Monday, 21 December 2015

Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller

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 begins to unravel 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 learns 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.

Woah!! What did I just read? I can't decide which way my feelings are going, I feel like I had a very mixed relationship with this book. On goodreads I was very very torn between giving this a 3 and a 4 stars rating. Maybe 3.5 would be most suitable.

Peggy is a 8 year old girl, daughter to a famous German pianist and her much younger husband. Her father, James, is a survivalist, always preparing Peggy for the worse case scenario. Testing her on packing her rucksack in record time and other things. When her mother Ute goes back on tour and Peggy is left behind with her dad they start to camp in the garden. But one day the dad takes Peggy and they go on a 'trip', eventually ending up in a deep deep Forrest looking for die Hütte. Which is where they start a sort of life, living of the land and the animals. After a big storm Peggy's father tells her that the storm has destroyed the world and they are the only survivors. Years go by and things become stranger while they also settle in a sort of routine. 

I don't actually know where to begin, my feelings are all over the place. I loved the idea of this book, this is why I requested it and I was really eager to start. However at first I found myself struggling to really give it my undevided attention. The writing isn't always easy flowing and I sometimes found things almost hard to imagine. But I kept going and in the end I am glad I did. 

It's rather disturbing in many different ways, being a mother myself this would be my biggest nightmare. Although this book doesn't involve the mothers loss of her daughter. 

It was so strange to see how such a young girl adjusted to this immense change in her life purely because she should have no reason to mistrust her father no matter what he says and how strange it seems. Peggy is an amazing character never really complaining, being very useful and surviving this crazy ordeal. Although at first it's almost like a holiday and adventure, the father trying to make things very special for her by building his daughter a piano and teaching her how to play on the soundless instrument. But soon cracks start to appear in many ways. 

Hauntingly scary is how this becomes her life, almost forgetting who she was before. Slowly being shaped into this completely different person that she was meant to be. We get to see this strange journey through a little girls eyes, a girl that also has a great imagination.

It was an incredibly interesting read, very different to anything I have read before. I do fear tho that some readers will struggle with the German words here and there. I could imagine this being hard going if u wasn't lucky enough to be fluent in German like myself. But in no way does that spoil the book. 

The end had me very surprised, shocked and even confused and sad. But I won't spoil that one for you. 

All in all this has been a rather huge up and down for me. But it was worth a read and this story will stay with me for some time. 

Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for my copy in exchange for my honest opinion. 

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