Nothing to See Here is the second book by Kevin Wilson that I’ve read before, The Family Fang. To be frank, I was pretty biased about Nothing to See Here, which was my book club choice, because I didn’t like The Family Fang, and I thought this book was going to be just like it. But, to my surprise, it was pretty enjoyable. However, after the last few experimental books I’ve read, I have to say that Wilson’s clear, non-tiring narration was very helpful in this.
Nothing to See Here is not a book that will add a lot to you in terms of literary richness or make you think deeply. Recently, I realized that I expect this from every book, and I am trying to destroy this expectation nowadays. I can’t learn a whole life lesson from every book. I have to remember that some books are perfectly fine to read just for fun and enjoyment. I think this book is perfect for the job.
Nothing to See Here tells the exciting story of two friends, Lilian, who grew up in poverty, on the one hand, and Madison, who grew up with the power of wealth on the other. What makes this story interesting is the twins on fire rather than the friendships of these girls. After a short schooling together, Lillian and Madison are separated after Lilian is unfairly expelled from school, but they maintain their friendship through letters.
Madison invites Lillian to her magnificent home in her latest letter, stating that she needs her help. Since Lilian has nothing to lose and does not want to spend more time with her mother, she immediately accepts Madison’s offer. But things develop when Madison asks Lillian to take care of the twins, who catch on fire when they’re upset and angry.
Nothing to See Here is a delightful description of the oddities that life throws at you and people’s attitudes towards them. At the same time, it manages to remain interesting. While I was reading the book, I couldn’t help thinking about how wonderful it would be to adopt a child, and I even researched how to adopt.
My husband said, “Only you might think of adoption when you read a book about children catching on fire.” It’s not unfair, but Kevin Wilson explained the relationship between Lillian and the twins so well that I was amazed and, therefore, very impressed. But I guess it’s pretty personal because I’ve been turning the idea of adoption around in my head for a long time and looking for excuses to be influenced.
Unlike The Family Fang,Nothing to See Here was a novel that I read with pleasure, curiosity and quickly. As I said, it may not affect you intensely, but when it is finished, you will not think that you wasted your time. I recommend it if you are looking for a book to have a good time. Enjoy!
Nothing to See Here
Nothing to See Here: Kevin Wilson’s best book yet—a moving and uproarious novel about a woman who finds meaning in her life when she begins caring for two children with remarkable and disturbing abilities
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?
Nothing to See Here: With white-hot wit and a big, tender heart, Kevin Wilson has written his best book yet—a most unusual story of parental love.
Kevin Wilson is the author of two 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), and three novels, The Family Fang (Ecco, 2011), Perfect Little World (Ecco, 2017) and Nothing to See Here (Ecco, 2019). His fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, Tin House, One Story, A Public Space, and elsewhere, and has appeared in four volumes of the New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best anthology as well as The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2012.
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, where he is an Associate Professor in the English Department at Sewanee: The University of the South.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: