Friday, 22 May 2020

Nothing to See Here, by Kevin Wilson. 

           Lilian Breaker has not made a success of her life to date, after being expelled as a formerly promising Scholarship teenager from a prestigious Tennessee prep school for taking the fall for her very rich room-mate.  Lilian’s mother’s silence was bought with a big pile of money – not that Lilian saw any of it, but strangely enough, she is still in contact many years later with rich room-mate Madison, who is now married to Jasper Roberts, fabulously rich Senator for Tennessee, and aspirant for the soon-to-be-vacant position of secretary of state.  Madison’s future is golden but, being kind as well as breathtakingly beautiful (Lilian is not), she thinks of Lilian often and to that end, has a position at the Roberts estate that might interest her:  would she like to be Governess (‘like a Nanny?’ says Lilian, but no, a Governess is much more high-end, she is informed), to twin children, a 10 year-old boy and  girl  from Senator Robert’s first marriage.  Their mother is dead and there is no one currently to care for them –Stepmother Madison can’t;  her life is much too busy, especially as she has produced son Timothy – who goes to day-care and has an unusual obsession with stuffed toys. 
‘Come and meet Bessie and Roland, Lil, see what you think’.
            Okay, then.
            Lilian has never been able to resist the siren call of her best and only friend and reluctantly embarks on the weirdest adventure of her life so far, as she discovers that Bessie and Roland are Madison and Jasper’s shameful secret, a secret that would destroy Jasper’s political aspirations permanently if it were revealed. 
For Bessie and Roland ignite.
            Yes, they internally combust.  If they get upset, angry or frightened they start to burn, real flames that don’t harm them, but play havoc with the furniture, not to mention creating unnecessary attention from the fire department:  they must be kept the absolute opposite of upset, and Lilian is just the person for the job. 
            Kevin Wilson has produced a fantasy for the bizarre times in which we live.  All his characters, especially the heroic Lilian, are larger than life, as they must be to convince the reader to believe.  His story is hugely funny but the humour leavens the difficulty of trying to keep a family together these days – especially a new one.
            Yep, nothing to see here guys, unless you turn the pages.  This is a great book.  SIX STARS.  

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