Nothing to See Here
A New York Times Bestseller • A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!
Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, People, Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, TIME, The A.V. Club, Buzzfeed, and PopSugar
“I can’t believe how good this…
Why read it?
8 authors picked Nothing to See Here as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
I like quirky plotlines, especially when the writer is talented enough to make the most farfetched thing accepted by even a cynical reader. Let me backtrack a bit.
The kids, Bessie and Roland, live with their mom until she dies and then go to the mansion where their politician father lives with his hot new wife. This is bad news because when angry, the two children catch on fire.
Bessie and Roland are stashed in a guest house on the estate, and the wife calls a best friend from boarding school, Lillian, to nanny the kids and, especially, to keep…
As someone who’s about to turn thirty and is thinking about adopting kids, this story about an offbeat young woman and a couple of traumatized, weirdo kids coming to love each other struck a chord with me.
Though I’d prefer if the children I eventually adopt don’t regularly self-combust, but if they do, hey, I don’t want to stifle their individuality. I found this book very sweet, championing for the unusual without being too maudlin and with just a hint of magical realism that I don’t think would put too many people off, even if they generally dislike fantasy.
What I liked about Kevin Wilson’s novel Nothing to See Here is how it offers us a misfit outcast in Lillian who gets hired to nanny twins who are far-more dramatic outcasts.
They literally catch fire when upset. Yes, it’s absurd and funny.
On one level, the book is bizarre and entertaining, but on another level we see the challenges outcasts in our world, and Lillian gains perspective on the problems and weaknesses of the wealthy and popular around her.
Lillian also comes to care about these kids, and in the process she opens up emotionally in unexpected ways.
What would happen if children with the ability to spontaneously catch on fire were placed in the care of an unsuspecting and inexperienced nanny? That’s the premise of this bizarre yet endearing novel. Main character and narrator Lillian Breaker isn’t fazed at all when she discovers that the two kids she’s been hired to watch after catch on fire whenever they lose their tempers. Can mutant children who catch on fire be loveable? In Kevin Wilson’s world, the answer is yes! Follow Lillian as she learns that she has the capacity to love such seemingly unlovable, flammable children.
Lillian is asked by her old friend Madison for Lillian's help. Madison needs a caregiver for her twin stepchildren, who are moving in with her. No problem, right?
Well, one small thing: when the twins are angry, excited, or otherwise emotionally aroused, they catch on fire. Lillian obviously has her work cut out for her, keeping the two cool. This is so well written, so funny, and yet heartwrenching at the same time—these characters will not let go of you.
In Kevin Wilson's tour de force, narrator Lillian is so wrecked by her life with a heartless single mother, she's up for any way out, including taking care of the problematic stepkids of her rich friend (the term 'friend' used very loosely here). The big message in this often very funny book is another that wrecked people from dysfunctional families can use: your own impoverished upbringing has likely engendered a huge wellspring of compassion within you, and compassion's the most important quality of all. Another great lesson in this one: you can build a constructed family of your own. It'll…
Who would believe a story about children who burst into flame? This charmingly told story is funny, moving, and satisfying. Lillian is an impoverished and directionless young woman who is called upon to help her (wealthy) only friend. Her friend needs help to cope with step-children who unexpectedly burst into flame, surviving their flames, but wreaking havoc around them. In this novel about emotion, Wilson writes with deep understanding of the messiness of anxiety and abandonment, creating characters who are doing the best they can in circumstances they didn't create but with unexpected love and transformation find the path out.
This book is near-perfect, probably in part because it’s surprisingly so. I didn’t intend to love this book. But with the insistence of a very discerning book nerd friend, I decided to at least try. This fun story follows two quirky kids who burst into flames when they get upset; and their newly appointed caretaker whose job becomes to contain them. Although naturally, it becomes about so much more. I loved it so much I’ve now become the one insisting everyone else pick it up, too. I haven’t had a disappointed reader yet.
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