Synopses & Reviews
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 unravels 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 begins to learn 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.
"Like Emma Donoghue's Room, Fuller's thoroughly immersive debut takes child kidnapping to a whole new level of disturbing....Fuller alternates Peggy's time in the forest with chapters that take place [nine years later] in 1985 after she reunites with her mother building an ever-present sense of foreboding and allowing readers to piece together well-placed clues." Publishers Weekly
"Fuller's compelling coming-of-age story, narrated from the perspective of Peggy's return to civilization, is delivered in translucent prose....[T]his is memorable first work from a talent to watch." Kirkus
"The saga of Peggy's struggle in the face of prolonged trauma is vividly told, while Fuller's careful pacing gradually reveals the mystery of a life that is as sympathetic as it is haunting." Booklist
"This young girl's harrowing experience growing up in the wilderness and living only with her father establishes that what's more terrifying than the perils of nature is being made captive by the ideals of ones parents. The lasting impression of Our Endless Numbered Days, which gracefully seesaws back and forth between two different time periods, however, is not one of how horrid an experience can be, but how resourceful and resilient the human psyche can become in order to survive. Fuller eschews the conventional means of providing labored explanations of emotions, and in its place deftly relies on the power of description to invoke genuine feeling. The result is beautiful. It will keep you turning the pages, and long afterwards it will keep you turning over in your mind the events in this haunting story."
Yannick Murphy, author of The Call and This Is the Water
"Graciously written and capriciously imagined, Our Endless Numbered Days holds up a magnifying lens to the human spirit and deftly captures both its fragility and its resilience. The brilliant ending, like the best endings do, casts new light on all that comes before it."
Cathy Marie Buchanan, author of The Painted Girls
About the Author
Claire Fuller lives in Winchester, England. Our Endless Numbered Days is her first novel.
Claire Fuller on PowellsBooks.Blog
Our Endless Numbered Days tells the story of eight-year-old Peggy and her survivalist father, James, who inexplicably leave behind their London home and start a new life in an isolated cabin in the woods. Both stylistically rendered and deliberately paced, this ...