NOTHING TO SEE HERE | Kevin Wilson
10.29.2019 | Ecco
Rating: 5/5 stars
Lillian and Madison were an unlikely pairing for roommates at an elite boarding school. Lillian came from poverty and had fought hard to end up somewhere so prestigious, whereas Madison was here because of her family’s wealth. Lillian is expelled from school in the wake of a scandal that leaves her with mixed emotions about their relationship. The two remain distant friends for many years, only talking through letters and never seeing each other in person until the day arrives when Madison asks Lillian for help.
Madison needs someone to raise her twin stepchildren. Someone who can easily walk away from their present life and live on Madison’s sprawling estate. Someone who is happy to have a decent salary, a lavish place to live, and all of their expenses paid for them. What’s the catch? The twins might spontaneously combust when they get agitated. Lillian doesn’t believe this is true and decides to see for herself what this new life could mean for her. Could this be the start of something amazing? A chance to start fresh?
If we’re being honest when I first read the synopsis for this book, I immediately honed in on children spontaneously combusting and thought this book sounded way too weird for my tastes. Then I started to see positive review after positive review and thought, okay maybe I’ll give it a shot. I’m so glad I took the leap! This book was absolutely amazing from the first to last page! I laughed, I teared up, and I tried to put myself in the shoes of this cast of wild characters.
I don’t want to dive much deeper into the plot of this story because I do think it helps to go in rather blind to what is to come. What I will talk about is my favorite character, Lillian. She is absolutely relatable, hysterical, and honest with no filter. Lillian is at the heart of this story and incredibly real. She reminded me of myself a lot of the time and ponder how I would react in this situation. What the hell would I do if a small child burst into flames in front of me? Run? Scream? Try to help them live a better life? Lillian is selfish and yet absolutely unselfish at the same time. She is everything that makes a person in the realest and rawest form. I enjoyed a lot of the other characters in this story, particularly the twins, Bessie and Roland, and even Carl, but Lillian stole the show for me.
This story is absolutely original and insanely entertaining. Kevin Wilson sold me 110% on his writing ability and craftsmanship with this book. I don’t read much in the literary fiction genre, but this book was unique in that it honed in on elements of magical realism to truly set this story apart. The twins catching on fire was central to the story, but also didn’t steal the show from the depth of how the main message of this story is about family interaction and relationships. I loved watching the different reactions from each of the characters to this new situation. Nothing felt forced and Wilson did a fantastic job of making each character unique and their actions sticking to that personality.
I’m going to close my review with a massive recommendation…listen to this book on audio! The narrator, Marin Ireland blew me away! She brought each and every character to life perfectly. I never wanted this book to end and I think she deserves a lot of credit for that feeling.
Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.