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Nothing to See Here|Kevin Wilson

Overview

"Weird, funny, but also unexpectedly moving." --Buzzfeed

"Laugh out loud funny. I love the way Kevin Wilson writes." --Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award winner

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?

With white-hot wit and a big, tender heart, Kevin Wilson has written his best book yet--a most unusual story of parental love.


“I can’t believe how good this book is.... It’s wholly original. It’s also perfect.... Wilson writes with such a light touch.... The brilliance of the novel [is] that it distracts you with these weirdo characters and mesmerizing and funny sentences and then hits you in a way you didn’t see coming. You’re laughing so hard you don’t even realize that you’ve suddenly caught fire.” —Taffy Brodesser-Akner, New York Times Book Review

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Family Fang, a moving and uproarious novel about a woman who finds meaning in her life when she begins caring for two children with a remarkable ability.


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.

 

  • ISBN-13: 9780062913463
  • ISBN-10: 0062913468
  • Publisher: Ecco Press
  • Publish Date: October 2019
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 pounds
  • Page Count: 272

Nothing to See Here

Kids are unpredictable. They suddenly love food they once thought disgusting. And sometimes they just might spontaneously combust.

In Nothing to See Here, Kevin Wilson doesn’t dwell on the science of human combustion. Instead, he uses the phenomenon as a clever metaphor for human behavior, especially as it relates to a seemingly privileged family.

Lillian Breaker, the novel’s 28-year-old narrator, is anything but privileged. She grows up poor in Tennessee but is determined to seek a better life, so she earns a scholarship to the prestigious Iron Mountain Girls Preparatory School. She develops a fast friendship with Madison Billings, a rich girl whose family owns a chain of department stores. They’re classmates for a year, until another student rats on Madison for having cocaine in her room. The Billings family’s solution? Bribe Lillian’s mother and get Lillian to take the rap.

The young women go their separate ways until years later, when Madison is the wife of a senator who had twins with a previous spouse. The senator is eager to assume higher political office, but the 10-year-old twins are a liability. Whenever something upsets them, they burst into flames, damaging everything around them but leaving their own bodies unharmed. Madison hires Lillian to live on the family estate and act as governess to the two children. What follows is a series of revelations for all parties, as Lillian discovers untapped maternal instincts and Madison and her husband learn more about their family dynamics.

Parts of the novel go on too long, but Nothing to See Here poignantly uses its high concept to make a larger point: Embarrassing behavior often stems from a person’s emotions and anxieties. The key is to address them before an easily resolved problem becomes a major conflagration.