Nothing To See Here by Kevin Wilson is the weirdest book I have read in a long time… but weird in a good way, like Austin weird. When I read the publisher’s summary, I thought there would be no way I would read a novel about kids who spontaneously combust. I marveled that it is on the New York Times Best Seller List.
But then, I read several reviews by other reviewers I follow. They all love it. So when the Audible version went on a 2 for 1 sale, I decided I had nothing to lose by listening to the story. It is only 6 hours and 40 minutes long. While it took me several chapters to get into it, I must admit, it is entertaining and endearing.
Lillian and Madison were unlikely roommates and yet inseparable friends at their elite boarding school. Then Lillian had to leave the school unexpectedly in the wake of a scandal. The two remained penpals. Lillian still lives at home while Madison is married to a Tennessee Senator. They live in a mansion in Franklin, Tennessee, and have an adorable little boy named Timothy.
The Senator has a shady past, but with Madison’s political savvy, he looks like a squeaky clean family man. He has twins from a previous marriage that he has not seen in years. The divorce was caused when he had an affair with an heiress. When the twins’ mother dies, the Senator must take custody of them. Madison, who has never met the children, begs Lillian to be their governess. However, there’s a catch: the twins spontaneously combust when they get agitated, flames igniting from their skin in a startling but beautiful way. The children are not harmed by this condition, but furniture and people around them can be burned.
Lillian and the twins must live in a guesthouse on the estate property. They have little interaction with the Senator, Madison, and Timothy. Lillian, who never liked children, is surprised by her feelings of protectiveness over the twins. She understands their feelings of abandonment and strives to keep them calm and happy. When the Senator’s political career jumps to another level, things start to get messy.
Nothing To See Here is a novel about the callousness of politicians, the haughtiness of the wealthy, and how easy it is for people to use others to get the status they desire. But more importantly, it is a book about imperfect parenting, friendship, what makes a family, unwavering love, being weird, and acceptance.
4-Stars. Would I recommend this to my book club? Probably not, but I know several in the group would love it.
And now for my Recipe for Readers recommendation:
a/ka/a Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding
Soon there will be Nothing To See Here on BooksandRecipes.com. I will be shutting down the blog and website in December. Thank you for all your support and indulgence. Kerrin