Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller

I  absolutely loved Our Endless Numbered Days – I read it straight through and thought about reading it again.  Not that reading a book straight through is that unusual for me – but I mean straight through – don’t put it down for anything!

In 1970’s London, eight-year-old Peggy Hillcoat lives a somewhat contented life with her survivalist father and her concert pianist mother. You know that things are bit off – but those of us that lived in the 70’s will totally understand the “weirdness”.

When Peggy’s mother goes on tour, her father abruptly kidnaps and they begin a long trek into the dark world of survival. Her father claims that the world has ended and that her mother, along with every other human on Earth, has died. She believes, of course, and adjusts to a life in the cold, remote woods with her mentally unstable father, little food, and no medical care.

Our Endless Numbered Days, gracefully manages to seesaw  back and forth between two different time periods, the year’s in the forest with her father and the year of her return to London.  The story is not about how horrid an experience can be, but how resourceful and resilient the human psyche can become in order to survive. There are no labored explanations of characters emotion or of why things happen, this talented writer simply shows you life and manages to invoke genuine feeling from the reader.

It’s weird and wild and sometimes terrifying book, but it’s also beautiful and heartbreaking and breathlessly alive. It will keep you turning the pages, and long afterwards it will keep you turning this story over in your mind and thinking about the events in this haunting story.

See it on Amazon here.

 

Abroad by Katie Crouch: My Review

This is a dark and tempting book.  Katie Crouch takes a look at the dark side of life abroad for a group of university students and it’s not a sweet loving look.  In today’s world the young ladies do not go abroad with chaperones, nor do they go only to study, they go to reinvent themselves, to become for at least awhile someone they have never been before.

This is a page turning parable about modern girlhood.  It will make you laugh out loud.  It will make you cry. And, if you are a mother, it will make you shutter.  Full of the foolish risks we all take, and the consequences of these risk taking behaviors, it will keep you reading far in to the night.

Katie Crouch has set ancient, dangerous secrets into small vignettes between chapters of the modern story – these enhance and help build the tension and make you realize that while much has changed – much has not.

Tabitha – Taz for short — arrives with her scholarship and her dreams in Grifonia, Italy where she is quickly drawn into a glamorous group that seem to offer her a new and different, more exciting life.  As the plot un-spools the ominous undercurrent, that is apparent from the first page, draws the reader deeper and deeper into the current of secrets that whirl through the lives of the students, the townspeople, the wealthy and the poor.

Each character is well drawn and the novel’s appeal is irresistible. The ending is simultaneously poignant and horrific. This is a provocative, well written book.  Enjoy!

What do you think of this review?