Our Endless Numbered Days
BY Claire Fuller
Peggy 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. —goodreads
Dates only make us aware of how numbered our days are, how much closer to death we are for each one we cross off. From now on, Punzel, we’re going to live by the sun and the seasons. He picked me up and spun me around, laughing. Our days will be endless.
I really hated how long it took me to get through this book, thanks to time constraints it took me just a little over a month. Our Endless Numbered Days was wonderfully engrossing. Fuller’s writing is absolutely beautiful. Every time I was forced to close the book I was left yearning for more. It’s safe to say that I spent quite a few nights dreaming about how I’d react if put in the same situation as little Peggy.
The tragedy that bestows Peggy, or Punzel as her obviously deranged father calls her for the majority of the book, is told perfectly through her naive eight year old eyes. Every detail that Peggy remembers as she recalls the years she was in the woods with her father with the vividness that only a child could remember. Even as I read knowing full well what was going on, I easily related to believing the horrible lies her father was telling her as they traveled to their deserted Die Hutte. I often joke with my husband that I want to be one of those parents that jokingly teaches their children that airplanes at cats and the color blue is potato chip. Now, I don’t find that so funny.
What I loved the most about this book was the psychologic torment that befalls both Peggy and her father. It was obviously from the beginning that James, her father, wasn’t quite right in the head. He’s the paranoid survivalist type that built a bunker in his home and taught his young daughter meticulous survival skills. There is this slow build of his mental state cracking all the way to the climax of the book that is just so wonderful that when things finally happen, while somewhat obvious, I was thrown for a complete loop. I actually threw the book down and yelled WHAT THE FUCK!?
Fuller created a world that while beautiful I’m sure as hell that I don’t want to be in. There is absolutely no way I would have survived Peggy’s story. But, I’m grateful for going on this adventure with her.
Read if you like: ruthless piano savant mothers, the idea of surviving in the wilderness with nothing but the clothes on your back, the possibility of the end of the world and crazy kidnapping fathers.
I received this book from the first month’s box from Muse Monthly which I’ve mentioned a few times here because I love them! For those of you that don’t know, Muse Monthly is a unique subscription service that connects lovers of books and tea every month with a new novel and a box of tea directly to your doorstep. Muse Monthly is owned by a good friend of mine with beyond excellent taste in literature and equally excellent taste in teas. There is absolutely no one else I would trust to create such a lovely experience. The pairings of novels and tea are to die for! I drank cup after cup of tea while reading Our Endless Numbered Days. You can choose one of four different subscription offers here and don’t wait too long as you only have till the 22nd of this month to get August’s box!