interviews she does with Alix, Josie reveals that her husband, Walter, was grooming Brooke and had started sleeping with her. She also accused him of sexually abusing their oldest daughter, Erin. 

This sets Walter up as the main suspect. After all, it sounds like the perfect motive. But did he kill Brooke? 

Turns out, Josie was lying. After Nathan goes missing and Alix suspects Josie kidnapped him, she goes to her house to confront her. But instead of finding Nathan, she finds Walter’s decomposing corpse and a dying Erin locked in her room. 

We finally learn the truth when Roxy, Josie’s missing daughter comes forward. According to Roxy, Josie killed Brooke because she was jealous of the healthy relationship between the two girls.

But the answer to one question only leads to another. Where is Josie? And what did she do to Nathan? 

What is shocking about the None of This is True ending? 

So, how does None of This is True end? As we head into the end of the book, all eyes are on Josie and Nathan. Finding the two of them becomes Alix’s main priority and with the help of the police, they launch a nationwide manhunt. 

Unfortunately, they find Nathan’s body in a lake Alix had mentioned in one of her interviews with Josie. But no one knows where Josie went. All Alix can do is try to pick up the shattered pieces of her life and move forward. 

Grieving, Alix decides to publish the podcast so she can support her family. She has hours of audio recordings, and desperately hopes maybe they can provide an answer to understand the exact nature of Josie’s motivations.

And she does get one tiny sliver of closure. Josie sends her a letter while on the run. In it, she claims killing Nathan was never part of her plan. It was an accident. All she ever wanted to do was help. 

But is that the end? Jewell leaves us with one final scene from Josie’s perspective. She’s listening to Alix’s podcast, the episode that covers how Brooke died.

Only, Josie remembers things slightly differently. In her memory, it was Roxy, not Josie, who killed Brooke. And Josie and Walter covered up the death to protect their violent daughter. 

None of This is True ends with Josie convincing herself that she’s a good person. That she only ever wanted to help. And that none of the terrible things being said about her are true. 

How many pages is None of This is True?  

None of This is True comes in at 380 pages, or eleven hours of listening if you’re an audiobook fan. In either format, you’ll be absolutely delighted at the dual perspectives with podcast and Netflix episodes woven in.

These details add depth and a gritty reality to the story no matter how you choose to read it. 

Featured image: Paul Blenkhorn / Unsplash