Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Nothing to See Here - Kevin Wilson

I have to hand it to Kevin Wilson. The first seventy or so pages of Nothing to See Here lulled me into believing that I was reading just another one of those school-roommate relationship-gone-bad stories that I’ve already read more than once. And then, just when I was even considering abandoning the book, Wilson hooked and reeled me in within one single scene. But it’s a scene I can’t tell you about because I don’t want to spoil its surprise and overall effect on readers seeing it for the first time . Just know that you will recognize the scene when you see it, and that from that scene onward, you will be reading a whole different book than the one you thought you were reading.

 

Keep in mind that this is a story about ten-year-old twins who spontaneously burst into flame when they get angry or agitated by others. Enjoyment of Nothing to See Here requires a significant degree of willingness on the part of readers to suspend disbelief about this core premise of the book, but readers willing to do that for Wilson are amply rewarded for doing so.

 

Lillian and Madison are two very different people and always have been. They meet as teens when Lillian is one of the very few scholarship girls at a private school attended by rich girls whose parents want them to tick off that “box” on their “way to a destined future.” As it turns out, Madison’s wealthy father looks at girls like Lillian as disposable stepping-stones for girls like his daughter – and Lillian’s mother proves him right in that assumption by accepting a deal that will ensure Madison’s future at the expense of her daughter’s.  

Kevin Wilson

The girls have been exchanging empty letters for years, so Lillian is surprised by Madison’s request that she become the nanny of her husband’s children from a previous marriage. The job comes with some nice perks, but the children, a ten-year-old girl and her twin brother, do come with a little baggage: they can  burst into flame without warning, and often do. After Lillian reluctantly accepts the position and moves into the pool house that sits behind the family mansion with the twins, something surprising starts to happen. A woman who never even considered the possibility of having children becomes the most fierce protector the twins have ever known – and for the first time in their lives, the twins have found an adult that they believe they can trust.  

 

Bottom Line: As startling as the premise of Nothing to See Here is, this is really a story about emotionally damaged people who learn to support and love each other in a relationship that none of them could have imagined beforehand. It is a story about out-of-control ambition, hypocrisy, ego, and emotional growth. It is a story about what money can and cannot buy, but it is also a story about how sometimes someone else’s money, if you let it, can give you the chance to live a life you didn’t even know you wanted – your best life.

10 comments:

  1. It sounds really good. Definitely on my list.

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    1. As it turns out, it's different, just not in the way I expected it would be different.

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  2. I've seen the cover, but not read the blurbs. Adding it to my list now!

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    1. I hope you like it, Jen, but either way, I'll look forward to hearing your thoughts about it.

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  3. Now I've got to read this one just to know what that one scene that hooked you is!

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    1. It's a long paragraph, really, and it comes out of nowhere. If you are drowsy when you start that paragraph, your eyes will be wide open by the time you finish it.

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  4. Great review! The audio version is excellent, too. I gave it 4.5 stars... my favorite listen so far this year.

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    1. I can just imagine how great this one must be in audiobook form, JoAnn. The right reader could really make this one come alive.

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  5. By the cover alone, I thought this wasn't for me but, then I've read several reviews, like yours, that made me change my mind. I want to try it.

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    1. The cover really does set the wrong tone for what's inside, Diane. I reacted to it exactly the way you did, figuring the novel was going to be more cartoonish than anything else. I wonder how many others will never give it a chance for exactly the same reason.

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