Ruth and Christian are - just - holding their marriage together, after Christian's disastrous affair a year ago. But chaos beckons, and when the family are suddenly left without any childcare, Agatha comes into their lives to solve all their problems. But Agatha is not as perfect as she seems and her love for the children masks a deeper secret. Everything and Nothing is a stunningly assured debut, superbly evoking an atmosphere of inexorable and sinister menace that builds to a mesmerising climax in a story that is, at its heart, about thwarted and damaged love.
In a higgledy-piggledy house with turrets and tunnels towering over the sleepy Welsh village of Druith, two girls play hide and seek. They don’t see its grandeur or the secrets locked behind doors they cannot open. They see lots of brilliant places to hide. Squeezed under her mother’s bed, pulse racing with the thrill of a new hiding place, Dot sees something else: a long-forgotten photograph of a man, his hair blowing in the breeze. Dot stares so long at the photograph the image begins to disintegrate before her eyes, and as the image fades it is replaced with one thought: ‘I think it’s definitely him.’