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NOTHING TO SEE HERE
October 29, 2019
Lillian and Madison were roommates at a private, all-girls boarding school way back when. Madison was the typical rich kid with connections, though still a little quirky—which is probably why she ended up being paired with Lillian, the poor (bright, irreverent, witty) scholarship kid. Their friendship is unexpected but immediate, and even after their strange falling out, the two keep in contact with each other, years later.
Lillian is living in her mother’s attic when she gets a message from Madison, urgently asking her for a favor. Lillian doesn’t really feel like helping Madison, but she’s also never been able to tell her no either. Besides, Lillian’s life is dogshit at the moment, so what does she have to lose? Lillian takes a bus to Madison’s estate, where she meets Madison, her (old) senator husband, and her son, Timothy. The favor: Can Lillian take care of the senator’s two children from a previous marriage who are moving in next week? They have some…unique issues—especially when they get upset—and they need to be, well, cared for, yes, but more like managed and contained. Lillian reluctantly agrees, and the adventure begins.
Don’t read the publisher’s blurb. It’s dumb, and it will make you not want to read the book. Listen to me instead. This is a story about class, love, and loyalty. It’s an examination of what makes a family, how bonds are built and broken, how we can find meaning and connection in unexpected and thrilling ways. It’s quirky and sharp and beyond weird. And it’s probably one of the best books I’ve ever read.
Lillian is so darkly funny, biting in her observations, and ruthlessly accurate in her assessments of others—and yet she’s not mean. In fact, she’s incredibly loving, just so used to being disappointed and ignored that she lives like a sieve, letting everything pass right through her like it’s nothing because it usually is. She honest-to-God may be one of my favorite characters of all time.
I’m not joking when I say that I never liked people, because people scared me. Because anytime I said what was inside me, they had no idea what I was talking about. They made me want to smash a window just to have a reason to walk away from them. Because I kept fucking up, because it seemed so hard not to fuck up, I lived a life where I had less than what I desired. So instead of wanting more, sometimes I just made myself want even less. Sometimes I made myself believe that I wanted nothing, not even food or air. And if I wanted nothing, I’d just turn into a ghost. And that would be the end of it.
Do yourself a favor and read this one immediately. I know the book sounds strange, but, trust me, Nothing to See Here is pure gold.