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None of This Is True

Questions, Ending & Explanations

See below for an explanation of the ending and other questions about None of This Is True by Lisa Jewell. If you have other questions that aren't already covered here, feel free to drop a comment!

Where can I find a full plot summary for None of This Is True?

Right here! You can find a quick recap and a lengthier version of the summary over here.

Who killed Brooke?

So, I think it was Roxy, and there’s a lot of evidence to support this.

When we’re first introduced to Brooke, we’re told she was a friend of Roxy’s who went missing. Josie says that Walter had been grooming Brooke and that she and Roxy had a falling out because of it, with Roxy punching her in the face. It’s confirmed (by Henry, the neighbor) that the punching incident definitely happened.

Towards the end of the book, Brooke’s dead body is discovered in the trunk of a car at the Fair household. Roxy and Erin say that Josie killed Brooke out of jealousy. Roxy says that Brooke was her girlfriend and that Josie was jealous that she loved Brooke more than Josie and that she blamed Brooke for Roxy running away. Roxy says she ran away from home for no particular reason (other than being sick of her mom).

At the very end, Josie thinks to herself about what really happened. She recalls finding out Roxy had killed Brooke (saying it was an accident), Erin not knowing what to do, and having Walter help her deal with the body.

While it’s not entirely clear why Roxy killed Brooke (I think what Josie said was true and that Roxy found out about Brooke and Walter), I think it’s what makes the most sense.

Roxy’s story leaves a lot to be desired. She claims that she and Brooke were happy together, but that she decided to just up and leave without her. Her explanation about punching Brooke is also very odd — she claims it was because she though Brooke had said something derogatory about Erin. None of this seems consistent with her saying they were a happy couple.

Instead, Josie’s explanation makes sense. She lied originally about Brooke still being alive to protect Roxy (hence, her thought at the end of the book that she was a good mother). Josie most likely wasn’t lying about Walter abusing Brooke. Walter is a pedophile so him of being even more of a pedophile isn’t all that surprising. (Or, maybe Josie made up the thing about Walter abusing Brooke to explain why Roxy ran away, but Walter is already a pedophile for sure so him being even more of a pedophile is not that big of a deal.) Either way, and more importantly, Roxy has a violent streak (breaking her sister’s arm, breaking someone’s finger) that was well-established by everyone (Henry, Mandy) and it’s clear her temper had recently turned against Brooke (punching her in the face). Roxy killed Brooke and they all covered it up to protect her. Roxy running away as a result of that incident makes sense.

It’s also the only thing that explains why Walter didn’t want Josie to tell Alix the truth because they’d all “go to prison”. No other version of events explains why they’d go to prison.

Josie is not a randomly violent person. She kills Walter because he was the source of her misery, and the Nathan thing happens because her worldview is warped and she sees Nathan as being “bad” like Walter and wants Alix to see it too. She also probably wants to be close to Alix in that way, commiserating over their shared terrible husbands. But while she is crazy and damaged, being randomly violent doesn’t seem to be her M.O.

Meanwhile, Roxy is well-established to be someone who lashes out violently. This is not surprising considering she was raised by a pedophile and a damaged mother.

When Josie is interviewed, she basically tries to tell the truth for the most part. At the end of the book, Josie thinks to herself that she was a good mother because the main omission she made was to lie to protect her daughter, Roxy.

Is there a definitive answer on who killed Brooke? What does the author say?

I don’t know what counts as a definitive answer, but I will say that I know the author read this post about her book and seemed to indicate via Twitter that the conclusion above (that Roxy did it) was correct.

Why did Erin eat only soft foods?

Towards the end of the book, it states that Erin has been diagnosed with autism. It sounds like eating soft foods like baby food was one of her coping mechanisms.

It could also be a sign of age-regression, which would support Josie’s allegation that Walter was abusing Erin.

Was Erin being abused?

It’s possible Erin and Roxy were lying. It’s also possible Josie was lying. It’s also possible they were both trying to tell the truth — maybe it was innocent between Erin and her father, but Josie assumed something bad was going on because of her experience with him.

So, I think there’s some ambiguity here, but yes, I think Erin was being abused.

Two main pieces of evidence:

1) The baby food thing makes me think something was very wrong with Erin, beyond being autistic. There was also the smell in the room, which makes me think she wasn’t taking care of herself.

2) Roxy claims that Walter going into Erin’s room late at night was because he would join her stream on “Glitch” and make wisecracks. She says it’s part of what made her channel so popular.

However, it’s suspicious because it’s not mentioned by the other gamers and actually contradicts what they said. They describe this thorough and dedicated search for “Erased” — but they don’t mention anything about her dad which might’ve helped them narrow the search even though Roxy claimed it was part of what made her stream so popular.

The other gamers also explicitly say that they “didn’t know anything about her real life” and if her dad was on all the time, that doesn’t make any sense.

This leads of course to the question of why Erin would lie about it. But if Erin has some type of unhealthy attachment to her father in that way, it could lead her to want to protect him, knowing that others wouldn’t understand.

What was the smell/stench that Josie kept referring to?

On a number of occasions, Josie refers to there being a “stench” coming from Erin’s room.

I think there’s a number of theories about this. If you see the “Was Erin being abused?” section above, I reached the conclusion that Josie was telling the truth about that and I think there’s evidence to support that.

Based on that conclusion, I really think the stench is literal. It’s coming from Erin’s room. I think Erin was being abused and her not taking care of herself and not being hygienic is another sign of that. I think it’s probably fairly common for sexual abuse victims to stop taking proper care of themselves (in an attempt to subconsciously deter their abusers). I also think if Erin was increasingly avoiding her mother then maybe there was a lack of cleaning going on because Josie probably did the cleaning before, but Erin didn’t want to let her in the room so it started to smell.

Other theories are that the smell was psychosomatic — Josie was imaging it because she knew that dead body was somewhere rotting nearby, etc. — or that it was actually coming from the body in the garage — but I don’t really subscribe to either of these theories. The garage was above a bathroom window, not Erin’s window, so I don’t think Josie would associate the smell with Erin’s bedroom if that were the case.

Was Pat lying? Was Josie groomed by Walter? Why didn’t Josie mention Pat and Walter?

Of course Josie was groomed by Walter. She was a child, the fact that she was attracted to Walter doesn’t change anything.

Pat’s comments need to be taken with more than just a grain of salt. Alix meets Pat and from the way she talks about herself it’s immediately clear to her that Pat is a narcissist. It sounds like Walter showed some level of interest in Pat to get close to Josie, which is a thing that pedophiles do. You can imagine then how Pat felt realizing that Walter was just using her to get to her daughter, especially if she’s narcissistic to begin with. In her mind, Pat and Walter was the real relationship and Josie came and stole him away, but it’s much more likely Pat was just being used by a pedophile trying to groom her young daughter.

I think some people have taken Pat’s comments to mean that the author doesn’t think Josie was groomed and that Walter’s not that bad of a guy — I think that is so, so far from the truth. I think the point is that Pat is narcissist who is so invested in that worldview that she is unable to see that her daughter was a victim.

Ultimately, Pat didn’t contradict anything that Josie said, she just had a very different view on things because of her own narcissism. I think Josie didn’t bother mentioning the Pat thing because it didn’t matter. The point was that Walter was interested in Josie from the beginning and him pretending to show an interest in her mother to make that easier didn’t change anything.

Have more questions? Leave them in a comment below!

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