Our Endless Numbered Days

Claire Fuller's beautifully tragic debut novel is a survivalist story. Peggy, the book's narrator, is eight years old when her father, James, kidnaps her from their London home and takes her to a crumbling cabin deep in the woods. The Cold War rages, and James tells her the rest of the world has been destroyed.

Father and daughter work tirelessly to make the ramshackle hut a home: repairing, hunting, fishing, gardening. Fuller's depiction of the pair's life is far from bucolic, however. James is unpredictable and often leaves his young daughter shaken and terrified by his explosive outbursts. Obsessed with survivalism, James meticulously calculates the store of supplies they will need for the winter, but his estimates fall short and they struggle, barely making it through the treacherously cold and potentially deadly months.

Believing for years that no one else is alive, Peggy is startled when she senses the presence of another person during her daily forest wanderings. Encountering this third survivor rocks the foundation of the life she and James have so arduously labored to maintain.

Our Endless Numbered Days is sure to leave readers gloriously disquieted. The perspective of a young, naïve narrator creates both an uncertainty in her reliability and empathy for her helplessness. The unsettling plot twists infuse the story with rich psychological suspense. Through them, Fuller strikes horror, but she also raises hope. This surprisingly satisfying dichotomy will survive in readers' hearts and minds long after the fate of Peggy and James has been revealed. --Jen Forbus of Jen's Book Thoughts

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