It’s a strange thing to finish a novel at 1:37 in the morning, even more so when the novel ends with one of the biggest “what the HELL did I just read” moments you’ve ever experienced. It’s a feeling we all know well: the Book Hangover. And I’ve got a pretty severe one after finishing Our Endless Numbered Days.
The novel is told with beautiful, earthy prose, which exquisitely details both the beauty of nature and the tragedy bestowed upon young Peggy. There’s something very romantic about the wilderness and living off the land – a type of Christopher McCandless fantasy. But quickly the reality sets in, and we discover that this is not the fairy tale we thought it would be, but harsh, unforgiving, and full of unexpected dangers.
The novel begins in London, at the home of eight-year-old Peggy Hillcoat, where she lives with her concert pianist mother Ute and her survivalist father James.It is clear from the beginning that James is not your typical father. He meets with a group of men to discuss techniques for surviving in the wilderness in case of a catastrophic world event. He builds a fallout shelter in the basement of the family home, and instead of teaching his daughter to play football, he teaches her to pack a rucksack and be ready for life in the wild. Peggy follows her father with the nativity that any child would at a young age. She does not yet know that though it may seem like a game, it is part of a larger scheme. Her father is teaching her the necessary skills she’ll need when he takes her from her home and her mother, and brings her to die Hütte, a small cabin in the middle of a forest. Under the guise of taking a holiday, James takes his eight-year-old daughter to a secluded spot, and proceeds to tell her that her mother and everyone they know is dead. They are the only two left, and the rest of the world has fallen away past The Great Divide.
We quickly become aware that there is something wrong with James. As we take the journey with Peggy, we realize that not only will she need to learn how to survive in the wilderness, but how to survive her father as well. The solution is the mysterious Reuben, whom Peggy has only seem glimpses and hints of. It seems to be that finally Peggy has found a Prince Charming to take her away, but not everything is as it seems.
We’ve chosen this novel as the first Muse Monthly selection for a good reason – it’s written beautifully, and the story takes you away on the adventure of a lifetime. With a denouement you’ll never forget, Our Endless Numbered Days is sure to take your breath away. So curl up with a hot cuppa and enjoy!