Book Review: Nothing To See Here by Kelvin Wilson

I started reading this book by accident. Although my daughter Esther had read it last year and said it was a fantastic read, I still wasn’t interested since our tastes in books are almost poles apart. However, a few days ago, my son requested that I play any of my “boring” audio books to help him fall asleep and since what I was currently listening to was not quite age appropriate, I randomly chose this book and thought in five minutes he will be asleep and I would probably forget about this book. But I found myself being drawn into this narrative and I knew after about ten minutes in, that there was no going back.

‘Nothing To See Here’ is a somewhat contemporary/paranormal story centered around the lives of two friends, Lillian and Madison. They meet in boarding school but fate separates the two until many years later, Madison contacts Lillian and offers her a job to help care for her step children who have just lost their mother. The problem is that these twin children catch on fire when triggered which was worrisome for Lillian at first but as she got to know the children and understood the issues surrounding them, she found herself falling in love with these children and even willing to protect them at all costs. This is story explores themes such as the power dynamics that exist in friendships and relationships, parent-child relationships and the effects of abandonment, loss, grief and responsibility.

I am in awe of this story because it brought to the surface feelings that I never quite knew where there. Perhaps, the fact that I have two children close to the age of the twins made me more attached to their characters. This is a very thought provoking and sad story written with wit to douse the pain that came with the life experiences of both the twins and Lillian. There is something magical about the story telling and the voice of the protagonist that immediately draws you into the story. Her character was so relatable and projected a sense of honesty and truth. It was sad to think that she could have been so much more if circumstances were different. I loved the open ended way the author concluded this story as it gave me the opportunity to ponder on what may happen to each of the characters going forward.

This was a pleasant surprise and I would recommend this to anyone who loves paranormal/thought provoking stories. I will go check out more books by this author because this one has left a lasting impression in my heart.

Rating: 5 Stars

Published: October 29th 2019 by Ecco

Pages: 288

Genre: Contemporary Fiction (Magical Realism)

The Author:

Kevin Wilson was born, raised, and still lives in Tennessee. His writing has appeared in Ploughshares, One Story, Greensboro Review, The Oxford American, Carolina Quarterly and elsewhere. His work has twice been included in the New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best anthology (2005, 2006). He has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the KHN Center for the Arts. A graduate of the MFA program at the University of Florida, he currently teaches fiction at the University of the South and helps run the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. 

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