Nothing to See Here
Kevin Wilson’s best book yet—a moving and uproarious novel about a woman who finds meaning in her life when she begins caring for two children with remarkable and disturbing abilitiesLillian and Madison were unlikely roommates and yet inseparable friends at their elite boarding school. But then Lillian had to leave the school unexpectedly in the wake of a scandal and they’ve barely spoken since. Until now, when Lillian gets a letter from Madison pleading for her help.Madison’s twin stepkids are moving in with her family and she wants Lillian to be their caretaker. However, there’s a catch: the twins spontaneously combust when they get agitated, flames igniting from their skin in a startling but beautiful way. Lillian is convinced Madison is pulling her leg, but it’s the truth.Thinking of her dead-end life at home, the life that has consistently disappointed her, Lillian figures she has nothing to lose. Over the course of one humid, demanding summer, Lillian and the twins learn to trust each other—and stay cool—while also staying out of the way of Madison’s buttoned-up politician husband. Surprised by her own ingenuity yet unused to the intense feelings of protectiveness she feels for them, Lillian ultimately begins to accept that she needs these strange children as much as they need her—urgently and fiercely. Couldn’t this be the start of the amazing life she’d always hoped for?With white-hot wit and a big, tender heart, Kevin Wilson has written his best book yet—a most unusual story of parental love.

Nothing to See Here Details

TitleNothing to See Here
Author
ReleaseOct 29th, 2019
PublisherEcco
ISBN-139780062913487
Rating
GenreFiction, Magical Realism, Fantasy, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Adult Fiction, Humor, Adult, Audiobook, Novels

Nothing to See Here Review

  • Larry H
    January 1, 1970
    This is truly an odd, funny, poignant book about finding a place and people with whom you belong, and how family can spring from the strangest of situations."How did people protect themselves? How did anyone keep this world from ruining them?"Lillian has always accepted that she won’t accomplish much in life. For a brief moment in her teenage years, however, she attended a private high school and befriended Madison, a beautiful but quirky rich girl, and Lillian started to This is truly an odd, funny, poignant book about finding a place and people with whom you belong, and how family can spring from the strangest of situations."How did people protect themselves? How did anyone keep this world from ruining them?"Lillian has always accepted that she won’t accomplish much in life. For a brief moment in her teenage years, however, she attended a private high school and befriended Madison, a beautiful but quirky rich girl, and Lillian started to believe she had potential. But Lillian had to leave school in the wake of a scandal and everything went back to the way it used to be. And that’s the way her life went for a number of years until Madison, now the wife of a U.S. senator with greater ambitions, summons her with a proposal.Madison’s young stepchildren have lost their mother and the right thing to do for appearances’ sake is for them to move home. But these children have been raised horribly, mistreated, all because of one thing—they spontaneously combust when they get agitated and flames ignite their skin without harming them. Is this something they can control? No one has ever really tried to figure it out.Lillian agrees to serve as the children’s governess of sorts and keep them out of harm’s (and the media’s) way for a while. It is expected that Madison's husband will be nominated as Secretary of State, so the children need to keep a low profile through the confirmation process.Lillian doesn’t count on how observant and desperate for love and approval the children are, and she doesn’t count on how much she has needed to be needed. She works on winning their trust, making them believe her feelings are true, which Lillian has to believe, too. Fighting for the children’s best interests—no mean feat given how the deck is stacked against them—awakens feelings of love and protectiveness she never imagined she’d feel.This is a quirky book but it’s one that definitely worked its way into my heart. The characters aren’t sympathetic in many ways but I devoured this. Kevin Wilson, who also wrote The Family Fang, really created a moving story.NetGalley and Ecco Books provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making it available!See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
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  • karen
    January 1, 1970
    “This is weird, Madison. You want me to raise your husband’s fire children.”i won this through the gr giveaways but i didn’t read it right away—choosing instead to read ARCs of books that were coming out before this one, then delaying it further for my horror-only october bookplan. i thought i had plenty of time before it pubbed because i saw this on the side of the ARC:and misunderstood it to mean “This is weird, Madison. You want me to raise your husband’s fire children.”i won this through the gr giveaways but i didn’t read it right away—choosing instead to read ARCs of books that were coming out before this one, then delaying it further for my horror-only october bookplan. i thought i had plenty of time before it pubbed because i saw this on the side of the ARC:and misunderstood it to mean it was pubbing on the 19th of november instead of in november 2019. which i now realize is a monday, but ANYWAY THE POINT IS i put off reading it and the book came out before i began reading it and the joke’s on me because i liked this so much more than most of the books i read while i wasn’t reading this one. THIS BOOK IS SO GOODbefore this, i’d only read one other book by him, Perfect Little World. i liked it fine, with some reservations, which was probably another reason i dragged my feet in favor of books i thought would be more slam-dunks in my heart.but this one—good lord, i couldn’t read it fast enough; it grabbed me right from the start, and i never put it down without feeling a little tug of regret that i had to go do other things. i am someone who folds over pages in my books when lines are pleasing or memorable, and i was already a-folding by page two. all of it—the characters, the story, the conflict, it is brisk and funny and warm and wise and heartpunchy; it’s a perfect book about imperfect people; of love and family and responsibility, and you better believe i cried. <— and that? that is a thing that just doesn’t happen. i’d been drawn to this one initially because spontaneous human combustion is rad, even if this is not quite SHC, because the h’s that are c-ing spontaneously are physically unharmed by the experience; they’re just two little kids who burst into flames when they have temper tantrums. "How are they still alive?" I asked."It doesn't hurt them at all," she said, shrugging to highlight how dumbfounded she was. "They just get really red, like a bad sunburn, but they're not hurt.""What about their clothes?" I asked."I'm still figuring this out, Lillian," she said. "I guess their clothes burn off.""So they're just these naked kids on fire?""I think so. So you can understand why we're worried."which is all very striking an image, but it is so much more than the novelty of that situation. quick aside: i was at the bookstore the other day and this little girl was just LOSING HER MIND and through all the shrieking and wailing and snot and tears, all i could think was “welp, at least she isn’t on fire.”the “children on fire” angle is the hook, but at its heart, it is about lillian—a woman trapped in the smallness of her own life after her chance to rise up out of her working-poor upbringing was stolen from her by the betrayal of a friend. as a teenager, lillian worked her ass off to win a scholarship to an elite boarding school where she met her roommate madison billings—a wealthy girl with just as much weirdness to her as lillian. the two became close friends and teammates—basketball phenoms who were inseparable until madison got into trouble, her father paid off lillian’s mother for lillian to take the fall, and lillian was expelled and sent back to her hometown in disgrace. the bribe money—meant to be put aside for lillian's college tuition—was instead quickly spent by her mother on her own comforts. without the challenges and opportunities of the rich-kid school, without the possibility of a college education, lillian just sorta sunk into herself and stopped trying. Everything was so easy, and nobody cared, and I lost interest…I started to care less about the future. I cared more about making the present tolerable. And time passed. And that was my life.fifteen years later, lillian is twenty-eight years old and still right where she started: she's been living in her mother’s attic, plodding through long aimless years of smoking pot, living paycheck to paycheck, defeated and angry but still in madison’s thrall; maintaining a periodic correspondence-based friendship with her—madison’s letters filled with tales of one cushioned success after another; the ease of wealth enabling a charmed life only getting more charmed as she grows older. when madison writes to lillian, asking for her help, lillian doesn’t hesitate: I tried to think of a time when I hadn’t done what Madison had asked me to do. That time did not exist. what madison needs from lillian is her loyalty and discretion; to take care of—and keep out of sight—her husband’s children from a previous marriage; ten-year-old twins bessie and roland who have just lost their mother and are afflicted with this unseemly fiery rage. madison’s senator husband jasper is in the running for secretary of state and flaming children would disrupt their picture-perfect family image: a beautiful, wealthy couple with a young son of their own who doesn’t burst into flames. despite having zero training or experience with children, much less with “fire children,” lillian accepts the position and becomes their governess and sorta-jailor, which puts her once more in madison’s charismatic orbit—living on the grounds of their sprawling estate in tennessee, doing her best to keep the twins calm, extinguishing them when necessary, and sensing in them kindred spirits, an affinity unexpectedly kindling (heh) her unexplored maternal instincts.Maybe that’s what children were, a desperate need that opened you up even if you didn’t want it.the children have been uprooted and are full of raw emotional pain; grieving their mother, resentful of their sudden displacement, their long-absent father and his pretty young wife, their pampered half-brother, and this stranger being paid to care for them. the situation is not ideal, but the three soon find their footing and begin to form their own outsider version of a family, their trust built through honesty and candor, and lillian’s transition from reluctant foster parent into fierce mother bear is beautifully written. They were me, unloved...and I was going to make sure that they got what they needed. They would scratch and kick me, and I was going to scratch and kick anyone who tried to touch them.i feel like i could go on and on about this book, typing out lines from the oh-so-many folded-over pages, and all the ways in which lillian’s situation—of squandered promise and self-disgust; feeling defeated and giving up, the anger, frustration, and shame of poverty—was so horribly relatable to me as i was reading it that i just wanted to howl. Because I kept fucking up, because it seemed so hard not to fuck up, I lived a life where I had less than what I desired. So instead of wanting more, sometimes I just made myself want even less. Sometimes I made myself believe that I wanted nothing, not even food or air. And if I wanted nothing, I’d just turn into a ghost. And that would be the end of it.And there were these two kids, and they burst into flames.And I had known them for less than a week; I didn’t know them at all. And I wanted to burst into flames, too. I thought, How wonderful would it be to have everyone stand at a respectful distance? this.the book simply crackles. it is all flames and fire and emotional damage but it is also hope and purpose and human connection, and even though i am not typically an emotional reader, this one got me right in the feels. i'm sorry i didn't read it the moment it fell into my little hands, but i'm extremely glad i won a copy, because i probably wouldn't have read it anytime soon without the guilt-prod i feel every time i win or accept a free book. maybe this glowing review will be your prod. if not, maybe this overlong quote'll do it, the single best description of the oncreep of love i have ever read: Sometimes, when the kids were invested in something, when they didn’t look entirely blasted by how shitty their lives had been, I’d try to truly look at them. Of course, they both had those bright green eyes, like you’d see on the cover of a bad fantasy novel where the hero can turn into some kind of bird of prey. But they were not attractive children, the rest of their faces soft and undefined. They looked ratty. I hadn’t even tried to fix their cult haircuts. I feared that fixing them would only make the kids more plain. They had round little bellies, way past the point when you’d expect a kid to lose it. Their teeth were just crooked enough that you could tell they hadn’t been handled with care. And yet. And yet. When Bessie managed to get the layup to bank perfectly off the backboard, her eyes got crazy; she started vibrating. When Roland watched you do anything, even open a can of peaches, he looked like he was cheering you on at mile marker nineteen of your marathon. When Roland put his fingers in my mouth in the middle of the night, when Bessie kicked me in the liver and made me startle awake, I did not hate them. No matter what happened after this, when the kids moved into the mansion with Jasper and Madison and Timothy, no one would ever think that they were really a part of that immaculate family. They would always, kind of, belong to me. I had never wanted kids, because I had never wanted a man to give me a kid. The thought of it, gross; the expectation of it. But if a hole in the sky opened up and two weird children fell to earth, smashing into the ground like asteroids, then that was something I could care for. If it gleamed like it was radiating danger, I’d hold it. I would.******************************************i missed out on this at BEA, but i won it through goodreads - hooray! and it came with a squishy flame-shaped stress thingie.i feel seen.come to my blog!
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    [4.5] The idea of a plot involving two kids who spontaneously ignite when they get anxious didn't sound appealing to me. But I was wrong. I loved the main character, Lillian, an outsider who is stuck in her life until an old friend calls for her help. I loved the way Wilson portrayed the two very likable kids - who have been unfairly treated by their family because of their unusual ability (or disability).I was pulled into this novel from the first pages and got up for air only to he [4.5] The idea of a plot involving two kids who spontaneously ignite when they get anxious didn't sound appealing to me. But I was wrong. I loved the main character, Lillian, an outsider who is stuck in her life until an old friend calls for her help. I loved the way Wilson portrayed the two very likable kids - who have been unfairly treated by their family because of their unusual ability (or disability).I was pulled into this novel from the first pages and got up for air only to help prepare dinner and eat, then went right back until I finished. Fortunately it was a Sunday! Is it a great novel? I have no idea - but it is well-written and weird and tender-hearted. I have to give it 5 stars. And I have to go read Kevin Wilson's backlist.
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  • Fran
    January 1, 1970
    Lillian had "a desire to be superlative...a sterling representative of this backward county"... when she won a scholarship to prestigious Iron Mountain Girls Preparatory School. Lillian and her roommate Madison became fast friends despite the fact that upper crust Madison "...had been raised since birth to recognize importance. [Lillian] was not that." However, Lillian and Madison needed each other. They strived to "tamp down their weirdness." Madison acknowledged that rich people "... had to be Lillian had "a desire to be superlative...a sterling representative of this backward county"... when she won a scholarship to prestigious Iron Mountain Girls Preparatory School. Lillian and her roommate Madison became fast friends despite the fact that upper crust Madison "...had been raised since birth to recognize importance. [Lillian] was not that." However, Lillian and Madison needed each other. They strived to "tamp down their weirdness." Madison acknowledged that rich people "... had to be composed in public...were supposed to act a certain way." Lillian was treated like a poor,"strange" scholarship kid. Lillian's fallen from grace occurred when she took the rap for Madison and was expelled from the prep. school. More than a decade later, Madison was "a mover and a shaker", married to Senator Jaspar Roberts. Lillian worked two cashier jobs and smoked weed. She and Madison became pen pals communicating solely by mail. Fifteen years had passed since Lillian was forced to leave the school..but...change was coming!Change arrived in the form of a request from Madison to visit the Roberts Estate in Tennessee. A job opportunity. Jaspar Roberts was being vetted for the position of Secretary of State. Since Jaspar's ex-wife had died, he was responsible for ten year old twins, Bessie and Roland. Madison offered Lillian the job of governess for two unsocialized, home schooled children. As governess, she would spend the summer with the kids in the estate's guest house and, by the way, the children had a "unique" affliction. If they got really agitated, they would spontaneously combust. Senator Roberts wanted the children "safeguarded" until the vetting process was completed. Lillian was currently living with her mom and mom's "rotating cast of her boyfriends". Lillian felt needed by Madison and accepted this daunting job.Bessie and Roland were angry children. They previously had been expelled from Jaspar's Estate after their parent's divorce. Will their bitterness dissipate when they live in the estate's guest house with Lillian? Lillian was searching for direction in her life. How could she, unfamiliar with the needs of children, prevent the twins from overheating and fully bursting into flames?"Nothing to See Here" by Kevin Wilson brings many issues to the forefront. These challenges include finding one's inner strength, friendship and loyalty, money and power ...dark humor included! Author Wilson does a superb job. I highly recommend this book.Thank you HarperCollins Publishers/ Ecco and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review "Nothing to See Here".
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  • Paige
    January 1, 1970
    Told in first person, our main character and narrator Lillian travels to see her friend, Madison, who has a job offer for her. It isn't until after she accepts the job as governess to Madison's step-children that Madison tells her the kids burst into flames when they feel angry or frustrated.The fire children do not make an appearance until 26% (on a Kindle). The first 1-7% is the foundation of Lillian and Madison's relationship. This includes how the met, their school-girl-days, and their current sta Told in first person, our main character and narrator Lillian travels to see her friend, Madison, who has a job offer for her. It isn't until after she accepts the job as governess to Madison's step-children that Madison tells her the kids burst into flames when they feel angry or frustrated.The fire children do not make an appearance until 26% (on a Kindle). The first 1-7% is the foundation of Lillian and Madison's relationship. This includes how the met, their school-girl-days, and their current status. The story of their girlhood makes you feel emphatic towards Lillian and resentful towards Madison. From 7-26% it is Madison preparing Lillian for the children, and Lillian adjusting to her new rich life at her friends mansion house since Madison married a wealthy Senator. From 26%-until the end is the adventure of Lillian with the combustible twins.Lillian's voice and POV is what makes the story so comical. Her comparisons, overemphasis, self-deprecation, and sarcasm created lots of laughable moments.While the beginning starts off hilarious, the story itself that revolves around the relationship of the main character and the two children who are combustible is starkly serious. Though obviously cynical, I felt the twins ability to burst into flames an affect of both satire and analogy. The embedded theme for their paranormal state of combustion seems to mirror children on the spectrum, children who have cognitive or behavioral challenges that might just be misunderstood, or kids who are still developing proper coping skills. Does love have its limits? The combustible twins struggle to feel love from their father because of their flaw and ultimately want to feel accepted by their family. “They didn’t want to set the world on fire. They just wanted to be less alone in it." Family dynamics, parental love, and acceptance is a focus in this funny but short tale that includes wearing inflammable clothes and applying noncombustible stuntman gel to those around. How will Lillian learn to handle the children when they "burst into flames"?I loved this book and laughed out loud! But at the end, I teared up! I think parents and those who work with children will love this book. Highly recommend!!!! More on this: Video of Kevin Wilson talking about Nothing To See Here. Watch it! It's great! He talks about how he applied his life experiences to this novel. NPR article on Kevin Wilson writing with tourettesUSA Today's article on Nothing to See Here
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    !! NOW AVAILABLE !!Originally I came across this book when I was reading the excerpts in the Buzz Books 2019 Fall / Winter collection of the best stories to look out for in the coming months. It sounded promising, but it took me a while to request this since this is an author I wasn’t familiar with. I’m glad that I did, even more so when I saw the author’s Dedication – ”For Ann Patchett and Julie Barer” having recently spent time in another world courtesy of Ann Patchett.Madis !! NOW AVAILABLE !!Originally I came across this book when I was reading the excerpts in the Buzz Books 2019 Fall / Winter collection of the best stories to look out for in the coming months. It sounded promising, but it took me a while to request this since this is an author I wasn’t familiar with. I’m glad that I did, even more so when I saw the author’s Dedication – ”For Ann Patchett and Julie Barer” having recently spent time in another world courtesy of Ann Patchett.Madison is the daughter of a well-to-do family, and Lillian is a girl born into an impoverished life, both monetarily and in affection. Lillian makes her way to her dorm room alone after her mother drops her off at the esteemed Iron Mountain Girls Preparatory School, cautioning her that she’s about to enter a world for which she’s utterly unprepared. ” As I walked to my dorm, I realized that the other girls didn’t even look at me, and I could tell that it wasn’t out of meanness. I don’t think they even saw me; their eyes had been trained since birth to recognize importance. I wasn’t that.” They become friends almost as soon as they meet when Lillian arrives, but there is a sense of an uneven nature to their friendship. Madison takes Lillian under her wing, and just as easily, places her under the guillotine when it serves her purpose, and Lillian ends up expelled from the only chance she’s ever had to escape the life she was born into. Time passes, fifteen years, and although they’ve communicated through mail periodically, but not regularly. And then Madison contacts her, asking her to come visit their estate, without stating the job opportunity she has in mind – a job as governess, caring for, watching over her husband Jaspar’s twins by his now-deceased ex-wife. Bessie and Roland are ten-years-old, and are not like most ten-year-olds, they have an exceptionally unfortunate condition, which seems to “flare up.” When annoyed, agitated, angry they seem to, well, umm… spontaneously combust. Most unfortunate. But, the problems directly created are less the issue that concerns Madison and Jasper, they are more concerned that Jasper’s political future will be impacted should other become aware of this information. Since it’s impossible to determine when and where these incidences might occur, it’s considered “best for all” if Lillian lives in a “guest cottage” on their massive property with the twins, with the added charge of making sure she also handles the twins home schooling. Since Jasper, excuse me, Senator Roberts, was being vetted for a potential position in a large white home on Pennsylvania Avenue. Of course, it would never do for a prominent political figure, especially with so many eyes on him, to have children who could create awkward moments – especially those involving flames sparked by a moment of anger. The publicity would ruin him, imagine the tweets generated! I enjoyed this one so much more than I anticipated, and appreciated the light touch of dark humour that is woven throughout this story, as well as the themes of power and money in politics, as well as friendship, abandonment and, most of all, the power of love. Pub Date: 29 Oct 2019Many thanks for the ARC provided by HarperCollins Publishers / Ecco
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  • Gabby
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a really interesting story about this girl who becomes a nanny for these kids who catch on fire when they get upset. This premise is super unique and I’ve never read anything quite like it. I enjoyed this story and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just not particularly memorable for me. Here’s some thoughts I jotted down after finishing it:-This book was interesting and sweet but kind of forgettable -I love that the main character is so sarcastic and awkward, This book is a really interesting story about this girl who becomes a nanny for these kids who catch on fire when they get upset. This premise is super unique and I’ve never read anything quite like it. I enjoyed this story and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just not particularly memorable for me. Here’s some thoughts I jotted down after finishing it:-This book was interesting and sweet but kind of forgettable -I love that the main character is so sarcastic and awkward, whenever people compliment her, her response is always like “well okay” and she’s so awkward around the kid too which is so relatable for me-I love that her and Madison have this strange relationship since they went to this rich ass school together and now Madison is married to a guy who might run for president and lives in a mansion and idk why I like reading about wealthy people in politics -I expected this story to get a little more intense than it did, it ended up being a light-hearted feel good story that gave me all the warm fuzzies which is fine it’s just not where I was expecting it to go
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  • Book of the Month
    January 1, 1970
    Why I love itby Sarah DickinsonI usually like my fiction firmly rooted in reality, so I was nervous about a book featuring children who catch fire when distressed. However, I’m a mother, so I appreciate this metaphor. What parent hasn’t witnessed an epic tantrum where your child starts to resemble the girl from The Exorcist?Years ago, Lillian, a scholarship kid, and Madison, an heiress, became friends at their Tennessee boarding school. Fast forward to the present day, we find Why I love itby Sarah DickinsonI usually like my fiction firmly rooted in reality, so I was nervous about a book featuring children who catch fire when distressed. However, I’m a mother, so I appreciate this metaphor. What parent hasn’t witnessed an epic tantrum where your child starts to resemble the girl from The Exorcist?Years ago, Lillian, a scholarship kid, and Madison, an heiress, became friends at their Tennessee boarding school. Fast forward to the present day, we find Lillian toiling in a low-wage job while Madison is married to a U.S. Senator and fabulously rich. When she asks Lillian to serve as “governess” for her ten-year-old stepchildren, it seems like all Lillian has to do is keep the kids happy—and free of flames—while Senator Roberts guns for Secretary of State. Can Lillian manage the situation without letting their secret get out? Can anyone love these children? And, what will happen to Lillian and Madison’s friendship?This book is pure brain candy—dark, sassy, and full of heart. I felt for these lonely children and chuckled at Lillian’s filter-free commentary on the eccentricities of rich people. A sweet, warm book with a bit of spice.Read more at: https://bookofthemonth.com/nothing-to...
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  • Jessica Woodbury
    January 1, 1970
    Full disclosure: I have not read any Kevin Wilson books before. They looked kind of like the book versions of Wes Anderson movies, rather pretentious and twee. I have no idea if that is a fair assessment, it is just how they struck me. But the hook of this book got my attention and I thought it would be a good one to dip my toes into. Then I was really shocked by how quickly this book burrowed its way into my heart. I have had a run of insomnia lately, so I mostly read this book in the middle of Full disclosure: I have not read any Kevin Wilson books before. They looked kind of like the book versions of Wes Anderson movies, rather pretentious and twee. I have no idea if that is a fair assessment, it is just how they struck me. But the hook of this book got my attention and I thought it would be a good one to dip my toes into. Then I was really shocked by how quickly this book burrowed its way into my heart. I have had a run of insomnia lately, so I mostly read this book in the middle of the night, waiting to get tired enough to fall back asleep. Not ideal conditions, usually I need something a little thrilling to hold my attention. But this book grabbed it pretty quickly with the story of Madison and Lillian, and the kind of friendship that is both meaningful and hurtful. It's an unusual relationship, but it has the spiky complexity so many female friendships do and I was immediately interested. Lillian is one of those protagonists you find in literary fiction. She is aimless and stagnant, almost unformed as a person, but she differs from most because she's lower class. That's also how she differs from Madison, who is one of those People With Money who somehow manages to get everything she wants. Lillian's weirdness is unchecked in her going-nowhere life while Madison constantly has to hide hers while she puts on a public face and serves her ambitions. Lillian is a treasured secret, the kind of friend Madison is not really allowed to have, so it isn't surprising that Madison asks Lillian for help and offers a financial incentive when Madison has some unusual work that needs to be done quietly.Enter Madison's two step-children who, just FYI, can burst into flames. The surreal touches are executed really well. We are not hit over the head with how this unusual ability is a metaphor for kids with disabilities or mental illness (though you can clearly make the case), but it shows us just how potentially destructive the two unusual children may be for Madison and her Senator husband. Lillian takes on the job of nanny-slash-governess-slash-whatever mostly because of her loyalty and affection for Madison. What follows is not exactly unexpected. It isn't like the "person without children is forced to care for children and learns about love" plot isn't one that hasn't been played out a million times before. And yet! I can't remember the last time I saw it done well and here it's done so beautifully.It helps that these kids are written so well. It is tricky to write kids and it's tricky to write about caring for kids, so much of it is mundane and difficult to pin down. Many kids in novels are just tiny adults, others are only there as props and don't actually act like children. But these kids thread the needle. They do what is needed to move the plot forward, but they never feel like plot mechanisms. They feel like strange little monsters that you kind of want to hug. Eventually these practically-feral hooligans with bowl cuts become incredibly dear to the reader and to Lillian and you may find yourself crying in your bed at 5 a.m. if you are not careful.It all took me quite by surprise, to be honest. It seemed like a weird novel but it did not warn me that it was going to get all in my feelings the way that it did. The bigger plot has its humorous moments, but they feel like they are coming from a different world. I wouldn't call it funny exactly, while there's plenty of dark humor, it's also mostly there around these two children who may be rather terrifying but who are still just children. None of it made me laugh out loud, but it gives everything outside of the little world Lillian builds with them a rather heightened air, making the cozy unit they form feel even more warm and inviting in contrast. It's a real tightrope walk but it rarely wobbles as long as it keeps its heart on its sleeve.
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  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    I’m on a great roll with my audible selections! Listening to “Nothing to See Here” by Kevin Wilson, narrated by Marin Ireland was 6 hours and 40 minutes of total joy. Marin Ireland captured the essence of the novel’s narrator, Lillian. In a pitch perfect southern accent full of ennui, Ms. Ireland encapsulates Lillian’s apathy towards life. Ireland also does a fantastic job of giving voice to the other characters.When the story opens, Lillian has been contacted by her freshman high sc I’m on a great roll with my audible selections! Listening to “Nothing to See Here” by Kevin Wilson, narrated by Marin Ireland was 6 hours and 40 minutes of total joy. Marin Ireland captured the essence of the novel’s narrator, Lillian. In a pitch perfect southern accent full of ennui, Ms. Ireland encapsulates Lillian’s apathy towards life. Ireland also does a fantastic job of giving voice to the other characters.When the story opens, Lillian has been contacted by her freshman high school roommate, Madison. As Lillian explains, she got lucky and became a scholarship girl at an exclusive boarding school. Lillian was kicked out when she took a fall for wealthy and socially connected Madison, which solidified Lillian’s opinion that life is bleak for girls like her. Nonetheless, Madison and Lillian remained pen pals, so Lillian knew a bit about Madison and as expected, Madison’s perfect future and life.Long story short, Madison is married to a man who expects to become a high-ranking political official. She wants Lillian to help with his twin children from a previous marriage. Lillian’s inner musings are hysterical. And Lillian and Madison’s friendship are complicated, funny, and true. I find it amazing that author Kevin Wilson can write the complicated details of female friendship. And the twins, well, Wilson took temper tantrums to a new level. Yes, the twins spontaneously combust when they are irritated, tired, frustrated, hungry…. etc. All parents know of the scary temper tantrums that all children endue, some more dramatic than others. Wilson gives a physical voice to these tantrums that make it funny. Lillian, who is a self-appointed slacker, not caring about anything or anyone becomes entranced with the twins. Being a neglected and forgotten child (and adult) herself, she connects with the children and finds herself, for the first time ever, actually caring about something.All the characters in the story are fun. This is a laugh-out-loud story that will have you watching temper tantrums in a new light. Plus, it’s an enduring story of misfits finding their way. Again, I highly recommend the audio on this. Ireland is perfect!!!
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  • Anna Luce
    January 1, 1970
    ★★★★✰ 4.5 stars“I had the children. They caught on fire. I had to keep them from catching on fire.”As soon as I read Kevin Wilson's dedication (“for Ann Patchett”) I had a feeling that I was in for a treat (and I was right). There was something about Wilson's surrealism that reminded me a bit of Charlie Kaufman's films (in Synecdoche, New York a character moves into a house that is permanently on fire). Comparisons to Wes Anderson would also not be amiss (dysfunctional families + parental abandonme(“for/>“I ★★★★✰ 4.5 stars“I had the children. They caught on fire. I had to keep them from catching on fire.”As soon as I read Kevin Wilson's dedication (“for Ann Patchett”) I had a feeling that I was in for a treat (and I was right). There was something about Wilson's surrealism that reminded me a bit of Charlie Kaufman's films (in Synecdoche, New York a character moves into a house that is permanently on fire). Comparisons to Wes Anderson would also not be amiss (dysfunctional families + parental abandonment + quirky protagonist). Also, in its unapologetic eccentricity it reminded me of The Sundial by Shirley Jackson. Yet, Nothing to See Here also struck me as being a wholly original tale. Equal parts funny and heart-warming , Wilson's touching novel can be read as an oddly realistic fairy-tale in which children catch fire.Wilson injects a plausible scenario with a dose of the surreal: in the late spring of 1995 Lillian Breaker, a rather aimless twenty-eight year old, receives a letter from Madison Roberts, her former boarding school roommate. Madison, now married to a senator, has a job opportunity for Lillian: for the course of the summer she is to move into their estate to look after the senator's ten-year old twins (from his previous marriage). The catch? Having recently lost their mother the twins are going through a bit of rough patch...and when angry or upset they burst into flames. Like any good fable, Nothing to See Here has plenty layers. The children's spontaneous combustions can be seen as a metaphor for 'undesirability', since due to their propensity to catch fire they are regarded by their father, and by Madison too, as unfit for the public, a source of embarrassment, and as potential dangerous (as their fire may not harm them, but it can burn the people and objects around them). In order to avoid a scandal, one that could put an end to the senator's promising career, the twins are to stay under Lillian's constant supervision. In spite of her complicated feelings towards Madison, Lillian agrees. The driving force of this novel is its brilliantly matter-of-fact narrator. Lillian is uninhibited, she says what she wants, doesn't seem to care much about most things (whatever is one of her favourite words), some of her actions make her come across as a bit thick, and she leads a rather aimless existence. She isn't all that concerned about her future or interested in taking care of herself. Yet, once she becomes responsible for the senator's twins, she finds herself wanting to do good by them. There was something gratifying about her frankness...I immediately liked her and both understood and sympathised with some of her hang ups (about money, her education, her parents, Madison).“I don’t know why, but I had just assumed that the kids would one day appear at the estate, maybe stuffed inside a giant wooden crate, packing peanuts pressed against their rickety bodies. I thought I’d just take them in my arms and place them in our new home like dolls in a dollhouse. ”In spite of their bizarre condition Bessie and Roland are just like any other children: they are funny, easily bored, and perpetually hungry. After experiencing a tragic loss however the twins find themselves struggling to trust others. Realising that their father is ashamed of them only cements their mistrust of adults. Quite naturally then hey experience some difficulties acclimatising to their new circumstances.“We were a world unto ourselves, even though I knew it was temporary. Eventually we would have to figure something out, a way to integrate the children into the real world. I imagined a time when they sat at that huge dining room table in the mansion, eating eggs Benedict or whatever the fuck while their father read the paper and told them scores from the Braves game the day before.”I could 'easily' summarise the novel as: Lillian looks after the twins, together they spend time in the pool, they eat a few soggy sandwiches, and meditate. Yet, the uneventfulness of the story is somewhat misleading. We get to know Lillian and the children, and we see the way they slowly grow used to each other. We also read of how American aristocrats will try to pass make their selfish behaviour seem as a sacrifice on their part. In spite of their 'friendship' there is a clear divide between Madison and Lillian. Lillian's acceptance, over her past and future, and of the bond she forms with the twins, never seemed forced or cheesy as the novel makes us aware of how imperfect families are. Within the very first pages I became fascinated with the story's peculiar characters and their entertaining conversations. While this novel is definitely brimming with humour, it also offers us many surprisingly tender, if not touching, moments. I soon came to love Lillian, for her witty observations and unfiltered narration, and her charges, who could be both chaotic and charming. The dynamics between the various characters are absorbing, the dialogue is engaging, and the characters are wonderfully dysfunctional. Wilson is an ingenuous storyteller who makes the supernatural seem plausible, so much so that in spite of the children's condition, this novel feels deeply rooted in realism. Lillian's satire is funny but never cutting, while the story, in spite of how outlandish it might sound, remains deeply realistic. It's a brilliant novel about the imperfect nature of parenting, of how odd caring for others can be (especially if you are unaccustomed to having friends or a family), that has plenty of humour.Read more reviews on my blog / / / View all my reviews on Goodreads
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  • Ron Charles
    January 1, 1970
    Kevin Wilson scrapes away all the cloying sentimentality that so often sticks to young characters. The 10-year-old twins at the center of his new novel, “Nothing to See Here,” burst into actual flames whenever they get angry or agitated. Such pyrotechnics sound like something from the macabre world of Stephen King — another author who knows children — but that’s the most wonderful aspect of Wilson’s story: It’s entirely true to life . . . except that now and then, the kids spontaneously combust. Kevin Wilson scrapes away all the cloying sentimentality that so often sticks to young characters. The 10-year-old twins at the center of his new novel, “Nothing to See Here,” burst into actual flames whenever they get angry or agitated. Such pyrotechnics sound like something from the macabre world of Stephen King — another author who knows children — but that’s the most wonderful aspect of Wilson’s story: It’s entirely true to life . . . except that now and then, the kids spontaneously combust.If you’re a parent, you may not think that’s much of a metaphor. We’ve all endured a few meltdowns, usually in some public place set for maximum attention: the flushed cheeks, the spiking fury, the sudden explosion of rage that can be contained but not extinguished until the fuel is spent. Face it: To love a child is to get burned from time to time. . . . To read the rest of this review, go to The Washington Post:https://www.washingtonpost.com/entert...
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  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Did Madison choose Lillian to be her friend because of the differences in their upbringing?Did Madison choose Lillian to be her friend because it was convenient for her?Or did Madison choose Lillian to be her friend because she needed a true friend?The reason wasn’t clear, but in my opinion what Madison did to Lillian was unforgivable even though they did remain friends.After many years of still staying in touch, Madison offers Lillian a job as the Did Madison choose Lillian to be her friend because of the differences in their upbringing?Did Madison choose Lillian to be her friend because it was convenient for her?Or did Madison choose Lillian to be her friend because she needed a true friend?The reason wasn’t clear, but in my opinion what Madison did to Lillian was unforgivable even though they did remain friends.After many years of still staying in touch, Madison offers Lillian a job as the nanny to the children of her husband and ex-wife since their mother died.Lillian was skepticaL about the nanny job, but also couldn’t believe the luck of being able to live in a mansion’s guest cottage with domestic help.The only draw back is that the children have some rare disease where they automatically combust when they get upset. Yes...they catch on fire.Lillian decided to take the challenge because there were many perks to this job.NOTHING TO SEE HERE has an interesting premise, and the characters are even more interesting.Lillian didn’t have a good experience the first time she met the children, but she remained calm and hoped for the best.NOTHING TO SEE HERE is comical as well as heartwarming as Lillian learns to take care of Roland and Bessie and fall in love with these strange, needy, difficult children. Lillian wants them to do well and to find out a way to help with this unusual problem. The reader will fall in love with Roland and Bessie too.I never did warm up to or trust Madison...I still felt she was using Lillian and knew she could because Lillian adored her, and Madison had the money to demand what she wanted. Madison's husband was even more unlikable. I would catch on fire if I were Lillian because of the anger I would feel toward Jasper and Madison and how they treat people and their own children.I recommend NOTHING TO SEE HERE just so readers can experience Mr. Wilson's marvelous writing and storytelling skills. This book will hold your interest simply because of the unique topic and because of the care and love Lillian gives the children. I hope you enjoy it if you read it. This book is heartwarming as well as heartbreaking. 5/5This book was given to me by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Moonkiszt
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely one of the most fantastic stories I've ever heard!!!! Hilarious, dear and so outside the lines, the metaphor hugs you tight through the very last word, and a cinching tug with that last punctuating period.Fantastic. What else is out there by Kevin Wilson???? I want more of this!
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  • Patricia
    January 1, 1970
    NOTHING TO SEE HERE is definitely a different type of novel for me, and I really enjoyed it. Two friends get together when one calls the other to help with her step-children. The problem with the children is that they catch fire when agitated. The fire does not burn the children, just anything else. This book is filled with humor and is a feel good novel. I recommend this book!
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  • Laura Peden
    January 1, 1970
    Quirky, snarky little number. I adored it.
  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Such an enjoyable book. I’ve not previously read this author but there’s something about his writing that obviously does it for me. He’s got a new fan and I’ve got a new book on my wish list!“Wealth could normalize just about anything.”
  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    January 1, 1970
    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/I really enjoyed The Family Fang this year, so when I heard that Kevin Wilson had a new release coming out I made sure to put my name on the library hold list well before pub day to guarantee I’d be at the top of the heap. Now that I’ve finished I have this to say . . . . . Lillian has a history of bailing Madison out of a jam, so she’s exactly the person who gets called when Madison’s twin stepchildren are in need of a “governess.” Not only do these two kids have to deal Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/I really enjoyed The Family Fang this year, so when I heard that Kevin Wilson had a new release coming out I made sure to put my name on the library hold list well before pub day to guarantee I’d be at the top of the heap. Now that I’ve finished I have this to say . . . . . Lillian has a history of bailing Madison out of a jam, so she’s exactly the person who gets called when Madison’s twin stepchildren are in need of a “governess.” Not only do these two kids have to deal with mourning their dead mother and being moved in to the guest house of their absentee father – a man who just so happens to make his living in the political spectrum opining on the importance of things like family values *barf* – but they also have another little issue that pops up every now and again . . . . I’m not going to waste a lot of time talking about this one. My rating should speak for itself. I will say that I love a loveable loser and books about finding your tribe and while it may not be true that . . . . It sure doesn’t hurt.This is a story that simply makes you feel good and Wilson tells it effortlessly. In addition to all the warm fuzzies, he’s extremely witty too. Without spoiling things, there was a moment regarding . . . . . That just seemed so hilariously perfect to me. Not to mention this exchange: She’s the greatest Tennessean in the state’s entire history.Oh, Lillian.She wrote ‘I Will Always Love You.’Lillian, do you know that there have been three Tennesseans who have served as the president of the United States?I know. But none of them were born in Tennessee.Well, I mean . . . technically that’s correct –And Johnson was impeached. And Jackson, c’mon, he was kind of a monster.That’s not entirely – Dolly Parton. She is way better than Andrew Jackson. PREACH GIRL, PREACH!!!!!
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  • Betsy Robinson
    January 1, 1970
    When I was an actress in my 20s, I took voice lessons with an old German man named Mr. Jacobi. I was a terrible singer, but it was okay. I wasn't learning to sing. I was learning to use my voice to its full potential. I knew this because one of Mr. Jacobi's favorite things to say after he sat down at the piano and leaned on the first chord was, "We accept here." That meant that no matter what sound I made, it was fine with both of us."We accept here." That could be the philosophy exp When I was an actress in my 20s, I took voice lessons with an old German man named Mr. Jacobi. I was a terrible singer, but it was okay. I wasn't learning to sing. I was learning to use my voice to its full potential. I knew this because one of Mr. Jacobi's favorite things to say after he sat down at the piano and leaned on the first chord was, "We accept here." That meant that no matter what sound I made, it was fine with both of us."We accept here." That could be the philosophy expressed by this wonderful page-turner of a book. A young woman takes a job as a governess for two extraordinary children. The people are weird—not trying to be weird—and it is acceptable. And therefore it is acceptable that I identified with every one of them and the writer. And that's so easy because author Kevin Wilson is not trying to write weirdness or (one of my least favorite words) quirkiness. He is merely writing these particular real people who deal with a lot of difficult specific stuff and have their own ways of thinking, all in a well-written fantasy of finding acceptance.I adored this book. It is authentic, charming, and brimming with palpable love.
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  • Ararita Valenta
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 ⭐This is not the best book in the world that you will ever read, but it is filled with humor and it will give you all the warm feelings for those two kids. And Lillian.Do not expect something that will blow your mind, but this book will keep you company for a day or two :)
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  • Theresa
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you, Netgalley and Harper Collins/Ecco for sending me a digital ARC, in exchange for an honest review. It's hard to believe this is my first novel I've read from Kevin Wilson. Wow. He's a fantastic storyteller! Now I want to go back and read everything he was written prior to "Nothing to See Here". I love quirky novels. And this one is definitely quirky and then some! There's magical realism as well. The novel opens in the mid '90s in Franklin, Tennessee. 28 year-old, semi-slacker, Lillian Thank you, Netgalley and Harper Collins/Ecco for sending me a digital ARC, in exchange for an honest review. It's hard to believe this is my first novel I've read from Kevin Wilson. Wow. He's a fantastic storyteller! Now I want to go back and read everything he was written prior to "Nothing to See Here". I love quirky novels. And this one is definitely quirky and then some! There's magical realism as well. The novel opens in the mid '90s in Franklin, Tennessee. 28 year-old, semi-slacker, Lillian is working two cashier jobs when she receives an urgent letter from her high school friend, Madison. Madison has a job opportunity for Lillian. The job pays well, and she gets to live on a sprawling estate for the entire summer, there's just one catch, she has to take care of Madison's stepchildren, 10 year-old twins, Roland and Bessie. Oh, there's one small problem, the twins have an unusual affliction where they spontaneously combust when they get agitated. What could possibly go wrong? Lillian's job is to be a governess to the children (feed, play, teach, and try to keep them calm 24/7), which won't be easy since Lillian has no experience taking care of children, especially ones that catch on fire. I absolutely loved the plot. It's unlike anything I've ever read. Also, this book is so funny. The dialogue is razor-sharp, witty, and delightful. Roland had some of the best dialogue. His personality is so stinking cute! Bessie is a little firecracker (no pun intended), and I loved Lillian's dry humor and stiff demeanor. I loved Lillian and Madison's backstory, and my goodness, Madison's senator husband, Jasper is a pitiful excuse for a father. I wanted to punch him so bad. There are some tender and sad moments as well. I thoroughly enjoyed every zany moment of this little gem. It's got a great balance of humor and heart. An unexpected surprise. Highly recommended! Release date: October 29, 2019
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  • Tyler Goodson
    January 1, 1970
    Some authors write about the strange and the absurd with cold aloofness. Kevin Wilson writes about weirdness in a way that is funny and warm--downright fiery, in fact. I couldn't have enjoyed this story of a young, acerbic woman and the creation of her own misfit family more.
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    Brilliant. One of the best books I've read in years. This is not overselling it, people. Read. this. book.
  • Kari Ann Sweeney
    January 1, 1970
    I expected a book about kids who spontaneously combust to be quirky and full of dark humor. It certainly had both those elements, but I was caught off guard with all the other emotions I felt while reading it.It had so much heart. It took these perpetually flawed characters (I’m looking at you Madison) and somehow made them tender and sharp at the same time.I just really dug it.
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    I just liked this so, so much. Kevin Wilson's books always sound like they're going to be *quirky* and end up being much darker and more grounded and real than their high concept set-ups. So yes, this is about two children who catch on fire, but it's really about friendship, forgiveness, and finding a way to live generously into the circumstances of your life, even if you're not sure you can. A wonderful, distinctive narrative voice, biting and a little bitter but ultimately hopeful, just exactl I just liked this so, so much. Kevin Wilson's books always sound like they're going to be *quirky* and end up being much darker and more grounded and real than their high concept set-ups. So yes, this is about two children who catch on fire, but it's really about friendship, forgiveness, and finding a way to live generously into the circumstances of your life, even if you're not sure you can. A wonderful, distinctive narrative voice, biting and a little bitter but ultimately hopeful, just exactly the kind of thing I like to read.
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  • Jessica Sullivan
    January 1, 1970
    Lillian doesn’t have a lot going for her when she receives a phone call from her childhood friend, Madison, with an interesting proposition. Madison’s wealthy politician husband has recently gained custody of the two children from his first marriage, and they have a bizarre affliction: they spontaneously combust when they get agitated, literally bursting into flames. Does Lillian want to come be their caretaker?Lillian doesn’t have much else to do, so she agrees, moving into the gues Lillian doesn’t have a lot going for her when she receives a phone call from her childhood friend, Madison, with an interesting proposition. Madison’s wealthy politician husband has recently gained custody of the two children from his first marriage, and they have a bizarre affliction: they spontaneously combust when they get agitated, literally bursting into flames. Does Lillian want to come be their caretaker?Lillian doesn’t have much else to do, so she agrees, moving into the guest house at Madison and her husband’s Tennesseeestate along with the two kids, Bessie and Roland. And she finds herself caring about them more than she ever could have imagined.This book was all about the voice for me. It’s witty, quirky and tender all at once. I worried at first about the magical realism aspect of the plot, but the fantastical elements were handled just the way I like it: matter-of-fact and ultimately secondary to the realism.Everything about it just worked for me: the characters, the dialogue, the pacing, the narrative tension, and the themes.Lillian’s complex feelings about becoming the parental figure for the twins serve as a wonderful metaphor for parenthood as a whole: how you can want something so much, and love someone so deeply, and yet also acknowledge how insanely hard and life-changing it is. These complicated feelings were so relatable for me.I loved this quirky little book and found it so genuinely moving.
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  • Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters
    January 1, 1970
    The responsible adults in charge needed to come up with a plan.........the fire children’s mother died. *Fire* children - you ask?YEP!!!! 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥An ***AUDIOBOOK-FAVORITE***.....read by the ‘outstanding’ Marin Ireland. Marin Ireland, made this book come ‘alive’!!!!The ranges in her voice sounded completely different for each character. She was fantastic with the children’s voices. The children, ( twins Bessie & Rolan), & Lillian ( unique governess), stol The responsible adults in charge needed to come up with a plan.........the fire children’s mother died. *Fire* children - you ask?YEP!!!! 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥An ***AUDIOBOOK-FAVORITE***.....read by the ‘outstanding’ Marin Ireland. Marin Ireland, made this book come ‘alive’!!!!The ranges in her voice sounded completely different for each character. She was fantastic with the children’s voices. The children, ( twins Bessie & Rolan), & Lillian ( unique governess), stole my heart. Quirky and moving!!! You’d have to be half dead not to enjoy this book!!!
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  • Rachel León
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my gosh, I loved this novel.
  • Kasa Cotugno
    January 1, 1970
    Kevin Wilson uses unusual familial situations to get his point across. We meet Lillian during a particular downward spiral that began the day she was born, wherein she was ignored by an uncaring mother, but had been granted a boost during her senior highschool year when she was granted a scholarship to an exclusive boarding school. What happened that year regarding her roommate Madison set the tone for the remainder of her life until Madison reestablishes contact thusly setting in motion the res Kevin Wilson uses unusual familial situations to get his point across. We meet Lillian during a particular downward spiral that began the day she was born, wherein she was ignored by an uncaring mother, but had been granted a boost during her senior highschool year when she was granted a scholarship to an exclusive boarding school. What happened that year regarding her roommate Madison set the tone for the remainder of her life until Madison reestablishes contact thusly setting in motion the rest of Lillian's life. Her complex relationship with Madison (great name) has tinctured her life so far. What Wilson has done here is somewhat like his construct in The Family Fang, which is to grant the kids, Madison's stepchildren, extraordinary powers that the adults don't know how to handle. Almost a metaphor for parent-child relationships. I love how he weaves his story and keeps me engaged.
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  • Jordan
    January 1, 1970
    Hi. Come closer. We need to talk about #NothingToSeeHere for a minute. Like, where the HELL did this book come from!? Or, why are there not more posts and glowing #bookstagram reviews about this furiously funny and intimate story about female friendship? Also, why did you pick #TheWaterDancer* as your #BOTM book when you should have picked one of the most grounded and bizarrely interesting books of the year…a book that just happens to feature children that spontaneously light on fire? And I’m so Hi. Come closer. We need to talk about #NothingToSeeHere for a minute. Like, where the HELL did this book come from!? Or, why are there not more posts and glowing #bookstagram reviews about this furiously funny and intimate story about female friendship? Also, why did you pick #TheWaterDancer* as your #BOTM book when you should have picked one of the most grounded and bizarrely interesting books of the year…a book that just happens to feature children that spontaneously light on fire? And I’m so curious why there aren’t more of us trying to convince others that this hidden gem might be one of the best books of the year. It’s hilarious and heartbreaking and an interesting exploration of family and inheritance (genetically, physically, emotionally). And if you don’t believe me, check out the NYT review by #FleishmanIsInTrouble author Taffy Brodesser-Akner…the opening line is literally “Good Lord, I can’t believe how good this book is”.⠀⠀Anyway, that’s all I have to say about that.
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