Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson, Narrator Marin Ireland

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson, Narrator Marin Ireland
Publisher: HarperAudio
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Family Fang, a moving and uproarious novel about a woman who finds meaning in her life when she begins caring for two children with a remarkable ability.

Lillian and Madison were unlikely roommates and yet inseparable friends at their elite boarding school. But then Lillian had to leave the school unexpectedly in the wake of a scandal and they’ve barely spoken since. Until now, when Lillian gets a letter from Madison pleading for her help.

Madison’s twin stepkids are moving in with her family and she wants Lillian to be their caretaker. However, there’s a catch: the twins spontaneously combust when they get agitated, flames igniting from their skin in a startling but beautiful way. Lillian is convinced Madison is pulling her leg, but it’s the truth.
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Thinking of her dead-end life at home, the life that has consistently disappointed her, Lillian figures she has nothing to lose. Over the course of one humid, demanding summer, Lillian and the twins learn to trust each other—and stay cool—while also staying out of the way of Madison’s buttoned-up politician husband. Surprised by her own ingenuity yet unused to the intense feelings of protectiveness she feels for them, Lillian ultimately begins to accept that she needs these strange children as much as they need her—urgently and fiercely. Couldn’t this be the start of the amazing life she’d always hoped for?

With white-hot wit and a big, tender heart, Kevin Wilson has written his best book yet—a most unusual story of parental love.

Ever since she took the fall for her friend back in high school, Lillian’s life has gone nowhere. Stuck living with her mother and working dead-end jobs, she’s in a rut she can’t find her way out of. Worse yet, the friend she’d protected has gone on to a life of luxury as the wife of a particularly important politician. When Madison contacts her out of the blue, Lillian thinks it’s a joke. She’s prepared for failure again, but she’s not prepared for what she actually gets.

Our narrator, Lillian, is a potty-mouthed take-no-prisoners sort of gal and I loved her tough, ‘bring it on’ attitude. Even though she wasn’t excited about this job, she embraced it and promised to do her best to see it through. Watching her come to not just like the twins, but love being with them, was amazing. Probably the best characters in the book though were the twins. They knew they were weird, they knew that they’d not had a good life, but they kept on moving forward every chance they got. The way the author handled the twins’ spontaneous combustion was great, too. He made it seem like all kids burst into flames the second they got agitated and I stopped thinking it was weird after the first couple times. I think that the way Lillian downplayed the spectacle helped a lot in that regard.

The version I picked up was the audiobook and the narrator nailed it. She has this smooth, soothing voice that lulls you into a comfortable place. She tricks you into thinking that there really is nothing to see here, despite the fact she’s talking about two ten-year-olds currently burning – literally – with rage. The deadpan and mellow way that the narrator delivered such crazy scenarios really made the experience for me.

Everything about this book drew me in. From the crazy cover with a cartoon child in flames to the idea of kids that spontaneously combusted, it was right up my alley. I’d gone in expecting a humorous look at parenting and left with what was not just one of the funniest books I’d read all year, but one of the most heartwarming as well. Lillian’s transformation from ‘I’m just here because I’m getting paid’ to honestly, earnestly wanting to help these kids, made my motherly heart ache in the best way possible.


  1. I found this book so quirky that it instantly became a favorite of mine last year.
    Very nice review!

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