Nothing to See Here

Nothing to See Here

by Kevin Wilson

NOOK Book(eBook)

$10.99 View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now

Overview

New York Times Bestseller  •  A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!

Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times Book ReviewThe Washington PostPeopleEntertainment WeeklyUSA TodayTIME, The A.V. Club, Buzzfeed, and PopSugar

“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, author of Fleishman is in TroubleNew 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.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

09/01/2019

As teenagers, wealthy Madison and scholarship student Lillian became unlikely friends at a prestigious boarding school, until Lillian was expelled for something Madison did. Now that they're in their late 20s, Madison is married to a senator, and she invites Lillian—who spends her days working at a grocery store and smoking pot in her mother's attic—to their estate to care for her new stepchildren…who are prone to literally bursting into flames when upset. The novel is a love letter to the weirdness and difficulties of children and of parenting, with or without spontaneous human combustion. The fire is a lovely and flexible metaphor for childhood—the pain, joy, and mania of it—as vital, beautiful, and terrifying as kids themselves can be. Lillian tells the story in an easy, engaging voice, cynical and funny without being caustic. Like the author's The Family Fang, this is another story of a family that is as delightfully bizarre as it is heartfelt and true. VERDICT Wilson further cements himself as a chronicler of peculiar families while reminding us that, then again, aren't they all? [See Prepub Alert, 5/5/19.]—Katy Hershberger, School Library Journal

Publishers Weekly

★ 09/09/2019

Wilson (Baby, You’re Gonna Be Mine) turns a bizarre premise into a beguiling novel about unexpected motherhood. When aimless, low-achieving 28-year-old Lillian Breaker receives a mysterious invitation from Madison Roberts, her former roommate at a prestigious high school, longtime correspondent, and now wife to a senator, she does not hesitate to travel to Franklin, Tenn. Madison offers her a job as a very discreet governess for the senator’s twin children from a prior marriage. Ten-year-olds Bessie and Roland sometimes burst into flames, and Madison is desperate to avoid a scandal upsetting the senator’s chances of becoming secretary of state. Lillian accepts and, with begrudging help from Carl, the senator’s shadowy right-hand man, guides the children through coping mechanisms in the guest house on the family’s lavish estate while Madison and Senator Roberts remain icy toward them. Their progress is upended, though, when the senator’s prospects rapidly change and Lillian has to decide where her loyalties are. Lillian’s deadpan observations zip from funny to heartbreaking while her hesitancy and messy love satisfyingly contrasts with Madison’s raw drive for power and tightly controlled affection. Wilson captures the wrenching emotions of caring for children in this exceptional, and exceptionally hilarious, novel. Agent: Julie Barer, the Book Group. (Nov.)

Popsugar

Quirky and insightful, strange and delightful.

Newsday

[A] deadpan, hilarious modern fairy tale.” 

Washington Post

"[Wilson’s] most perfect novel. Paradoxically light and melancholy, it hews to the border of fantasy but stays in the land of realism. . . . You can sense the real heat radiating off these pages. . . . This novel may seem slight and quirky, but don’t be fooled. There’s a lot to see here."

Boston Globe

A pleasing blend of tartness and tenderness. . . . . Wilson’s ability to capture such tangled sentiments makes him a thoroughly engaging and appealing writer.

NPR.org

"Funny and even eerily beautiful. . . . It’s the sweetness of this novel that will melt you."

Buzzfeed

Weird, funny, but also unexpectedly moving. . . . An affecting reflection on the blithe cruelty of the rich and what it means to be a good parent.

Parade

Wilson’s latest is outlandish and laugh-out-loud funny.” 

Jacqueline Woodson

Laugh out loud funny. I love the way Kevin Wilson writes.

Time

Darkly funny yet quietly devastating. . . . Wilson crafts a stunning portrait of the push and pull of parenthood.

USA Today

It’s a giddily lunatic premise, one that author Kevin Wilson grounds with humor and deadpan matter-of-factness. . . . Wilson’s observational humor is riotous in its specificity. . . . The writing dazzles. . . . But what dazzles most are the warmly rendered dynamics of an ad hoc, dysfunctional family that desperately wants to work.” 

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Perennially weird and wonderful. . . . Wilson’s portrayal of these fire children conveys more emotional truth about life with a difficult or neurodivergent kid than any of those parenting guides. . . . Funny and affecting.

Entertainment Weekly

There’s hardly a sentence that feels like anything you’ve read before, that’s how fresh his voice is. . . . Witty, confiding, breezily profane. . . . That the supernatural elements feel so right is a testament to Wilson’s innate skill as a storyteller.

Taffy Brodesser-Akner

I can’t believe how good this book is. . . . Wholly original. It’s also perfect. . . . Wilson writes with such a light touch. . . . That’s the brilliance of the novel—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.

Chapter 16

Kevin Wilson once again dazzles with a bizarre, comic, and heartbreaking tale. . . . A dryly comic, surreal phantasmagoria reminiscent of Kafka, Garcia-Marquez, and their heirs, from David Foster Wallace to Karen Russell.

People

A peculiar, entertaining and insightful book about the hazards of child-rearing and the value of friends.” 

Booklist

Lillian tells the story, revealing immediately that she’s another of Wilson’s normal extraordinary protagonists. . . . She fills the book with her wry humor and large, embracing heart.” 

USA Today

It’s a giddily lunatic premise, one that author Kevin Wilson grounds with humor and deadpan matter-of-factness. . . . Wilson’s observational humor is riotous in its specificity. . . . The writing dazzles. . . . But what dazzles most are the warmly rendered dynamics of an ad hoc, dysfunctional family that desperately wants to work.” 

Washington Post

"[Wilson’s] most perfect novel. Paradoxically light and melancholy, it hews to the border of fantasy but stays in the land of realism. . . . You can sense the real heat radiating off these pages. . . . This novel may seem slight and quirky, but don’t be fooled. There’s a lot to see here."

Booklist

Lillian tells the story, revealing immediately that she’s another of Wilson’s normal extraordinary protagonists. . . . She fills the book with her wry humor and large, embracing heart.” 

Time

Darkly funny yet quietly devastating. . . . Wilson crafts a stunning portrait of the push and pull of parenthood.

Maureen Corrigan

These new stories of Wilson’s are something else; they’re funny, raw and beautiful.

Vanity Fair

Winningly bizarre.

John Irving

A novel you keep reading for old-fashioned reasons—because it’s a good story and you need to know what happens.

//

// Praise for BABY YOU’RE GONNA BE MINE

Miami Herald

Breathtakingly wonderful.

Denver Post

Wilson’s deliciously breezy style reels you in and holds you tight.

Ann Patchett

Hands down my favorite book of the year.

Washington Post

[Wilson’s] most perfect novel. Paradoxically light and melancholy, it hews to the border of fantasy but stays in the land of realism. . . . You can sense the real heat radiating off these pages. . . . This novel may seem slight and quirky, but don’t be fooled. There’s a lot to see here.

Denver Post

Wilson’s deliciously breezy style reels you in and holds you tight.

Chapter 16

Kevin Wilson once again dazzles with a bizarre, comic, and heartbreaking tale. . . . A dryly comic, surreal phantasmagoria reminiscent of Kafka, Garcia-Marquez, and their heirs, from David Foster Wallace to Karen Russell.

Buzzfeed

Weird, funny, but also unexpectedly moving. . . . An affecting reflection on the blithe cruelty of the rich and what it means to be a good parent.

Parade

Wilson’s latest is outlandish and laugh-out-loud funny.” 

Boston Globe

A pleasing blend of tartness and tenderness. . . . . Wilson’s ability to capture such tangled sentiments makes him a thoroughly engaging and appealing writer.

People

A peculiar, entertaining and insightful book about the hazards of child-rearing and the value of friends.” 

USA Today

It’s a giddily lunatic premise, one that author Kevin Wilson grounds with humor and deadpan matter-of-factness. . . . Wilson’s observational humor is riotous in its specificity. . . . The writing dazzles. . . . But what dazzles most are the warmly rendered dynamics of an ad hoc, dysfunctional family that desperately wants to work.” 

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Perennially weird and wonderful. . . . Wilson’s portrayal of these fire children conveys more emotional truth about life with a difficult or neurodivergent kid than any of those parenting guides. . . . Funny and affecting.

NPR.org

Funny and even eerily beautiful. . . . It’s the sweetness of this novel that will melt you.

Time

Darkly funny yet quietly devastating. . . . Wilson crafts a stunning portrait of the push and pull of parenthood.

Popsugar

Quirky and insightful, strange and delightful.

Newsday

[A] deadpan, hilarious modern fairy tale.” 

Miami Herald

Breathtakingly wonderful.

Entertainment Weekly

There’s hardly a sentence that feels like anything you’ve read before, that’s how fresh his voice is. . . . Witty, confiding, breezily profane. . . . That the supernatural elements feel so right is a testament to Wilson’s innate skill as a storyteller.

Vanity Fair

Winningly bizarre.

Kirkus Reviews

2019-08-19
Decades after an unforgivable trespass, two childhood friends are reunited in a most unusual arrangement.

Wilson is a remarkable writer for many different reasons, as demonstrated by his quirky novels, Perfect Little World (2017) and The Family Fang (2011), and tons of short stories. One of his greatest strengths is the ability to craft an everyday family drama and inject it with one odd element that turns the story on its head. He's done it again here, writing once more about family but with some most unusual children and a particularly charming narrator. Back in the day, Lillian and Madison were besties at an elite boarding school, the former a smart scholarship student and the latter a quirky but spoiled rich girl. But when Madison got into trouble, privilege reared its ugly head, and Lillian was the one kicked out of school. Now grown, she spends her days at her dead-end job and her off hours getting stoned. Out of the blue, Madison reappears, now mother to her darling boy, Timothy, and the wife of a U.S. senator and budding political star. But the family is in a quandary over what to do with the senator's twin children from a previous marriage, Bessie and Roland. Oh, and by the way, the twins spontaneously combust when they're angry or upset. No harm comes to them, but clothes, houses, and anything else in their orbit can go up in flames. Lillian is offered a job looking after the twins for the summer until the fam can figure out what to do with the little fireballs. To her own surprise, Lillian turns out to be a terrific guardian, despite her own doubts. "They were me, unloved and fucked over, and I was going to make sure they got what they needed," she affirms. The book's denouement is a bit predictable, but Lillian develops into an engaging parental proxy in Wilson's latest whimsical exploration of family.

A funny and touching fable about love for kids, even the ones on fire.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062913487
Publisher: Ecco Press
Publication date: 10/29/2019
Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 3,664
File size: 2 MB

Customer Reviews