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Lillian and Madison were unlikely roommates and yet inseparable friends at their elite boarding school. 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 carer. 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, 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. Couldn’t this be the start of the amazing life she’d always hoped for?
INTERVIEWS and REVIEWS
Buzzfeed: 33 Books You’ve Got To Read This Autumn
Library Journal ($)
New York Times
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Time (opinion piece)
Time: The 42 Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2019
Today Show: November Book Club
‘Good Lord, I can’t believe how good this book is…It’s wholly original. It’s also perfect…Wilson writes with such a light touch that it seems fairly impossible for the book to have a big emotional payoff. But there is, and 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. You’re laughing so hard you don’t even realize that you’ve suddenly caught fire.’
‘Wilson’s observational humor is riotous in its specificity, his descriptions as generous as fistfuls of Halloween candy at the best house on the block.’
‘There’s hardly a sentence in Kevin Wilson’s Nothing to See Here that feels like anything you’ve read before, that’s how fresh his voice is, and how willfully, wonderfully bizarre the book’s plot…That the supernatural elements of Nothing feel so right is a testament to Wilson’s innate skill as a storyteller.’
‘Wilson captures the wrenching emotions of caring for children in this exceptional, and exceptionally hilarious, novel.’
‘Marries the fantastic with the domestic’
Wilson never moralizes, much less sensationalizes, any predicament he sketches; rather he makes us feel and wonder at the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
Opening this book—which qualifies as an experience, rather than a mere read—is like bursting onto the chaotic set of The Addams Family…completely in control of his entrancing narrative, Wilson never lets the tight tragicomedy descend into farce.
Totally weird, and pretty wonderful…manages to be brainy without sacrificing heart.
Persistently compassionate…Wilson’s best moments are funny and earnest…[His] crisp language and smart plotting make Perfect Little World immensely likeable and absolutely enjoyable.
‘It’s a satisfying ending, steeped in a very human mix of ambivalence and optimism. Wilson’s ability to capture such tangled sentiments makes him a thoroughly engaging and appealing writer.‘
‘[A] deadpan, hilarious modern fairy tale complete with impoverished heroine, cruel princess and neglected children with magical powers…You’ll close the covers with a smile.’
‘In this funny and affecting novel, Wilson has introduced one outlandish element that exposes more truth than strict realism could.’
‘Funny, moving and big-hearted…An absolute joy to read.‘
‘Wilson understands the mixture of affection and embarrassment that runs through all loving families. His satire is always marbled with tenderness….[this is] his most perfect novel. Paradoxically light and melancholy, it hews to the border of fantasy but stays in the land of realism.’