G. Bianco, 2019
If you were like me and had never heard of Kevin Wilson or his works before, then let me give you a piece of advice: go into reading his newest novel, Nothing to See Here, with an open mind. This magical realism novel, that was a Book of the Month pick for October 2019, is weirdly wonderful and will be nothing like you’ve ever read.
Lillian 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. When Madison’s twin step-kids need to move in with her family, she wants Lillian to be their caretaker. However, the situation is a weird one: the twins spontaneously combust when they get agitated. Thinking of her dead-end life at home, Lillian figures she has nothing to lose by taking the job. 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?
I found this to be such a bizarre concept for a novel, yet it weirdly worked! Ultimately, it was a cute story about love and family. We see Lillian struggle to find her place in the world and it isn’t until she’s placed in charge of the twins, Bessie and Roland, that we see her embrace her weirdness and find her own little family.
While there isn’t anything especially profound in this story, it will make you laugh and turn any frown upside down. This feel-good tale really makes you wonder how certain circumstances define one’s life and how it affects that person’s outlook on life. It also shows how not everyone is perfect. There’s no perfect family; there’s no perfect parents; there’s no perfect children. We are all striving for something unattainable and instead we should all embrace our weirdness like Lillian.
This novel was a pleasant surprise and I quite enjoyed reading it! It is also a fairly short story, so if you’re looking for a binge-read that will brighten your mood, this might be a good pick. I would love to see what happens next for Lillian and the kids and will definitely be reading more of Wilson’s novels in the future!
Hi! My name is Elisa and my bookshelf is quite literally overflowing! Join me in my journey of reading as many books as humanly possible!