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Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller
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Our Endless Numbered Days (2015)

by Claire Fuller

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Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
In my GoodReads.com review I said,

"Found it difficult to pick up. Took me more than a month to get through it and only then because I was reading it for my book club.
Couldn't get on with it at all. Other than Peggy, none of the characters seemed much more than caricatures. (Perhaps this is by design.)
Other reviewers suggested there was a terrible surprise at the end.
I'm afraid I thought it was all very predictable and the ending something of a cliché.
I was relieved to be able to put it down and move on."
  johninBurnham | May 7, 2017 |
I found this to be quite depressing, although once into it I could not put it down, wanting to find out what happens to Peggy. Her father takes her to live in a secluded cabin in a remote European forest, and tells her that the rest of the world has died including her mother. He keeps her there for nine years. I would say this is a good book although I despised the father, I would recommend it. ( )
  myers3 | Apr 1, 2017 |
An engulfing read that took me but a day, so engrossed as I was. At 8 years of age, a father takes his daughter into a remote location, in another country, to live off the land. Barely prepared for what befalls them, they manage to survive, but not without consequences. Living off the lie that they are all that is left of the world, they live 8 years in seclusion and rapid decline, both physically and mentally. A violent escape finds her a ragged, frazzled and matted rescue and a reunion to what her father stole her away from. But what did she leave behind? And more so, what did she bring back with her? ( )
  CherylGrimm | Mar 22, 2017 |
I felt a little cheated after finished this novel. I had expected something different. The beginning is very good. You know what´s going to happen but you don´t know how or why. And for me, the answers was not enough. I missed a psychological depth or something... But, it was an easy and fast read and hard to put down. ( )
  Amsa1959 | Jan 18, 2017 |

Originally posted here

A haunting read, Our Endless Numbered Days is a debut novel about oppression and survival. The story centres around Peggy, an eight-year-old girl who is kidnapped by her father and taken to Europe, to live in a hut in a remote German woodland. Peggy’s father is a survivalist; he is passionate about living off the land and off the grid. Peggy initially believes this to be a fun holiday but pretty soon after they arrive, Peggy’s father tells her that the world has ended and they are the only two people left alive. The narrative switches between Peggy as a seventeen-year-old in 1985 where she has returned to her mother in London; and the events that led to her abduction and the years she spent living in the woods with her father.

I would say the main meat of this book is Peggy’s life growing up and surviving in the woods. Peggy is an unreliable narrator as, like the reader, she doesn’t understand why the world has ended or why her father insists that they stay in the hut. There is a lot of tension that is built up very slowly as from the first chapter, we know she eventually returns to her mother and I was just dying to know what happened that allowed her to escape.

There is a dreamlike and fairy-tale quality to the story, it kind of reminded me of The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. There was almost a sense of not knowing what was real and what was not. The writing is very beautiful, very lyrical, with rich descriptions of nature. The plot is very slow, very character driven, ultimately concluding in a shocking finale. I felt speechless after I turned the last page.

This is ultimately quite a emotional and dark story and by the end of the book, I found the woodland setting quite stifling and oppressive. Peggy's life was just unimaginable - living on squirrels, wild mushrooms and outgrowing her clothing whilst also not being able to brush her hair or teeth. It was just terrible and went on for years. I felt very sorry for her.

Beautifully written, haunting, and shocking. I would highly recommend this book, especially to readers who enjoyed Burial Rites or The Snow Child as it has a very similar style. ( )
  4everfanatical | Nov 16, 2016 |
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For Tim, India, and Henry
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Highgate, London, November 1985

This morning I found a black-and-white photograph of my father at the back of the bureau drawer.  He didn't look like a liar.
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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.
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