Published by Penguin Books Limited on February 26th 2015
Genres: Fiction, General
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange honest review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
1976: Peggy Hillcoat is eight. She spends her summer camping with her father, playing her beloved record of The Railway Children and listening to her mother's grand piano, but her pretty life is about to change. Her survivalist father, who has been stockpiling provisions for the end which is surely coming soon, takes her from London to a cabin in a remote European forest. There he tells Peggy the rest of the world has disappeared. Her life is reduced to a piano which makes music but no sound, a forest where all that grows is a means of survival. And a tiny wooden hut that is Everything.
I can’t say that Our Endless Numbered Days is a book that I would have necessarily picked up on my own, but Allison from The Book Wheel more or less pushed it into my hands and insisted it was going to be the next big thing.
I think she’s right.
Peggy’s dad is a survivalist in England before survivalism was cool. The narration takes the reader back and forth between the nine years that Peggy spent in the woods with her father beginning in about 1976 to her attempt to re-acclimate with general society in 1985. The narrative style is done flawlessly and makes an excellent point/counterpoint between Peggy’s life in isolation and what it means to try and come back to a society that you hardly remember.
Our Endless Numbered Days does everything and it does it very well. There’s action, the characters are complex and flawed, they grow and change as the story progresses, there are themes on family and marriage, and the tension that runs between family and career – not just in 1976, but today as well.
This is a fantastic and clever book that will appeal to many readers because of the breadth of the themes that Fuller explores within the pages.
What about you, Reader? How do you feel about survivalists? Could you live in the woods with only one companion and few supplies for nine years?