1976: Peggy Hillcoat is eight. She spends her summer camping with her father, playing her beloved record of The Railway Children and listening to her mother’s grand piano, but her pretty life is about to change.
Her survivalist father, who has been stockpiling provisions for the end which is surely coming soon, takes her from London to a cabin in a remote European forest. There he tells Peggy the rest of the world has disappeared. And so her life is reduced to a piano which makes music but no sound, a forest where all that grows is a means of survival. And a tiny wooden hut that is Everything.
Peggy is not seen again for another nine years.
1985: Peggy has returned to the family home. But what happened to her in the forest? And why has she come back now?
Our Endless Numbered Days was actually a relatively quick read as I read it in a matter of hours. Saying that though I don’t think this is the sort of novel that should be rushed in anyway. It is beautifully written and very descriptive and I do believe you need to take your time to appreciate it fully.
The story flicks between Peggy when her father took her away from her normal every day life to when she is back at home in London.
To be honest the sound of living in the wilderness to a certain extent sounded quite tempting, especially for a daughter to be able to spend quality time with her father and being surrounded by nature. There is nothing right though with the lies and deceit that James constantly feeds his daughter.
We get to see Peggy growing up through the chapters set in the past and as much as she wants to please her dad she also wants to be more independent, which at times is not appreciated by her father. Even though Peggy learns a lot of life skills from living in the wilderness she sadly misses out so much on social skills and very much misses the normal life that has been taken from her.
I found Our Endless Numbered Days to be quite slow paced, which after reading so many fast paced stories recently I did find quite frustrating. I was dying to find out why a father would suddenly abduct his own daughter and lie to her like he did. I have to say the author kept me guessing right up until the very end and to be fair it was worth the wait.
Overall I think Our Endless Numbered Days really is a beautiful and well written story but I don’t think it is one that will grab every reader.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Books (UK) for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I have awarded this book 3.5/5 stars.
Our Endless Numbered Days will be available as a paperback on the 31st of December but is already available in other forms on Amazon.