Our Endless Numbered Days

  • by Claire Fuller
  • Narrated by Eilidh L. Beaton
  • 9 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Winner of the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize
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.
Her life is reduced to a piano that makes music but no sound and a forest where all that grows is a means of survival. And a tiny wooden hut that is everything.

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What the Critics Say

"Like all good fairy tales, this is a book filled with suspense and revelation, light and shadow and the overwhelming feeling that nothing is quite as it seems in the Hillcoats’ lives. It’s spellbinding, scary stuff." (The Daily Express)
"Fuller handles the tension masterfully in this grown-up thriller of a fairytale, full of clues, questions and intrigue." (The Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Original

Fascinating idea. Hauntingly possible.
Beautifully narrated. Recommended to the romantic in us. Seen through the eyes of a sweet natured young girl innocently believing in the reality of her fathers vision.
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- ruth

Intriguing, thought-provoking, with a good twist.

Any additional comments?

I chose this book because it has won prizes and has been praised by many critics and book bloggers I respect. It is not the kind of novel that I would normally pick up in a library or bookshop but I'm very glad that I gave it a go.

The story concerns Peggy who is taken from her home in London, under mysterious circumstances, to live in a cabin the woods ( in Germany? ) by her Survivalist father. She is eight years old at the time of her 'abduction'. One night, while her concert pianist mother is away on a concert tour, she overhears snatches of a quarrel between her father and his long-term friend and fellow survivalist Oliver. Their departure from the family home follows almost immediately after this. When Peggy escapes from the cabin and her father and is reunited with her mother, she is seventeen and discovers that she has an eight-year-old brother whom she has never known.

The bulk of the tale tells of the endless numbered days in the cabin with her father, surviving in the natural world with no modern conveniences and believing a story , told by her father, of a natural catastrophe which has left only the two of them alive. The relationship between the two of them undergoes many stresses and changes and when Peggy discovers the possibility of another person living nearby she begins to challenge the version of life her father has constructed for her. Puberty begins to rear its head too and Peggy is further confused. A descent into mental illness (for one or both of them)seems inevitable and a crisis arises between father and daughter, leading to tragedy and a dramatic final denouement.The story starts quite slowly but builds to a very dramatic end, with a twist which left me open-mouthed. I had thought I had worked out where the story was going but there was a sting in the tale that I did not see coming.

The narrative reads like a modern fairy tale in some respects and the narrator did well to keep me hooked to a storyline which for some periods was a bit light on plot. But overall, I would recommend it to anyone who likes a good yarn and an unexpected ending.

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- bookylady

Book Details

  • Release Date: 21-04-2015
  • Publisher: Audible Studios