“Weird, funny, but also unexpectedly moving.” —Buzzfeed
“Laugh out loud funny. I love the way Kevin Wilson writes.” —Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award winner
Kevin Wilson’s best book yet—a moving and uproarious novel about a woman who finds meaning in her life when she begins caring for two children with remarkable and disturbing abilities
Lillian and Madison were unlikely roommates and yet inseparable friends at their elite boarding school. But then Lillian had to leave the school unexpectedly in the wake of a scandal and they’ve barely spoken since. Until now, when Lillian gets a letter from Madison pleading for her help.
Madison’s twin stepkids are moving in with her family and she wants Lillian to be their caretaker. However, there’s a catch: the twins spontaneously combust when they get agitated, flames igniting from their skin in a startling but beautiful way. Lillian is convinced Madison is pulling her leg, but it’s the truth.
Thinking of her dead-end life at home, the life that has consistently disappointed her, Lillian figures she has nothing to lose. Over the course of one humid, demanding summer, Lillian and the twins learn to trust each other—and stay cool—while also staying out of the way of Madison’s buttoned-up politician husband. Surprised by her own ingenuity yet unused to the intense feelings of protectiveness she feels for them, Lillian ultimately begins to accept that she needs these strange children as much as they need her—urgently and fiercely. Couldn’t this be the start of the amazing life she’d always hoped for?
With white-hot wit and a big, tender heart, Kevin Wilson has written his best book yet—a most unusual story of parental love.
About the Author
Kevin Wilson is the author of the novels The Family Fang, a New York Times bestseller and a best book of the year in Time, People, Salon, and Esquire; and Perfect Little World. His story collection, Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, received an Alex Award from the American Library Association as well as the Shirley Jackson Award. He teaches fiction at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, where he lives with his wife and two sons.
“His most outlandish—and curiously affecting—premise yet.”
— Entertainment Weekly
“Weird, funny, but also unexpectedly moving. . . . An affecting reflection on the blithe cruelty of the rich and what it means to be a good parent.”
“Inventive. . . . The bonds [Lillian] forms with the children inform her of the costs of abandonment and durability of love.”
“Quirky and insightful, strange and delightful.”
“Laugh out loud funny. I love the way Kevin Wilson writes.”
— Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award winner
// Praise for BABY YOU’VE GOT TO BE MINE
“Hands down my favorite book of the year.”
— Ann Patchett, Today
“These new stories of Wilson’s are something else; they’re funny, raw and beautiful.”
— Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air
// Praise for PERFECT LITTLE WORLD
“A novel you keep reading for old-fashioned reasons—because it’s a good story and you need to know what happens.”
— John Irving, The New York Times Book Review
“Wilson’s deliciously breezy style reels you in and holds you tight.”
— Denver Post
// Praise for THE FAMILY FANG
— Miami Herald
— Vanity Fair