Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Wilson’

‘Nothing to See Here’ by Kevin Wilson – Preposterous


‘Nothing to See Here’ by Kevin Wilson (2019) – 254 pages


‘Nothing to See Here’ has a preposterous plot. Our female narrator Lillian is taking care of 10-year old twins Bessie and Roland who automatically catch on fire. Yes, the two kids spontaneously combust when they get upset. The fire does not hurt the kids themselves, but it can start furnishings and buildings on fire. Thus they must be watched constantly and carefully.

Of course this is absurd (Why doesn’t the kids’ clothing start on fire?), but somehow the plot seems to work.

My experience with listening to audio books rather than reading has been varied. I give up on a lot of audio books that I lose interest in or I just don’t follow the story well enough. (But I also frequently give up on novels that I’m reading.) I find I have the most success in audio with novels that have well-defined plots, and my greatest audio success was probably ‘News of the World’ by Pauline Jiles. ‘Nothing to See Here’ also worked well as an audio book. Sure the plot is preposterous, but it is clever and well-defined.

In this novel Kevin Wilson has, as I mentioned, a female narrator. Wilson pulls this off well as we become involved in her story.

Lillian is from a poor family, but her good grades get her into an elite college. At college she meets a girl named Madison who is from a rich and renowned family. They become best friends, so when Madison gets into trouble and is about to be kicked out of school, Lillian takes the fall for her instead after Madison’s father offers to pay Lillian some money.

Lillian could have been successful if she had stayed in college, but since she was kicked out, she works at a Tennessee Save-A-Lot store.

About twelve year’s later Madison calls up Lillian to ask if she will take care of her step kids. By this time Madison has married a Senator whose wife has died and who has these twin kids who spontaneously combust. Lillian agrees to do this, and that she does so is nearly as preposterous as the twins’ catching on fire.

Madison and her husband are more concerned about their political family image than about the welfare of these two kids, so they offload their kids on Lillian.

They were me, unloved, and I was going to make sure that they got what they needed. They would scratch and kick me, and I was going to scratch and kick anyone who tried to touch them.”

Perhaps because ‘Nothing to See Here’ is a rather simple story with a simple point, it does work in the audio format despite the plot being preposterous.


Grade:   B



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