Read It! "Nothing to See Here" by Kevin Wilson 
Read It!

Review of "Nothing to See Here" by Kevin Wilson
by Nicole S.

Hello again! As promised I will be giving my review from our latest book club pick which was "Nothing To See Here" by Kevin Wilson. One of my awesome friends from Wisconsin suggested this book! 

Nothing to See Here

As you can see from the cover, it looks to be an interesting book. It was published this past year in October and became a New York Times Bestseller and A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick. This story revolves around two women, Lillian and Madison who in their teenage years became inseparable friends despite their vastly different backgrounds. Lillian, in the midst of a scandal, is forced to leave her school unexpectedly and the two friends drift apart. Then out of the blue Madison writes a letter to Lillian begging for her help. Madison’s stepkids are moving into her house and she has asked Lillian to be their caretaker. These stepkids, twins - a boy and a girl, are incredibly unique. Whenever they get agitated or deeply upset, they spontaneously combust, with flames that ignite from their skin. Yes, you read that right. They burst into flames! With Lillian’s life already a disappointment, she figures she has nothing to lose and agrees to care for these fiery children. The more she learns about these children, the more she realizes she needs them as much as they need her. What could go wrong? 

This book was available as both formats, book and audiobook, and being partial to listening to books, I opted for the audiobook version. My friends in my virtual book club opted for the print format and all of us genuinely enjoyed this book. It is categorized in fiction as magical realism, for the elements of fire that ignite from the children’s bodies that does no harm to them whatsoever. The premise is what peaked our interest - we wanted to find out why and how these children could burst into flame! But then as we continued in this story we all agreed that there were also elements of what being a family truly means, and that not all families are created, some can be chosen too. The main character, Lillian, is a down-to-earth and relatable character. She grew up with an awful home life and has been searching for something – anything - that will give her true happiness. Madison, on the other hand, has had her life handed to her on a silver platter, and doesn’t understand what hardship is truly like; until she meets her husband’s kids. We understood the love and respect Lillian has shown Madison throughout her life, but had a hard time viewing it reciprocated. We knew that Madison trusted Lillian to know her family’s “flaming” secret so to speak, but it was hard for us to gauge whether Madison truly valued what Lillian was willing to do for her.  

A couple of my friends in the book club have families of their own so it made this discussion interesting especially when we asked them how they would handle having children spontaneously combust. Obviously it would be hard and they would need the proper safety measures to ensure their house and everything will still be standing if one of their kids happened to have a meltdown. But they said it would also take a lot of patience to try to learn and understand how and why their kids would get agitated and the best ways to calm them down. This seemed to be very similar to Lillian’s approach with the kids. Madison’s was the opposite. She wanted absolutely nothing to do with them. But then again, these were only her stepkids.  

All in all this was a real page turner and you wanted to keep reading to find out what happens to these children, and if Lillian ever finds true happiness and meaning in her life. This book has characters you will grow to love and others you like to complain about. If you read this book and enjoyed it, you will enjoy other books that Kevin Wilson has read such as, “The Family Fang” and “Perfect Little World”. 
 
For books similar to “Nothing to See Here,” check out “Dear Edward” by Ann Napolitano, “Ask Again, Yes” by Mary Beth Keane, and “The Dutch House” by Ann Patchett. 

Check back for my next review for our book club pick, “The Kitchen House” by Kathleen Grissom.  
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org On 25 September, 2020 at 1:52 PM  

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