This is Jenn Delperdang with the Sioux City Public Library and you’re listening to Check It Out.
Today, I’m recommending Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson-- a funny and offbeat novel about “family”. If you’ve read either of Kevin Wilson’s previous novels (The Family Fang or Perfect Little World) you might know to expect this author to craft an everyday family drama and then introduce one strange element to make us see the story in a completely different way.
Nothing to See Here is the story of Bessie and Roland—10-year-old twins from the first marriage of a wealthy and powerful Tennessee Senator who literally burst into flames when they are upset or angry. This spontaneous combustion does not harm the children, but it does send their clothing, belongings, and whatever else they come in contact with, up in flames. The children’s stepmother recruits her prep school best friend Lillian to be a very discreet governess for the children, in hopes of keeping their condition out of the spotlight as the Senator positions himself to become Secretary of State. Lillian narrates this story. She has very little ambition and knows next to nothing about caring for children. As she guides the children through coping mechanisms, her observations bounce from snarky to heartbreaking. Her unexpected and heartfelt affection for Bessie and Roland showcases the joys and challenges of caring for children. I devoured this book. I loved the quirky and flawed characters and the weirdness and humor of the story. It was a welcome escape from the ordinary.
Check out Nothing to See Here and other books by Kevin Wilson at the Sioux City Public Library. For even more book recommendations, subscribe to our podcast, The First Fifty Pages—available through Apple podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher.
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