My book club chose Nothing to See Here (2019) by Kevin Wilson as our next read. I knew nothing about it and had no expectations. In fact, in my head I had it confused with another book I’d seen on some list. So when I began, I was very confused that the protagonist/narrator was a present-day woman living with her mom. However, I quickly figured out my mistake, and I thoroughly enjoyed this quick, humorous, yet still touching novel.
Lillian is 28 years old and living in her mother’s attic while working two dead-end jobs. She grew up with a mother who didn’t care about her or appreciate her, and she didn’t know who her father was. But Lillian was ambitious, and she challenged herself in school until she earned a scholarship to the prestigious boarding school near her home in Tennessee.
At school Lillian first met her roommate, Madison, a beautiful, blonde debutante who was destined for success. They were both fiendishly competitive and got along really well. But when a scandal and betrayal caused Lillian to get expelled from school it derailed her hopes and plans. Now many years later, Lillian’s never made it out and she’s lost any kind of ambition she once had.
Then Madison calls Lillian out of the blue. She said she needs help. Her fancy senator husband has two children from a previous marriage. Their mother just died, and they now need to take care of them. The one major problem is that the children catch fire when they get upset. This is certainly a fantastical element, but the rest of the book is so grounded that Wilson makes it work. Lillian heads down to Madison’s mansion and takes over the care of these ten-year-old, troubled twins: Bessie and Roland.
I really enjoyed this novel, and I loved the tone of this book. It is so funny, and the reader for the audiobook did an amazing job with all of the voices. In addition to the humor, though, Wilson was able to craft an interesting and relatable story that also touches on friendship, class, love, and parenting. It was an entertaining, relatively short read that I would definitely recommend.
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