Thursday, 24 December 2015

Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller

Peggy Hillcoat is eight years old when her survivalist father, James, takes her from their home in London to a remote hut in the woods and tells her that the rest of the world has been destroyed. Deep in the wilderness, Peggy and James make a life for themselves. They repair the hut, bathe in water from the river, hunt and gather food in the summers and almost starve in the harsh winters. They mark their days only by the sun and the seasons.

When Peggy finds a pair of boots in the forest and begins a search for their owner, she unwittingly begins to unravel the series of events that brought her to the woods and, in doing so, discovers the strength she needs to go back to the home and mother she thought she’d lost.

After Peggy's return to civilization, her mother learns the truth of her escape, of what happened to James on the last night out in the woods, and of the secret that Peggy has carried with her ever since.

This is one of the most original pieces of fiction I have come across in a very long time and I enjoyed every page.

I am finding it hard to place this book in any genre. It is part thriller and part fairy tale with a dark and spellbinding quality I have rarely come across in a novel. There is a tension throughout  that kept me completely gripped to the final page.

Ms Fuller's use of language is enchanting and I was completely involved with the characters. She cleverly allows the reader to see the world through Peggy's eyes and I almost felt I was part of the story, such was the compelling and entralling nature of her description.

I highly recommend this book to all readers due to it's multi layered story which escapes the boundary of genre.  I am stunned that this is a debut novel and I eagerly await more from this talented author.

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