I hope you’ve had a truly wonderful Christmas.
I’m so glad you’ve taken a little break to stop by, as the lovely folks at Penguin contacted me earlier this month to ask if I would like to share my review of Our Endless Numbered Days to coincide with its paperback release date today. It goes without saying that I’m delighted to oblige! I read this book back in March 2015 and I still recall it’s haunting quality.
Well, after this post it’s bye for now. Here’s wishing each and everyone of you a happy and peaceful New Year – hope to see you in 2016!
All the best,
Publisher: Fig Tree (Penguin) | Publication Date: Paperback 31st December 2015
“What’s a Hutte?” I asked. “A magical place in the forest,” my father said with a catch in his voice. “Our very own little cabin, with wooden walls, and wooden floors, and wooden shutters at the windows…”
Little Peggy would have quite innocently followed in her father’s footsteps to the end of the world and back again. Never in her wildest dreams could she have imagined what that could come to mean…
Her keen survivalist father had allowed her to camp at the bottom of the garden of their house in London, live in a rickety tent and cook over an open fire. He’d even shown her how to live off the land.
With her famous Germanic pianist mother, Ute, away from home, she had left her husband in sole charge of their daughter, which meant that Peggy could enjoy this ‘outdoor’ life even more; not having to bathe, foraging for food and the mock drills in case of dire emergency.
At just ten years old she unwittingly exchanged the comforts of her home in London for a remote and uninviting wilderness, a place her father explained would be a haven for their family and that her mother would be joining them soon.
But their short stay in ‘die Hutte’ stretched into nine long years and differed greatly from the sanctuary her father had promised.
There was just the two of them, as her father cruelly told her that the rest of the world did not exist anymore and that they were the only survivors. Trusting him as she did, she believed every word he spoke, that is until she became mesmerised by a mysterious wild man called Rueben whose name had been etched in their cabin…
Leaving home as a child in 1976 and returning as a young woman in 1985, Peggy has to confront a whole new set of challenges. Even though the story moves backwards and forwards through both time periods it’s seamlessly blended.
This incredible portrayal of Peggy’s difficult journey into adulthood under ‘gut-kicking’ circumstances is written in the most incredible way. Even with its disturbing undercurrent, which started as a trickle being dripped into the chapters, it’s a book I would highly recommend. I just had to keep on reading until I discovered how she arrived home again, if she would be safe and what would happen to her.
It’s one of those books you will read that will hold your attention until the very last page, and will continue to linger in your mind long after you’ve closed its haunting cover.
(This review was written after reading my own hardback copy of this title in March 2015.)
(Courtesy of Amazon UK)
WINNER OF THE DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE 2015
‘Fuller handles the tension masterfully in this grown-up thriller of a fairytale, full of clues, questions and intrigue.’ – The Times
‘Extraordinary…From the opening sentence it is gripping’ – Sunday Times
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 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.
(Courtesy of Author’s Website)
I’m a novelist and short fiction writer. For my first degree I studied sculpture at Winchester School of Art, specialising in wood and stone carving. I began writing fiction at the age of 40, after many years working as a co-director of a marketing agency. I have a Masters (distinction) in Creative and Critical Writing from The University of Winchester.
My first novel, Our Endless Numbered Days is published in the UK by Fig Tree / Penguin, by House of Anansi in Canada, Tin House in the US, Editions Stock in France, Keter Books in Israel, and will be published in Italy, the Netherlands, Taiwan, and Turkey in the coming months.
It won the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize for debut fiction, and was nominated for the Edinburgh First Book Award.
My second novel, Swimming Lessons, will be published in the UK and Commonwealth (excluding Canada) also by Fig Tree / Penguin at the end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017.
I am represented by Jane Finigan from Lutyens & Rubinstein.
I live in Winchester with my husband and two children.
CONNECT WITH CLAIRE FULLER