In 1976, eight-year-old Peggy is taken by her father to a remote cabin, ‘die Hutte’, told her mother has been killed in an accident and the rest of the world has been wiped out, and they must find a way to survive. In 1985, aged 17, she has returned home, her mother alive. Told in chapters alternating between past and present, Our Endless Numbered Days is about what happened in between.
This is a gripping book, the kind you binge read over very few sessions. It’s also perfect for this time of year – even though there are long sections that happen in the summer, it’s absolutely suited to being curled up indoors while the weather rages outside.
However, the twist is extremely obvious and, as the book ends on the ‘reveal’, I’m not sure that it’s intended to be, which always annoys me a bit. There’s also a lot of beautiful writing and description but for some reason it didn’t register with me at all as I was reading it, though I did like the way it showed the dad’s (and Peggy’s) gradual mental unraveling, through his increasingly unstable moods and slipping into calling Peggy by her mother’s name.
Apart from the obviousness of the twist, there was nothing I particularly didn’t like about the book, and I was gripped by it, but I didn’t love it and it hasn’t stayed with me afterwards. It’s an enjoyable enough book, especially for a wintery night, but ultimately not a satisfying one.
I received a free copy from Penguin in exchange for an honest review.