Main / Books / None of This Is True / Summary

None of This Is True

Recap, Summary & Spoilers



The Quick Recap and Chapter-by-Chapter Summary for None of This Is True by Lisa Jewell are below.

Ending & Explanations

See the Ending & Explanations for None of This Is True

Quick(-ish) Recap

The two-paragraph version is that Josie is downtrodden woman who meets a beautiful and successful podcaster, Alix, who she happens to share a birthday with. Josie convinces Alix to tell her story on her podcast where she describes being groomed by a man 20+ years older than her, Walter, who she married and had kids with, Roxy and Erin. Josie also says that he abused Roxy's friend Brooke and now has turned his sights on Erin. Josie learns that Alix's husband Nathan is an alcoholic. Josie wants to transform her life and finally leaves Walter. Soon after, Nathan goes missing, and so does Josie.

It's eventually revealed that Josie became convinced that getting rid of their "disappointing husbands" was the only way they could transform themselves and flourish. Alix figures out that Josie kidnapped Nathan. Walter's body is found, then Nathan's body is found, as well as Brooke's body. Roxy and Erin talk about how unstable and jealous Josie was. They also explain that Josie blamed Brooke for Roxy running away from home. A Netflix show about the whole ordeal gets made. Josie continues to be on the run, but she clarifies in a letter that Nathan's death was an accident. And privately she thinks about how Roxy was the one who killed Brooke (which is why she subsequently ran away from home), and Josie helped cover it up and lied about it during the podcast to protect Roxy.

The book opens by introducing a new Netflix show called Hi! I’m Your Birthday Twin! from podcaster Alix Summer, and the book is interspersed with descriptions of various clips from this show.

Part I opens with Josie and Alix's 45th birthdays. Josie is a downtrodden and unremarkable woman who married a much older man, Walter, when she was young. She meets Alix, who is an attractive and successful true crime podcaster. They discover their shared birthdays and that they were even born in the same hospital. Josie develops an interest in Alix's podcast which tells stories about women who have overcome obstacles in their lives to succeed and flourish. She tracks Alix down and tells her that she's about to make big changes in her life and asks Alix if she'd be interested in her story for her podcast.

As they start their recording sessions, Josie talks about her much-older husband, Walter, who she met when she was 13 and he was 41. They married when she was 19. They have two kids, Roxy, now 23, and Erin, 21. Alix also learns that Josie's kids were troubled, with Roxy being a troublemaker and potentially violent. Erin still lives at home and is a hardcore video-gamer. A neighbor mentions there were rumors of abuse in their household. Alex also meets Josie's narcissistic mother Pat who resents Josie for being the reason she had to drop out of college.

Josie also talks about how Walter kissed her for the first time when she was 15. He proposed and took her virginity the day she turned 16. At 18, she moved in with him. She describes Walter as controlling and explains how she built her whole life around being with him, but now she doesn't know what it was all for. They meet at Alix's home studio to record their sessions, and Josie steals small mementos from Alix's home -- starting with minor items, but soon moving up to more substantial items like a diamond bracelet -- wanting to have small pieces of it with her.

Meanwhile, Alix has her own complications at home with her husband, Nathan. While Nathan is generous and successful, he often goes on drinking benders and doesn't come home. Alix tries to make her peace with it, but when Josie finds out about it she feels enraged with Nathan.

One night, Alix has Walter and Josie over for dinner, and she finally meets Walter. When Walter speaks to Alix, he warns her that Josie has a tenuous connection with the truth and that she can be very "tricky" and says that she needs to control situations. At home, Josie fights with Walter and hurls increasingly pointed insults at him. In response, he calls her weird and stupid. Josie is furious.

In Part II, Josie shows up -- battered and bruised -- at Alix's doorstep the morning after the dinner on Friday. She says that Walter was in a bad mood after the dinner and took it out on her. She asks Alix for a place to stay, which soon morphs into pressuring Alix to let her stay for the week. Alix is reluctant and feels she is being controlled by Josie, but she also senses that saying no will jeopardize the podcast which is just starting to get interesting. While at the house, Josie continues collecting trinkets -- like a child's drawing, Nathan's business card, a photo and other items.

As they record that week, Josie talks about how Roxy had a good schoolmate, Brooke, but they had a falling out. It was discovered that Walter had been grooming Brooke the way that he'd been grooming Josie before, and he slept with Brooke when she turned 16. After that happened, Josie refused to let Walter touch her. Instead, his sights turned toward Erin, and he's been abusing her ever since, slipping out of bed most nights. Erin has been avoiding Josie for the last six months or so, refusing to see her, and her tastes have gotten stranger with her now only being willing to eat baby food. Finally on Friday, Josie had enough and stood up to Walter and left him, taking Erin and her dog with her. Erin chose to stay elsewhere.

Alix is stunned at these revelations and looks into the story about Brooke, which shows that Brooke is now missing. A clip from the show shows Brooke's aunt talking about how she was last seen at a bus stop. Alix soon discovers that the bus stop Brooke went missing at is a 2-minute walk from Josie's house.

When they talk about what happened after the Friday dinner, Josie describes how Walter beat her with a remote control after she accused him of abusing her, Brooke and Erin. Alix follows-up with questions that reveal holes in her story, but Josie brushes it off. Alix suggests trying to reach out to Brooke or Erin for the podcast, but Josie bristles at either suggestion.

When Nathan tells Josie she has to leave at the end of the week, Josie is angry. She snoops in the master bedroom when no one else is home. She finds a clear baggie with white powder residue and a hotel keycard in Nathan's pant pockets. On another clip from the show, a woman named Katelyn describes how she used to know Josie as a child and then ran into her again many many years later, with her now working as a (struggling) actress. Josie told her she had a job for her.

In Part III, Josie leaves Alix's house, but follows Nathan to a bar. As instructed by Josie, Katelyn approaches Nathan and his friends. Meanwhile, at home Alix finds the items from in Nathan's pockets (which Josie planted for her to find), along with a napkin with a woman's name and phone number (which Josie added). Alix also finds a bloody key that Josie left behind. That night, Nathan doesn't come home and a day later he's still not back.

Alix is convinced he is cheating on her until she gets a call from a hotel nearby regarding damages to a hotel room. She goes to the hotel and starts to ask questions. They show her the CCTV footage, which shows Nathan being picked up by a car, and she finds out that the hotel room was paid for on a card belonging to "Erin Fair". Alix calls in a favor to trace the car's plates. It's a rental currently rented by "Erin Fair".

Alix calls the police to report that Nathan has been kidnapped. Meanwhile, someone else calls in a welfare check for Erin and Walter Fair. The next day, the news reports that Walter Fair has been found dead, and Erin was beaten severely and is in a coma. The police learn that Erin had a large sum of money saved up as a video-game streamer on the Glitch platform, and Josie has been siphoning money from Erin's account.

Soon, Roxy Fair surfaces. She talks to the police and says that most of what her mother claimed was a lie. Walter Fair was not sleeping with Brooke (who was Roxy's first girlfriend) -- Roxy ran away because she wanted to. He was also not abusing Erin. He would go into Erin's room late at night, but only to join her Glitch streams and make wisecracks which her followers loved. Pat also reaches out to Alix and tells her about how she was actually the one who started having an affair with Walter when Josie was 13. As Josie got older, she became fixated on him and the two eventually told Pat they were together when Josie turned 18.

Soon, police find Nathan's body in the water near a cabin where they think he was being held. Brooke's body is found in the trunk of a car (the key Alix found) in Josie's garage. Erin comes out of her coma. She explains how Josie is someone who couldn't stand anyone loving someone else more than her. She was jealous of Walter loving the kids more than her, or his own kids more than her and of the fact that he was with Pat before her. Erin also says that because of her Glitch savings she was ready to break free from Josie, and she thinks her mother was threatened by that which is why Josie felt the need to have something drastic happen.

Erin also admits to seeing Josie attack Brooke the night of the prom, since she blamed Brooke for Roxy running away from home. She says it's why she started distancing herself from her mother.

In Part IV, Josie is still on the run and Nathan's funeral happens. The podcast airs and is turned into a Netflix show. Josie reaches out to Alix via a letter to tell her that Nathan's death really was an accident -- she was drugging him and didn't think he'd die from it.

The book ends with Josie, now blond and living elsewhere, thinking about what really happened to Brooke. Roxy was the one who killed Brooke and then Brooke ran away as a result of it. The rest of the family helped to cover it up. Josie lied about it to protect Roxy, and in that way she tells herself she was a good mother.

If this summary was useful to you, please consider supporting this site by leaving a tip ($2, $3, or $5) or joining the Patreon!


Chapter-by-Chapter Summary


Prologue
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
SIXTEEN MONTHS LATER

(Note that the book is interspersed with “clips from the show” — which is basically written descriptions of excerpts from the “Hi! I’m Your Birthday Twin Clip” show that this book is about.)

Prologue

The book opens with a man leaving a hotel and being picked up by a car. He’s upset, and he becomes concerned when the driver of the car is not his wife as he expected. The woman in the car says that his wife sent her instead, and instructs him to get in.

Part I

Hi! I’m Your Birthday Twin Clip

This section opens with an advertisement for a new show coming to Netflix in May called “Hi! I’m Your Birthday Twin!” from a popular podcaster, Alix Summer. It’s about a local woman Alix met who shared her same birthday … and how it resulted in two people dead. There’s then a clip from Alix’s podcast dated June 20, 2019 as she begins explaining the project.

Saturday June 8, 2019

It’s Josie Fair’s 45th birthday. She suggests to her husband, Walter Fair, that they go to dinner at The Lansdowne, and he agrees. Josie and Walter met when she was 13. He is significantly older than her, retired now. They married when she was 19, and they have two kids — Roxy, 23, and Erin, 21.

At dinner, a woman with ice blond hair who someone refers to as “Alix Summer” walks into the restaurant holding a balloon labeled “Birthday Queen”. A large group of people accompany Alix, as well as her husband Nathan. It’s also her 45th birthday.

Looking at Alix who is happy and surrounded by similarly-aged attractive people, Josie feels as though she’s lived her life wrong. When Alix heads for the bathroom, Josie goes to talk with her and brings up their matching birthdays. They learn they were also born near hear at the same hospital. Alix is mildly entertained, but then Alix’s sister Zoe walks in and the moment is over. That night, Alix tells her husband about the chance meeting as well.

Sunday June 9, 2019

Meanwhile, Josie has looked up Alix Summer and gotten engrossed in her podcast. In it, Alix talks to women about their stories and the things they’ve overcome. One woman on the podbast, Mari le Jeune, talks about her controlling husband. After he passed, she started a business that grew into a global beauty empire. Josie looks up Alix’s social media accounts, listens to interviews she’s given and fantasizes about the life she must live. When she sees that Alix’s children attend the same school that her kids did when they were younger, she feels a strong connection to Alix again.

In the Summer household, Alix wakes up to find that Nathan is not there. When he finally reappears in the late afternoon, he says that he ended up going back out drinking in Soho with some friends and stayed the night at a hotel. Alix feels disgusted by him and his behavior.

Monday June 17, 2019 – Tuesday June 18, 2019

Alix drops her kids — Leon, 6, and Eliza — off at school in the morning, and is surprised to see Josie, who she recognizes from the restaurant, there. Josie is walking her dog, Fred, and asks to talk to Alix. Alix tries to brush her off and is reluctant, but Josie is insistent so she agrees to meet up the next day.

After Josie gets off work (she works part-time as a seamstress at Stitch), she prepares food for Erin by microwaving a seven jars of baby food, and she leaves it outside Erin’s door. She feels guilty at the thought of how Erin’s life turned out. She wants to go in but she doesn’t. She doesn’t know what Roxy is up to. She and Walter go to bed at 11, but he gets up and leaves.

In a clip from the show, Amy Jackson, Josie and Walter neighbor, describes how the Fair kids were about 12 and 9 when they moved next door. It was always loud at their house, with lots of shouting and slammed doors, until 5 or 6 years ago when it just stopped. They didn’t know why until now that news has come out about “all the killings”.

On Tuesday, as promised, Alix meets Josie at Stitch. Josie tells Alix that she has listened to her podcast and loves it, but she notes that all her stories are about women that have already made a huge change in her life. Josie suggests that it might be interesting for Alix to cover someone who is about to make a big change in her life. Josie says that she has an amazing story that might interest Alix. Alix is hesitant, but her curiosity wins out. She agrees to hear Josie out.

Wednesday June 19, 2019 – Thursday June 20, 2019

When Josie and Alix talk again, and Alix proposes calling the show “Hi! I’m Your Birthday Twin!” since them meeting is the beginning of the journey in some ways.

The next day, Josie goes to Alix’s studio at her house. The studio was Alix’s 40th birthday present to her, and she thinks about how generous he can be and it momentarily makes her forget her frustrations about his recent behavior. In the first recording session, Josie mentions that Walter was 42 when she started seeing him at 15. He was a contractor working on the electrical stuff at their house.

In a clip from the show, one of Josie’s childhood friends, Helen Lloyd talks about how she and Josie were friends, but grew apart when Josie met Walter. She says Walter groomed Josie, but Josie also wanted him. In a different clip, Walter’s son describes how he and his mother moved out of the country (to Canada) when he was 10. It happened after his father left them for a teenager (Josie), and his mother was completely disgusted.

When Josie leaves, she pockets a Nespresso pod from their home, wanting to have a little bit of the glamour of Alix’s home with her. Later, when Josie goes home, she doesn’t tell Walter what she was doing. She thinks about going into Erin’s room, but she then thinks that it’s better dealt with another day. There’s a stench coming from the room. Meanwhile, Alix is excited with how the session went and she senses there’s a good story there.

Friday June 21, 2019 – Sunday June 23, 2019

Nathan doesn’t come home again tonight and he texts Alix at 6 AM to let her know he’s at his friend Giovanni’s place but doesn’t remember how he ended up sleeping there.

After Alix drops the kids off at school, she talks to the office manager, Mandy, at school and asks if she remembers Erin and Roxy. Mandy says that Roxy was wild and had behavioral issues. Erin was sweet but maybe on the autism spectrum. One day, Erin came in with a broken arm and told a friend that Roxy did it, and it was never really clear to them what really happened.

On Sunday, Josie takes a walk and finds herself strolling to Alix’s house and peering at it. She sees Alix come home with two women that resemble her and she goes inside, looking fashionable and happy. Josie thinks about how badly she wants what Alix has and plucks a flower from her yard before she leaves.

Tuesday June 25, 2019 – Wednesday June 26, 2019

Josie and Alix go to visit the place where Josie grew up, and Josie’s mother Pat meets with them at the community center that she runs nearby. Pat talks about how she got pregnant and had to drop out of college, and Alix suspects that she resents Josie for it. As Pat talks, Alix’s impression is that Pat is a narcissist, which she’s certain affected Josie growing up. When Alix and Josie chat about Pat, Josie tells her Pat was a terrible mother, and Alix is not surprised.

The next morning, Josie comes by for another recording session, and they discuss Josie meeting Walter. She describes how he found her after school and gave her a bracelet for her 15th birthday, which she still wears. There was a boy that Helen wanted to Josie to kiss, but Josie thought he was gross while Walter seemed like a real man. Instead, she met up with Walter at a pub that day and he kissed her for the first time.

Afterwards, Nathan notices that their handwash is missing. Alix dismisses it. When Josie gets home, she stores the handwash along with the Nespresso pod she had taken from the Summer home before.

Saturday June 29, 2019 – Monday July 1, 2019

Alix is on her way to a friend’s house for a birthday party when she runs into Josie, standing in the rain. When the party is over, she’s surprised to see Josie still in the same spot. Josie admits that the podcast has been dredging up feelings, leaving her feeling unmoored and numb. Alix suggests they get out of the rain and have a coffee together, but Josie disappears from the cafe.

At home, Josie thinks about how she left the cafe because she thought she’d caught a glimpse of Roxy outside, but she doesn’t know if it was really her. On Monday, Josie texts Alix to apologize, saying she was out of sorts because she had a cold.

Tuesday July 2, 2019 – Thursday July 4, 2019

Today, Josie talks about how Walter was married with kids when they started seeing each other. She talks about how Walter’s ex-wife was upset over what happened and moved the family to Canada. Walter hasn’t seen the kids since then. When their session is over, Alix drops Josie off at home and catches a glimpse of Walter and thinks about how old he looks.

Josie often still wears the same denim jacket she used to wear as a teenager. She considers it her lucky jacket since it’s “the jacket she was wearing when her life turned around” by becoming someone who could attract a real man. But Josie wants to dress up to see Alix. When Walter sees her, he’s suspicious that she’s meeting a man, but Josie brushes him off. Today, Josie talks about how Walter invited her to his apartment when she turned 16. He proposed and then took her virginity.

Friday July 5, 2019 – Saturday July 6, 2019

On Friday, Harry, the college-aged son of one of Alix’s neighbors, drops by to ask for the spare key that the Summers keep for them just in case. Alix takes the opportunity to ask him if he remembers Erin and Roxy from his days at school. Harry does. He says that Erin was very weird, and Roxy was insane and aggressive. He says there were rumors of abuse and other dark stuff going on in their household. He heard that Erin only eats soft foods.

The next day, Josie goes back to the coffee shop where she thought she’d seen Roxy to see if she can catch another glimpse of her, but she doesn’t. When she passes by Alix’s house and notices that Alix doesn’t seem to be home, she takes a look in the window and sifts through Alix’s recycling, picking up a magazine from the bin and taking it with her.

Later, Nathan notices on their home security app a video clip of Josie outside their house, looking through the window and taking the magazine. Alix knows it’s bizarre but she also thinks that this story will be fascinating. She texts Josie to gently let her know they they saw her. That night, Alix and Nathan go to see his college best friend Giovanni. Once Nathan starts to get drunk, Alix goes ahead and leaves by herself, knowing that Nathan has no intention of going home at this point.

Monday July 8, 2019

On Monday, Alix asks Josie about all the denim she wears, and Josie admits she associates it with something Walter finds attractive because she wore denim when she met him. Josie has also brought old photos of her and Walter at Alix’s request. Alix looks at the photos and is surprised to see that Walter was quite strapping and handsome. She can understand how a young 15-year-old girl would be attracted to him. Josie says that for a long time she considered being with Walter to be what she built her whole life around. And now, she just wonders what could’ve been if she had never met him.

Alix then confides in Josie about her frustration over Nathan’s drinking and him going on benders, something she hasn’t even told her sisters, Zoe and Maxine. Josie brings up that she has a little money saved up (£6,000) and a small inheritance (£3,000). She’s been wanting to refresh her wardrobe and maybe stop wearing denim all the time. She asks Alix to go shopping with her.

Later that day, they’re at a boutique, trying on clothes. Josie ends up buying six items totaling £398.87, more than she’s ever spent on anything, and she feels excited. Later, she looks at the diamond bracelet she took from Alix and kisses it.

Tuesday July 9, 2019 – Wednesday July 10, 2019

The next day, Alix looks for the bracelet that Nathan had given her for her birthday, but can’t find it. Josie shows up in one of the dresses she bought the day before. As they chat, Josie brings up Nathan’s drinking which makes Alix regret telling her about it. Josie also asks her if the idea of Nathan dying would make her feel sad or free, and Alix says it would make her sad. Josie is disappointed in Alix’s response. Recording that day, Josie talks about how they told her mother about them when she turned 18 and never went home. At the time she saw it as her life starting, but now she wonders if she went from one controlling person to another.

In a clip from the show, they interview Tim and Angel Hiddingfold-Clarke, the current owners of Josie’s dog, Fred. They say that one day a woman came up to them begging them to take her dog since she couldn’t anymore. It wasn’t until later that they realized who it was.

Afterwards, Josie goes to the cafe where she thought she saw Roxy again. She has a teaspoon with her that she took from Alix’s place and kisses it. She thinks about how Alix is stupid for still loving her husband. Back at home, Josie picks a fight with Walter and tells him she hates him. Meanwhile, Alix runs into Pat. As they talk, Pat starts expressing her dislike of Walter. When asked of he was controlling, Pat says they’re both bad and “a toxic combination”.

Later, Alix texts Josie asking to meet Walter. Josie admits that Walter doesn’t really know much about the project. She suggests a social call instead with Nathan. Both Walter and Nathan reluctantly agree to dinner.

Thursday July 11, 2019 – Friday July 12, 2019

In a clip from the show, Josie says that she didn’t even have a key to the apartment before the girls were born, so she just had to stay in and wait for him to come home. Once they had kids, Walter was away a lot at work so she was often alone with them.

As requested by Alix, Josie brings by photos of her daughters. Alix sees how sweet they look as young kids. However an older photo of them shows them looking starkly different, sullen and stony-faced. Roxy has piercings, and Erin looks emaciated. Later that evening, Josie tells Walter that she wants to tell Alix the truth about what happened with the girls — but Walter recoils, saying that they’ll end up in prison. They get into an argument, and Walter says that she’s insane. She responds by calling him a pedophile.

The next night, Josie and Walter show up for dinner. Nathan calls, clearly drunk, saying that he’s running late. Josie overhears the call and is furious with Nathan, though Alix tries to play it off. Josie continues to seethe about Nathan’s drunken absence all night. Meanwhile, Alix makes polite conversation, though it becomes apparent that Walter knows nothing about the podcast. She asks him about his ex-wife and he admits that she was ten years younger than him when they met and that he was in their late twenties when they got together. He talks about Erin and says that she’s really into playing videogames.

When Alix and Walter are alone, Alix asks Walter if he’d do an interview for the podcast, but he declines. He warns Alix that Josie can be “tricky” and that she has an “elastic relationship with the truth”. He says that she wants to be seen as “simple”, like she doesn’t know what’s going on. He also warns her that Josie likes to control things and wouldn’t like them talking without her present. Later, Alix’s son Leon comments that Josie saw Alix and Walter talking and looked really angry.

Josie walks home in a bad mood. She’s upset about Nathan not being there and she was unimpressed with the pasta Alix served them, expecting something more. When she sets home, she gets mad at Walter for embarrassing her in front of her friend. He tells her that Alix isn’t her friend, just someone who is curious about her. As they argue, Josie gets even angrier and in her fury, “she feels certainty rip through her like a cyclone”.

Part II

Saturday July 13, 2019 – Sunday July 14, 2019

The next morning, Nathan hasn’t returned yet. Josie appears at Alix’s doorstep with her dog, distraught and injured. She tells Alix that Walter was upset after dinner attacked her. She says Erin tried to stop him, but he attacked her too. Alix suggests calling the police, but Josie insists she doesn’t want to involve the police. Josie asks to stay the night. Alix reluctantly agrees, unsure about Josie and the things Walter warned her about the night before. Alix sets Josie up in the spare bedroom, and Josie hides a key from her apartment underneath the mattress.

When Nathan finally heads home, Alix is too concerned about the Josie situation to be angry. Josie chastises him for not showing up last night and tells him that her husband had been hoping to have another man around last night. She says Walter was upset that Nathan wasn’t there which is why he picked a fight and took it out on her last night.

The next day, Nathan is not happy that Josie is there, but Josie insists she has nowhere else to go. Alix very reluctantly gets roped into letting Josie stay for the week, but Alix tells Josie that her sister Zoe is coming next week and will need the spare bedroom. Josie also suggests that they could work on the podcast and that she could tell her about the kids, and Alix eagerly agrees.

In a clip from the show, a school administrator (Mandy) discusses her surprise at Alix’s interest in the Fair children. She recalls how Roxy had once broken another child’s finger and how emotionless her parents were about it. The clip is followed with another clip of Josie discussing how Walter wasn’t very present and the kids were scared of him because of his temper. She blames herself for not being a good parent because she “let it all happen”.

Monday July 15, 2019

On Monday, Nathan leaves for work and Alix walks the kids to school, leaving Josie alone in the house. Josie looks around and finds a family picture one the kids drew with a girl walking a dog labelled “Teeny”. Josie pockets the drawing. As she looks around the house, she sees there’s actually another bed in the study, and Josie smiles to herself, feeling certain she’ll be able to stay longer than a week.

In a clip from the show, they interview Ari, Juno and Dan who are video-gamers on the app Glitch. They describe another player who went by the username “Erased”. They knew something was wrong one night when she got off her chair and then there was screaming and shouting and then silence. She was gone. They called the police and tried to contact Glitch, but they didn’t know her real name or address. A whole network of people around the world who knew her as “Erased” started trying to locate her. Her IP address linked her to North London, but when they were close to tracking her down, the news story broke about what really happened.

As Alix and Josie get set up in the recording studio for the day, Alix notes that she seems strangely happy for someone going through a major crisis. Today, Josie talks about Brooke Ripley, one of Roxy’s schoolfriends. Brooke was fearless and brash, but also encouraged Roxy to study and became close with the family. However, Roxy and Brooke get into a fight with Roxy punching Brooke and the friendship ends. Josie learns that it’s because Walter had been trying to groom Brooke and get close to her, and he slept with her on her 16th birthday. Shortly after, Roxy left and never came back.

After the recording session, Josie tells Alix that she’s been feeling differently about her relationship with Walter ever since they started doing the podcast. Josie then asks about Nathan and whether he’s ever bad or violent, but Alix says no. Alix senses that Josie is hoping that Nathan turns out to be just as bad as Walter.

Tuesday July 16, 2019 – Wednesday July 17, 2019

When Alix runs into the neighbor’s son Henry again, she asks him about Brooke. Henry remembers her and says that the impression that people had was that she was sleeping around. He also says that her last name was “Ripley”.

In a clip from the show, Brooke’s aunt talks about Brooke going missing. She left for prom, went to meet a friend afterwards and never came back. In another clip from the show, Katelyn Rand is someone who used to know Josie when she was little and then ran into her as an adult at Stitch. Katelyn had told Josie that she was a struggling actress, and Josie had said she might have a job for her.

On Tuesday, Josie’s dog has diarrhea and makes a mess in the bedroom. When Alix goes to change she sheets, she finds the key that Josie hid under the mattress and sees that the keyfob says #6 and is covered in blood. She puts it back without saying anything. The next day, Alix notices that Josie is wearing her clothes despite her own clothes having been laundered now. She also notices a bottle of her foundation in the spare bedroom, which should not be there. Today, Josie asks about staying past Saturday, staying on the fold-out bed in the study. Alix does not want her to, she’s sick of having her around and her oppressive presence, and she worries about how she’ll get rid of her if she says yes. However, Alix also thinks this story will be “unmissable” and is just starting to get good and she senses Josie will pull out if she says no. She very reluctantly says she’ll ask Nathan.

Alone in the house again, Josie pockets more items — a loose bread tag, a photo of Leon, Nathan’s business card. She thinks of her drawer at home full of trinkets, not just of Alix’s things but other items as well. Meanwhile, as Alix is out walking, Alix decides to peek into Josie’s house with her not around. As she heads back, she sees the bus stop that Brooke was last seen at. She makes a mental note that it’s a short 2-minute walk away from Josie’s house. Back at home, Alix asks Josie what she thought about trying to reach out to Brooke, but Josie is firmly against it, saying that she doesn’t trust Brooke.

When they record and talk again, Josie says that after Roxy left, Josie told Walter he couldn’t touch her anymore — but then Walter started abusing Erin. Josie said it was gradual. She just started noticing that he often wasn’t in bed at night. Erin’s behavior was increasingly strange with her only eating baby food. Erin now avoids her completely, and Josie hasn’t seen Erin in six months. Alix is incredulous, but Josie confirms that this has been going on for the past five years. On Friday night, Erin finally left, but Josie doesn’t know where.

Thursday July 18, 2019

When Josie sees Nathan, she asks him about her staying on fold-out in the study. Nathan tells her that both sisters and their kids will be staying over so they’ll be using it. Josie suspects he is lying. Later, when the house is empty, Josie takes a peek in their master bedroom. She looks through Nathan’s clothes and finds what she’s hoping for — a clear bag white powder reside and a hotel key card.

In the recording studio that day, Josie tells Alix about what happened after their dinner. She says that she accused Walter of being a pedophile, of grooming and abusing not just her, but also Brooke and Erin. She then went and told Erin to pack a bag since they were leaving, but when she did, Walter started beating her with the TV remote control. When he got ahold of himself, he went back to acting as normal. But Josie had had enough, so she grabbed her bag, her daughter and her dog and left.

When she finishes, Alix asks a few questions to clarify what happened and holes in Josie’s story start appearing. She asks where she went in-between the fight and coming to her house and Josie says it actually happened after she went to bed. But then Alix points out she wasn’t in her pajamas, and Josie says she changed. And then Alix says there was blood on her dress when she arrived, and Alix asks why there was blood on her dress if it happened when she was in her pajamas.

Josie says that Erin decided to go elsewhere, Alix thinks they should track her down, but Josie disagrees, saying that Erin is fine. When Alix argues, Josie gets upset and storms out.

Saturday July 20, 2019

Josie tries to enjoy the luxuries of Alix’s place on her last day there. She tells Alix that she’s going to her mom’s place. As Josie departs, Alix encourages her to get help and to keep in touch.

Part III

Saturday July 20, 2019 – Sunday July 21, 2019

Nathan and Alix are delighted that Josie is gone. With her gone, Alix cleans out the spare bedroom and sees that the bloody key/keyfob was left behind. She puts it in her pocket. Soon, her sisters and their kids arrive. Nathan goes out that night, Alix pleads with him to come back at a respectable hour so she doesn’t have to explain things to her sisters.

Josie secretly follows Nathan as he leaves the house and meets up with a group of his male friends at the pub, sitting outside. Josie sits outside at the restaurant next door. Nathan talks loudly about how glad he is their “houseguest from hell” is gone. Soon, an attractive woman sit down near them, saying that her friend has stood her up. She asks to join the table of men, and they readily agree. The woman introduces herself as Katelyn.

Back at home, Alix finds a few items in her shoe rack (planted there by Josie) — a clear plastic baggy with white powder residue, a hotel key card and a napkin with the name “Daisy” scrawled on it along with a phone number (the first two items were stuff Nathan already had, the last item being something Josie added). Alix tries not to overreact, but by midnight, Nathan is still not home, and he doesn’t pick up his phone.

That night, Alix sleeps poorly. She’s convinced that he is cheating on her. She calls Giovanni, who doesn’t know where he is. Finally, she shows up at Giovanni’s door, demanding to know what happened last night and if there was a woman involved. Giovanni reassures her that Nathan has never gone off with random women before. He admits that last night, there was a woman named Katelyn who joined them, but she didn’t seem to be hitting on Nathan and she had promised to get him home safely. The other guys had wanted to go home and so they left him in her care. Giovanni admits that Katelyn was young and attractive.

Monday July 22, 2019

By Monday, Nathan is still not home. A hotel calls Alix to talk about damages to a hotel room. They say that Nathan checked in with a woman on Saturday night and the woman pre-paid for two nights. Nathan left without checking out on Sunday, but they checked the room and there is significant damage that needs to be paid for. Alix asks to see the room, and heads over to view the ransacked room. She pleads to see the CCTV footage, and they show her video of him in the lobby with a blond woman. He then gets into a car with someone.

There are aspects of the footage that confuse her. Nathan is stumbling around in the video, and she has never seen him like that, even drunk. She also sees that he gets into the front seat of the car, which he would never do in an Uber, which means he was expecting to be picked up by someone he recognized.

Then, she sees that the blond woman has a large scratch on her face. And the person at the hotel volunteers some confidential information — that the hotel room was paid for by a card in the name of “Erin Jade Fair”.

In a clip from the show, Katelyn explains that she was paid a thousand pounds to get Nathan drunk and get him into a hotel room, but she wasn’t asked to sleep with him, just to leave him there.


Alix goes to see Pat who says that Josie isn’t there. She goes to Josie’s house, but no one is home though it smells bad. Finally, Alix decides to reach out to one of the contacts she made as a journalist over the years, Joanna Dafoe, the Deputy Met Commissioner. She says that her husband left in a car. She’s trying to locate him and she has the plates. Joanna soon responds and says that the car is a rental, rented out to a “Erin Jade Fair”. Alix then calls the police to say that she believes her husband has been kidnapped.

In a clip from the show, Detective Constable Sabrina Albright (police) is interviewed. She says she didn’t take the kidnapping report seriously until another call came in about an Erin Fair as well. An anonymous caller said that they hadn’t heard from Erin or her father Walter fair in over a week, and they were concerned.

Tuesday July 23, 2019

A newspaper clipping dated July 23 reports that police entered Josie’s house on a welfare check to find Walter Fair’s decomposing body in a bathtub. Erin Fair was also found tied to a chair and beaten — she’s now in the hospital in a coma. Josie Fair is nowhere to be found, and they are investigating her in connection to the disappearance of Nathan Summer, whose home she’d been staying in.

Wednesday July 24, 2019

Nathan has now been missing for four days. DC Sabrina Albright and her colleage DC Bryant invite Alix down to the station. They show her the strange collection of trinkets that they found in Josie’s home, and Alix confirms that some of the items were taken from her home. There’s also some stuff she doesn’t recognize — but the notices one of the items must be Brooke’s corsage from her prom night because she recognizes it from a photo.

Alix hands over the small key that Josie left behind. Before she leaves, she asks the police if a golden bumblebee pendant was among the trinkets, but they say they haven’t seen it.

In a clip from the show, Katelyn describes how she lured Nathan to the room by telling him that Alix was going to meet him there. Eventually, he started flipping out because he wanted to leave. Finally, Josie texted to tell her to send him outside and to tell him that Alix was picking him up.

Thursday July 25, 2019

On Thursday, Alix gets a call from the police that Roxy has showed up at the station and wants to speak to her. (In a clip from the show, there’s a brief shot of Roxy Fair sitting down to be interviewed.)

At the station, police officers give Roxy a rundown on the situation. Apparently, Erin had a large amount of money in her account (around 40K) due to her streaming activities on Glitch, and Josie had been slowly siphoning it out using various ATM/cashpoint machines. They ask Roxy if she has any ideas where her mother could be and she doesn’t know, but suggests maybe the Lake District since her mother used to like it there.

When the police bring up Josie’s allegations about Walter, Roxy laughs. She said that Walter wasn’t sleeping with Erin — they were gaming together. He would join her videogame streams late at night and make wisecracks and people loved it.

Afterwards, Roxy meets with Alix, who tells her everything she knows. Surprisingly, Roxy agrees to record an interview with the podcast as well. In a clip from the show, Roxy talks about Brooke and how she was her first girlfriend, but Josie hated her for some reason. Roxy thinks her mom was jealous that Brooke was more important to Roxy than her mother. Roxy admits to getting into a physical altercation with Brooke and says that she ran away from home because she wanted to, but everything else that Josie said was made up. Then, Alix shows Roxy the key she found, and Roxy suggests that it could be for the garage.

In a clip from the show, there is an interview with Clare and Georgie Small: holidaymakers at Ambleside Manor Lodge Park. They describe seeing a woman at the lodges drinking wine who was there for a few days and then left.

Sunday July 28, 2019

On Sunday, Pat asks to be interviewed for the podcast. In a clip from the show, Pat talks about how Josie pushed everyone away as a child. She felt very threatened when Pat dated anyone. Pat started dating Walter when Josie was 13, having an affair behind his wife’s back. As Josie got older, she became fixated on him and she wanted him. When Josie turned 18, they told her that they were together. Pat doesn’t see it as Walter having groomed Josie.

In another clip for the show, Fred’s new owners talk about how they went straight to the police after they saw the news stories about Josie. Then, DC Sabrina Albright talks about how they began searching that area once they heard from the dog owners.

That night, Alix thinks about Nathan. She recalls describing to Josie how she and Nathan met at the dry cleaners and got married two years later. Alix said that she loved him, but Josie kept insisting that she needed to be free of Nathan to be in control. Josie had referenced a previous interview with the Mari le Jeune, a woman who didn’t flourish until her husband died of cancer. Alix realizes then that at some point Josie must’ve convinced herself that her whole philosophy was that women needed to be free of men to truly transform themselves.

Late into the night, Alix gets a call from the police, telling her to come to the Lake District.

Monday July 29, 2019

In a clip from the show, it reports that Nathan’s body was found in the shallow waters near Lake Windermere in the early hours of July 29. Some of his belonging were found at a lodge nearby. Police are still searching for Josie Fair.

Then there’s another clip of a voicemail Josie left Alix just before the police discovered Nathan’s body. Josie apologies for what has happened, saying that she just wanted to show Alix how much better life could be without their disappointing husbands.

On Monday, Erin finally awakes from her coma. Roxy fills her in on what’s happened since then. In a clipping from a news story, it’s explained that the body of Brooke Ripley was found in the trunk of a car in the garage (the key that Alix found) at Josie’s house. Brooke was still wearing her prom dress when she died.

In another clip, Abigail Kurti, mother of Brooke Ripley, talks about how she didn’t know Brooke and Roxy were lovers, which would explain why Brooke got off at that bus stop near Roxy’s house that night.

A different clip talks about how recently Erin has been diagnosed with autism. Erin is interviewed and discusses how Josie was jealous of anyone loving anyone else more than her. She didn’t like that her mother was with Walter before she was. She wanted Walter to love her more than the kids. She also didn’t want Walter to talk to his other kids.

Erin also discusses how Roxy broke her arm, but it was an accident. Walter was working a lot at the time, and Josie decided to pull Roxy out of school because of it and homeschool her. However, Josie just let her watch TV and merely pretended to Walter that she was teaching Roxy. Much later, when Erin was saving up money due to Glitch, she was ready to move out and live with Roxy. She thinks Josie sensed that Erin was about to escape her clutches, which is part of why Josie felt the need to do something drastic.

Erin also admits that she saw her mother attack Brooke that night. Josie blamed Brooke for Roxy running away. Erin never told anyone, she simply distanced herself from her mother.

As for the night that Walter was killed, Erin says that her parents were fighting, and Josie attacked him. Erin tried to defend her father, and argued with Josie for calling him a pedophile, though Josie insisted it was true since he had sex with her when she was 16. Erin attacked her mother with the remote control, and Josie responded by knocking the wind out of Erin. Erin woke up tied to a chair and her father was dead.

Part IV

Four Weeks Later

A month later, Nathan’s funeral is held near his father’s house. Josie still has not been found. Meanwhile, Nathan did not have a life insurance policy so Alix needed to find a way to make money, so she started putting the podcast about Josie together. The first episode was released and it went viral. Soon, she heard from Katelyn.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

On July 15, 2020, Alix meets up with Katelyn. Katelyn tells Alix that Nathan really loved her and had no interest in Katelyn beyond being a drinking buddy.

August 2020

In August 2020, the final episode of the podcast is released. In it, Alix discusses how a production company is interested in acquiring the rights and turning it into a documentary. She mentions that Erin and Roxy are now living together and doing well. Josie is still on the run. Alix then talks directly to Josie and calls her “evil” and a “basic bitch” and says that she is not a victim.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

In October, DC Albright gives Alix an update, saying they’re still following up on leads about Josie, but they go ahead and return the items and trinkets that Josie took to Alix.

November 2, 2020

Josie reaches out to Alix in a letter after the airing of the last episode. She gets mad at her for the things she said about her. She also clarifies that Nathan’s death was an accident — she’d been drugging him and didn’t realize it would kill him. Jose closes the letter with a veiled threat to Leon, saying “please send my love to your lovely children, especially Leon. I had such a soft spot for him. A lovely boy. A delicate boy. Keep him safe.”

SIXTEEN MONTHS LATER

In March 2022, Josie is now living in the Midlands with blond hair. She wears a golden bumblebee necklace around her neck, one that used to belong to Alix. Nearby, two women discuss the Birthday Twin Netflix show, wondering if Roxy and Erin were telling the whole truth.

Josie thinks about the night Roxy killed Brooke. She remembers finding Roxy crying, saying she didn’t mean to do it. Erin didn’t know what to do of course and Walter helped her deal with the body. Roxy left soon after and threatened to tell people it was Josie. Josie had wanted to tell Alix the truth about it all.

Josie thinks about how she protected her child and tells herself she is a good mother.

If this summary was useful to you, please consider supporting this site by leaving a tip ($2, $3, or $5) or joining the Patreon!

Share this post

  

Bookshelf -- A literary set collection game