Book Talk: Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson
This is the story
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.
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.
Reviews and What Readers Say
“ There’s hardly a sentence that feels like anything you’ve read before, that’s how fresh his voice is. . . . Witty, confiding, breezily profane. . . . That the supernatural elements feel so right is a testament to Wilson’s innate skill as a storyteller.”
―Entertainment Weekly, New York Times
“ Weird, funny, but also unexpectedly moving. . . . An affecting reflection on the blithe cruelty of the rich and what it means to be a good parent. ”
“ Inventive. . . . The bonds [Lillian] forms with the children inform her of the costs of abandonment and durability of love.”
“ Quirky and insightful, strange and delightful. ”
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Kevin Wilson is the author of the New York Times best-selling novel The Family Fang (Ecco, 2012), Perfect Little World (Ecco, 2017), and Nothing to See Here (Ecco, 2019) as well as the collections, Tunneling to the Center of the Earth (Ecco/Harper Perennial, 2009), which received an Alex Award from the American Library Association and the Shirley Jackson Award, and Baby, You're Gonna Be Mine (Ecco, 2018). His fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, Tin House, One Story, A Public Space, and elsewhere. He has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Rivendell, and the KHN Center for the Arts. He lives in Sewanee, Tennessee, with his wife, the poet Leigh Anne Couch, and his sons, Griff and Patch. He is an Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of the South.